This June, we took a trip up to Pismo to enjoy some sun and talk about the future of our agency. Our goal for this trip was to have a moment to relax, get to know each other even better, and talk about what we’re doing right, and what could be improved.
Day One: Travel, Tacos, and, “Oh, tell me your life story”
We started the morning of our trip off with breakfast burritos and some interesting YouTube videos about heavy metal. (Have y’all heard of Jinjer? Her voice is nuts.) Then it was a quick drive to the beach for lunch at Wooly’s in Pismo. We ate great on this trip, thanks to Sean’s cooking and Pismo’s finest. After our check-in at the Sea Crest Oceanfront Hotel, it was time for our first session.
Sean cooked tacos on the grill, and we all sat down to chat. Night one’s topic was our life stories. We all know each other pretty well at Butler, but we don’t know exactly how everyone got to be who they are today. So, around the fire, we all got to talking about the way we grew up and how we were transformed by different events in our lives.
One of Butler’s core values is to over-communicate. This exercise was a great way to help us become better communicators in general. When you know where someone has come from, you can better understand why they communicate the way they do, and how to communicate with them more effectively. Plus, we’re all friends here, and learning more about each other is a great way to deepen those bonds.
Day Two: Workouts, Splash Cafe, and Improving our Agency
Day two at the SeaCrest was even more fun. We woke up and had a work-out led by Sean, who kicked us all into gear pretty quickly. Most of us are not the, well, gym-rat type and when we heard the words “burpees” and “crab-walks” we were none too excited. But, in the end, pushing ourselves physically was a great metaphor for pushing ourselves in other areas. It was a great way to see that, even though we didn’t think we’d be capable of some of the exercises Sean put together, we were actually able to pull through and felt even more accomplished because we didn’t give up.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the beach, looking through shops, skimboarding, burying David in the sand, and eating lunch at Splash Cafe for world-class clam chowder. We even did a taste test with Wooly’s and Splash’s chowder side-by-side to make sure Splash is the best. You’ll have to decide for yourself, but the Butler team is loyal to Splash through and through.
That night it was time for another session of discussion. This time, Sean asked us all what,, if any, frustrations we had at work. Most of it was small, like seeing overdue tasks when we’re waiting on a client, or a disorganized folder. But, we actually also discovered we’re in need off some more team members, and have already started hiring for a Jr. Level developer.
The improvements we made based off our summit might be small details, but the time we spent together as a team was invaluable. These small positive changes have already had a ripple effect, we’re communicating better, hiring a new employee, and looking for new software solutions to improve our processes.