The Importance of Investing in the Individual | 2022 Event’s Team Retreat
By Olivia Brooks Allan
A lot has happened for our Team in the last two years; we nurtured existing partners and welcomed new ones, pulled apart roles & responsibilities to organize efficiency, and ultimately reimagined how we work together as a whole. Our Team learned entirely new technologies and launched new areas of business including foraging into the Metaverse – all without slowing down the sprinting pace of grit that defines the Culture at Landmark Ventures.
Last week we did what was unimaginable two years ago—we gathered our entire Team together for an in-person offsite Retreat in Old Saybrook, CT. While we’ve all acknowledged the silver linings of leading and working from our home environments, it felt great to be back together again!
The purpose of the offsite Retreat was specific; it was an investment in the individual. At Landmark, we believe fully in the idea that the stronger the individual, the stronger the contribution, and the stronger the Team! We wanted to temporarily halt the sprinting pace the Landmark Culture is known for (and we love) and invest in professional development to improve personal productivity. Our goal was to highlight the strengths, weaknesses, highs, and lows to empower a stronger 2022 and beyond!
I am delighted to share some of our Key Learnings from our Retreat with you:
- Collate the Challenges in Advance. I personally asked every person on our Team in advance of the Retreat to share our most significant challenge to achieving success. This helped to provide a better understanding of where we needed to focus our efforts ahead of the Retreat and made for a more streamlined, and open, conversation amongst colleagues. By gathering these in advance, we were able to proactively attend the Retreat understanding our weaker areas.
- Understand Where Team Members Provide Unique Value. Before arriving at the Retreat, our entire team took a DISC Assessment. The DISC assessment identifies four behaviors in people: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. The DISC Assessment provided a backbone to our curriculum with eye-opening moments of relatable insights as to why colleagues behave the way they do. This foraged connections, and understanding, as to how and why people act the way they do. This provided us with the unique opportunity of learning new communication skills amongst the four different types of people.
- Scale for Net Positive Growth. Our team has an overarching goal to continue to scale for net positive growth. We are adamant about growing without creating unnecessary expenses, while simultaneously eliminating excess work effort. Our goal is to be as strong and efficient with our resources and pass back the value to our clients and partners. By establishing this, we created an open communication channel – feeling comfortable to speak about hits or misses, highs and lows, in a comfortable and safe space.
- Adapting Behavior. We all can be a bit stubborn and set in our ways! We all mutually made a commitment to understand each other better and adapt behaviors accordingly to drive better results. By combining this agreement with our understanding of the DISC Assessment, our Retreat allowed us all to personally reflect, as well as carve a clear path to adapting our work habits.
- The Pause Matters. We returned from our Retreat roughly one week ago, and I’ve already observed changed behaviors amongst my colleagues. Conversations have been more direct and to the point to drive results. Junior voices have spoken up more frequently, infused with confidence through the open channels we forged at the Retreat. Work patterns have been elevated, and I’ve heard from my managing leaders that personal productivity has increased immensely. We have been holding ourselves accountable with morning check-ins on the habit-forming commitment made by our teammates through an App that helps us rate how we are doing with our commitment (yes I get a report to see who’s committing!). The pause to digest learnings matters, because the pause allows us to implement these lessons.
It felt great to be “together” for the first time after what felt like truly two years of solitude. The Retreat taught my Team that we have what it takes to continue to build and grow, ready to take on the inevitable challenges that will continue to face us as business leaders. Myself, and my Team, walked away from a truly beneficial Retreat, resolute in knowing we have a Team that knows what it takes!