How We Planned for 2017

4 Highlights from our Summit

Each year we host two team summit meetings. We recently had our Winter Summit, and I wanted to share a few highlights. Our website displays our portfolio work, but it's not always easy to learn about our team and culture. How a company treats and respects its employees directly reflects how they engage clients. We strive to enrich the lives of our team every day, but these semi-annual summits allow for a focused effort. Below are four highlights from the CrossComm Winter Summit.

1. Adopting a Strategic Planning Model

Based on a recommendation by a CEO I respect, I read the book Traction and found the content amazingly practical and helpful. The book outlines their Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) framework. This process describes how to establish goals, accountability charts, and running productive meetings. With this strategic model in place, we started planning our own Winter Summit.

Traction Book-min

2. Pre-Summit Planning

The goal of our pre-summit planning was to complete and update the 2-page EOS business plan. I like to go offsite for these planning meetings with CrossComm’s Founder Don Shin and our Chief Software Architect Sean Doherty. This year we elected to visit the newly opened Mayton Inn. It was a beautiful location in downtown Cary. We had a comfortable private meeting room and refreshments to get the brainstorming session flowing.

Mayton Inn-min

3. Summit Presentations

Summit Day is my favorite day of the year. I dress up each year to mark the occasion, bust out the presentation clicker, and may even sing as we start the day. We share a financial summary of the business and review our two-page business plan. The goal of the CrossComm Summit (and most of our meetings) is to inspire and equip. I want to make sure everyone feels it is worth their time attending the 1-2 day events and that we enrich the lives of our team members.

Winter Summit Justin

Our Values

We began our Summit by reviewing what already exists- our core values. These may be a future blog post to dive into in greater detail, but they are an important highlight to share from the session. We reaffirmed these values and streamlined them to the following:

  • Excellence: in the quality of our products and services
  • Creative Collaboration: producing the best outcome for a team
  • Meaningful Work: partnering with people doing extraordinary things
  • Daily Enthusiasm: demonstrating motivation and being pleasant to work with
  • Health: creating a safe place for emotional and physical well-being

Our Vision

We also outlined our 2025 vision for the company. This vision is to have the majority of our revenue come in from well-known and respected internal CrossComm products and services. The bottom line is that CrossComm plans to always be consultants but also to support a product division to help drive future growth. We don’t have all the answers, but we have a compelling vision to aim towards now.

This spurred on the best conversation during the entire summit. Team members asked a series of insightful questions about how we were going to achieve this vision. Did we have a product in mind? Would it be a B2B or B2C product? Who would do product work vs. service work? The questions demonstrated that our vision inspired them, at the very least with questions!

To bring some excitement into financial updates and business goals, we gamified the process! Everyone on the team answered a series of questions with the two highest scores receiving an undisclosed prize. One of the winners is easy to spot below.

Bobby Celebration

4. Having Some Fun

After the votes had been tallied, we unveiled that the winners would be test driving a Tesla at the local Raleigh dealership. For a team of software developers, this was an exciting adventure. The opportunity to experience self-driving cars and the “ludicrous” speed mode was a hit.

Tesla Test Drive Bernard

We also enjoyed a company dinner with family members during Summit Week. Fosters has been our go-to caterer thanks to their quality and affordable option. We love their pie as well.

After Summit Week I’m exhausted, but it’s the life-giving type of feeling. Another year to enrich more lives by building awesome apps together with people you enjoy and respect. I’m looking forward to the Summer Summit already!