Earlier this week, the entire JP team took a little trip across town to have a chat about our goals for the future. In layman’s terms, it was an all-day business therapy session where we took an honest look at 2014 and then turned our focus onto the future.
No, I’m not going to let you in on all of the big things we have planned for the next year. Sorry. But I am going to tell you a few things that I learned from the experience, and why I think every company should consider doing the same.
Before I start, a special shout out goes to Robert Mano for facilitating the day – thank you!
22 minds are better than 1. I’m in a really strange position where I manage accounts, direct the public relations department, but also remain part of the creative team for copywriting projects. Admittedly, I am all over the map. But do I know what the media buying team needs to put together the most strategic plan? No. Do I have any idea what even goes on in the billing department? Not one. There are so many jobs within the company that are a complete mystery to me – and even jobs that another Account Manager has that I don’t do. There is no way for one person to have all of the perspectives of a company and know what’s best for all without everyone’s input. We need to work as a team to be truly successful.
Honesty is the best policy. It’s not always easy to tell your boss, “Hey, I think there’s a problem here.” No business is perfect, but it’s up to each team member to find solutions to the issues. If you’re a photographer that really needs a new lens to produce the best quality images for your client, you have to speak up. Maybe it won’t be in the budget this month, but if you get the conversation started the idea is at least on the table.
For example: I asked that my dog be allowed to come to work every other week. I have no idea of the likelihood of it happening, but I do know that seeing his furry face sleeping at my feet would make me a happier employee. As an extra bonus, I won’t feel guilty working late on those days knowing my dog is not trapped inside. It may seem like a long shot, but if I don’t ask, I will never know the answer.
Put it in writing. It’s funny. We made these giant lists (pictured below) of all the things we wanted to accomplish or change in 2015. But there was nothing on the list that surprised me. Everything we wrote down were things that we’ve said a million times in side conversations at lunch, or in quick “we should do that” emails. However, now that it’s in writing – we all feel like we have a plan outlined in front of us. It’s a lot easier to see the finish line once you know where to start.
Divide and conquer. This is the approach we’re taking to tackle all of the tasks. Everyone in the office is signed up for a team and ready to take on what’s ahead of them. And the best part? The tasks and goals are things that each individual is interested in and wanting to achieve anyway!
I don’t have a crystal ball and don’t know what the future of JP looks like. But I can tell from our list, that we have a lot of work (and fun) ahead of us.
Bring it on 2015!
– Anna Gonzalez, Outreach & New Media Manager
Take a quick peek at the fun we had on our retreat:
P.S. If 2016 Anna looks back and reads this, be sure to let our kind readers know what happened this year.