Last week our team was in Marrakech, Morocco for a company retreat.
Since we're a company with international employees and no office, it makes sense to meet ... well, anywhere, really. We collaborate and communicate every single day, but we don't get a chance to go out to dinner and chat in person as much as some coworkers might.
While in Morocco, we did this and so much more — like ride camels, take Arabic lessons, and play Cards Against Humanity (what was said in Morocco, stays in Morocco). But we also focused on the business and what we want from 2017.
2016 was a year of growth — bringing on new employees, new clients, and new ideas. We want to keep this momentum but make sure we're doing it responsibly. Growth can be good all around — for both our clients and ourselves. But we vow to make all of these decisions with precision and care. Getting our team together once a year ensures that our bond is solid and our growth is achievable.
We spent this week talking about how we work with each other and our clients. And I mean it. We had a packed agenda — a rented out hotel where we hosted workshops and presentations everyday with just our team. This structure allowed us to stay organized and focused, and it ran like a well-organized conference. The week represented Bluespark in a nutshell — full of good ideas, excitement, passion, innovation, energy, focus, attentiveness ... and not quite enough time. We came away with pages of notes and action items that we're already chipping away at. All of it was about making ourselves, our company, and are projects better.
These days, culture is important to all good companies. But when you work for a fully distributed team, company culture is critical. Our ability to bond, communicate, laugh, argue, and trust all impact the culture of Bluespark and the kind of work we produce. On our retreat, we set aside time each day to do all of these things. This included a Moroccan cooking class, a scavenger hunt in the souk, a camel ride in the countryside, and sharing good wine from Spain and Italy. We did the things we needed to do to become better comrades, friends, and supporters of one another.
At Bluespark, 2017 is the year of the Relationship, with a capital 'R'. That means we're going to focus on building and maintaining relationships with each other and our clients. We spent time over the week discussing how we best do that — from saying 'thank-you' more often to sending gifts and planning events.
Overall, it was a fantastic week full of food, fun, jokes, heartfelt stories, language, and culture. Here are some images that sum up the trip.