Our 2019 team retreat is in the books. We gathered the whole team to celebrate the year, enjoy time together, and look ahead toward 2020 and the years to come. Chris has previously written about the value of gathering as a distributed team, and we continue to affirm this and desire to meet more frequently if we are able to.
This year we gathered in sunny Palm Springs, California. As the team has grown it has become harder to find lodging that is large enough for us all to stay in one house, so this year we had three houses next door to each other, which worked quite well.
A common theme after our last several retreats was that we felt the need to have more time together, so we added an extra day to the retreat this year. For me, it seemed just right, though somehow I still left wanting more time with everyone!
Every year we do our best to strike a balance between “company time” and social time. This year we had a few formal presentations, the annual State of Chromatic, a best practices talk from our team leads, Adam and Alfonso, and a Start, Stop, Continue session where we evaluate all of the things we are doing as a company.
Lightning talks, the annual Chromies, and One Wheel lessons filled the remainder of our “formal” time together.
We always cook meals together and share stories by the fire or lounging outside near the pool. Team meals are a staple of who we are as a company. Whether it is the shared experience of shopping, cooking, or dining, we always bond around the table. This year we ended the retreat with a special team dinner outside where we had a Thanksgiving style go around, sharing the things we were all thankful for, it was an incredible and heartfelt time together.
Friday we were able to take a field trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Even the time driving was time well spent as we were able to discuss life and take in the beauty of the park together. We had a lovely picnic-style lunch amongst the boulders near Skull Rock.
We left our time together with full hearts and excited about our next team gathering. Collectively, I believe, we are charged up and ready to dive into new projects and opportunities in 2020. And I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this team.