Gillette Stadium, Summer 2014
July 24th and 25th
At noon on the 24th, the Maxwell Health team left our Boston Office, and headed towards famed Gillette Stadium in nearby Foxborough, Massachusetts.
With our Maxwell t-shirts and laptops in tow, we were ready for an amazing time. Members of the team from all over the country were in attendance, prepared to learn, brainstorm, and think about next quarter.
The moment we got to the hotel, it was, in classic Maxwell style, right to business. We had a great business strategy session, played the classic icebreaker “Dream Game” (myself, Kate, A-No, and Yuri were the willing victims...), and enjoyed a great team dinner together.
This was a time for all of us to break out of our comfort zones, get to know the newest members of the team, and have a great time as a company! We hold these retreats quarterly, and in a fast-paced world, we sometimes need to slow down, well -- at least for eighteen hours.
Company retreats allow the team to step back and look at our organization as a whole, versus the day-to-day grind of our individual roles and responsibilities. Retreats, while fun and enjoyable, serve a higher purpose for us. Where might things be in danger of falling through the cracks? How can we be more efficient? What things are working for one team or individual that could be mapped onto others?
A few solid, noticeable changes came out of the our time together. Maxwellians wanted more transparency between the teams and what they were doing on a day-to-day basis, or as we coined it, “cross-team pollination.” As a result, we’re hard at work implementing dashboards, data visualizations, and weekly team-wide emails from different parts of the organization with updates on their progress. Inspired by the epicly fun live-note-taking (thanks Meg & Sara!), we decided to make it a practice to record live notes during our weekly team meetings so remote members can stay in sync and follow along.
A particularly productive session was enumerating “what we do well” vs. “what we can improve on. The list of things we were doing right was long, but, importantly, so was the list of things at which we know can get better. The conversation around improvements could have been awkward, but our team’s honesty and respect for one another produced a conversation that was open and without fear of backlash. It was truly amazing to watch a room full of capable, intelligent, and outgoing people let their guards down to talk about how to improve the place we love and the product we’ve built. Because, at the end of the day, it is our love and passion for Maxwell’s mission that keeps us coming back, feeling motivated, every day.
We gave appreciations (as is our custom) and also constructive suggestions for how to improve our work environment. A week later, the improvements based on retreat suggestions have been noticeable. The communication in the office has improved (it has even spread to our kickball team -- our communication is strengthened each week!), office morale has gone up, and we’ve really implemented some of the take-aways noted above.
These retreats have been a keystone to our product development, company culture, and strategy, and we look forward to our next one in October!