Are you ready for the new year? The new decade? What did you do to get ready for 2020? This is the perfect season to reflect on 2019, and to set your intent (not just your budget) for your organization for the year. In this short blog series, we’d like to share what Elevate To’s leadership team did during the quiet holiday time, and are doing in this first month or so of the new year.
- We wrote down our company values
- We reflected, personally and professionally, on last year
- We are collaborating with the larger Elevate To team to articulate our Company Vision
- We are establishing our intent–True North and Key Strategies–for this year
It would be easy to race ahead into activity; we have a plenty long backlog of important work to do for both ourselves and our clients. Yet we know that this big picture work will set us up for better decisions and outcomes in 2020.
What we value
Christine, Eric and I had been working on our values, asynchronously, slowly, for a while. We did that almost instinctively, because we want to ensure that Elevate is a values-based company. In our first year it didn’t seem so important to write down those values–we three co-founders are pretty well-aligned, which we knew from our years of working together.
However, because we intend to grow in 2020, we want to ensure any new employee or partner joins us in what we stand for. Real values–the kind you live by–should be things you would hire and fire over. They should inform decisions about with which clients you will and will not work. We knew we couldn’t start hiring, nor seriously expanding our client base, until we could clearly articulate our values and tell stories about how we exemplify them.
I’ll admit, it was thrilling to work on them together, to put into clear, concise words what we all believe so deeply.
Personal and Professional Reflection
Before we could do that values work, we separately and together spent time reflecting on 2019.
For all three of us, because we bring our whole selves to work, the personal and professional are intertwined. We reflected on all aspects of our lives, shared much of that with each other, and shared some of that with all the Elevators.
I spent time reflecting on all aspects of my life–community, volunteering, health & fitness, mindfulness, career and more. I reviewed the goals I’d set a year ago. I built a mindmap of key moments and results. I had an amazing year of personal growth, which I celebrated and then set intentions to continue. In 2019 I also had the very intense experience of leaving the company I loved and worked at for 12 years. It felt important to honor that transition and notice its impact on me (I guess that would fall under ‘personal-professional’).
The personal reflection centered my mind and heart, which made me better able to look both critically and compassionately at how the year went professionally.
Elevate had an amazing first year. We are 100% self-started, -funded, and -owned. We hit our client success goals by partnering with the amazing leaders at our wonderful clients. We were honored to work with amazing partners to help create sustainable work. We are excited that some of them will be joining us as employees this year! (@Jane Tudor welcome as employee #4!)
We noticed things we loved about Elevate’s first year (collaborating! our customers!), and things we know we can do better (better communication, better cadences, smoother operations). While it’s important to plan for improvements, the reflection also helps us be very intentional about the goodness we want to keep and expand in 2020.
I loved Christine Hudson’s framing for reflection: Appreciate, inspect, re-up, adapt. That is, appreciate the humans and the successes, inspect what went well and didn’t, decide whether to re-up (we all said yes!), and decide how we want to adapt going forward.
Based on my personal reflection, I’ve developed my sense of how I want to evolve me–who I am and how I behave and how I show up in the world. For me, personally, this is the year of a stronger body for the next decade. My first quarter focus is on experimenting with personal trainers. Similarly, the Elevate leadership team has reflected and described how we want to evolve the character of our company–how we behave and how we show up in the world, for our clients, partners and future employees.
See our next post for our company intent and focus for 2020.
What are you doing to prepare for 2020? Let us know!