We ran our first company conference entitled ‘Think Big – Achieve More’ in May. It was a really great two days and the first time we’ve had the current crew all in one place at the same time, no easy feat considering we now have staff spread across the two islands!
As well as getting our team together to talk about where the business is going, we also wanted to offer practical help so we focused on two main areas: communication (both internally and externally) and time management (being that we are a time-based company. We brought in a guest speaker for each. Being better at these two things will improve the way we all work, yes, but they also flow over into personal lives. From the outset we encouraged our team to be open to learning new things and to take the lessons home to improve their home life, their downtime, their time with families. We’re really keen to help our people reduce stress and enjoy the spare time they have and communicating well and having good time management can have a big impact on that.
Communications guru Amanda Fleming spoke on the first day – she had some really appropriate advice that we’re already implementing around running projects and teams. It was a poignant moment when she asked each of us what’s most important in life and how do we want to be remembered. Just about every answer was around personal lives: being the best father, partner, provider, being seen by our kids as being important to them. It really brought home to us that we’re a business of families and humanised us left-brainers!
The next day time management expert Robyn Pearce spoke. One of the key lessons she shared was around knowledge-based workers who arrive at work, check their emails first and spend the rest of the day dancing to someone else’s tune – sound familiar? Her advice was to start the day with your own mission in mind and tick it off the list first. And don’t just tick off small things first because they’re easy – prioritise… and then don’t stop until you’re finished. Personally, her presentation confirmed to me that I need to spend a day a week out of the business, focusing on working “on” the business and not “in” it. Now I’m out of bounds on a Friday, which is also when I write an internal blog to the team (ticking off that communication aspect!).
Robyn is running another follow-up session in a month to reinforce the learnings because we are really focused as a company on improving our time management and becoming more and being more efficient with our time and projects.
I really enjoyed our first company conference and think everyone got something from it. As well as being an opportunity to gather our team and get everybody on the same page going forward, it was great to be able to spend some downtime with the incredible people that make up the Jacksons team.