Last Friday saw the 25 of us at Edmiston Jones head off for our annual retreat. This year we went to Birrigai, an outdoor and environmental educational centre 40 minutes’ drive south of Canberra.
As new team members have joined each of our three offices over the past 12 months we took the opportunity to review and reaffirm key aspects of our culture and values. Retreat leaders, Leonardo, Agusti, Valentina and Stuart, coached their respective teams to develop carefully crafted exercises that allowed us to reflect on how we can be even more connected, considered, innovative and respectful. The images illustrate the range of thoughtful activities enthusiastically embraced by the entire office.
Our time away each year has a 20 year history and is a milestone in the rhythm of quarterly reviews, meetings, weekly pow wows and catch-ups we have throughout the year. I have long held the belief that a good indicator of an organisation’s culture is revealed by its meeting structure. An autocratic firm is likely to have few, if any, encounters that engage the whole team. Meetings held erratically suggests crisis management as a reaction to circumstances. Better to encourage structured, proactive input that benefits from the diversity in the team and the ‘wisdom of the crowd’.
We are privileged at Edmiston Jones to be able to head to the office each day to work productively and collaboratively with friends for individuals and organisations we respect. Not something to be taken for granted, the Directors are committed to setting time aside to reaffirm the values that hold us together and allow each member of the team to be the best they can possibly be.
I’m already looking forward to the 2019 retreat. Having exhausted all the states on the eastern seaboard as well as South Australia, the question is where?