The first week of December, Amplified IT brought all 34-strong team members from three countries together to the headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia for the first time. The entire week was spent working together, learning, cross-collaborating, and building deeper relationships.
We started it all off with our seven teams presented on how they smashed their goals this year and how their work connected to the 2,000+ school districts we’ve supported this year. They also had an opportunity to showcase how together we directly impacted the technology for school districts staff and students for the better.
We laid out our 10, 3 and 1 year vision for Amplified IT to align our vision and get everyone working towards the same goals. This long-term, unified vision ultimately plays an integral role to help us ‘amplify’ even more schools. We had workshops on topics such as ‘Communication’ to improve the way we work together and to ensure we are using a common language with our customers. A day and a half in the middle of the retreat was dedicated to innovation. To do this, we provided a list of problems our company and customers face and grouped together employees into teams to collaborate and develop a viable solution. At the end of the exercise, the teams came together and pitched their solutions to a panel. It was great to see the cross-team collaboration and the ingenuity that resulted from the hard work.
Our holiday party gave a chance for our work family to meet people’s loved ones and then we took part in what will be a yearly tradition, The Ampie Awards. These were fun, Dundie-esk awards that made the team laugh and cheer. The fourth day of our retreat, all staff gave something back by dedicating time to work with the non profit, Troopster. Together we packed nearly 500 care-packages that Amplified IT had sponsored for military service personnel this Christmas who will be spending the holidays serving overseas and don’t have family back home to get care packages from.
Another important part of the week involved having all staff work on strengthsfinder by Gallup, to better understand their top five strengths as well as those of their teammates. Using this insight, the teams will be better equipped to communicate and work together leveraging each other’s strengths to be more successful for the company and for the school districts we serve.
We finished our all-hands retreat with a presentation and workshop on Dare to Lead. This training aims to help each person better understand that leadership is not just managing people, it’s about finding the potential in people and processes and having the courage to develop those on an individual level.
We are very proud of the entire team and what they were able to achieve all year. The growth we’ve seen both over the year and over the course of the week long retreat truly gives me confidence about what our company can do in 2020 to make an even bigger technological impact for institutions across North America.
Chief Operations Officer / Co-Founder
About the Author:
Peter began working with Google for Education in 2009 at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and is now based out of Amplified IT’s HQ in Norfolk, Virginia. He’s a Google for Education Certified Trainer and has presented at events across the North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Now his time is spent working on amplifying the teams within the company and helping them empower schools.