When you picture the popular ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” what comes to mind? You might think of ambition, strategy, and young business men and women with high hopes and plans for the future of their company.
Take away the critical investors and the high stakes, and you’d find something very similar to a recent event at our AMEND office. Internal AMEND groups pitched their ideas for what AMEND would look like in 10 years — Shark Tank-style.
So how do you utilize your team’s true potential, while solidifying your company’s success? Take a look at our Shark Tank approach to help you drive innovation in your company.
Phase I: Foster Ambition
Maggie Daly, Project Leader at AMEND, and the rest of her planning committee were organizing the fifth annual company retreat weekend. Their objective was to get their team members thinking about the future of AMEND. They decided on an exercise where small groups would stand up and give a “Shark Tank” worthy presentation of AMEND in the year 2029. While it was meant to be a fun, short activity to encourage thoughts about our company’s future, the result was so much more.
“The initial feedback following the exercise was, ‘We just started to think through our ideas, we didn’t have enough time,’ or ‘There’s so much more we could do with this,’” Daly said. It became obvious that this quick collaboration would become much more impactful than expected.
“People ended up having the same ideas and goals for the company but had never talked about it before. So, we wanted to provide a platform for our team to take time and really give this some thought.”
Phase II: Construct a Strategy
Each team had three months to build their ideas and presentations. Teams met before and after work, in addition to working on other projects. “People worked so hard on this, which I think is so great,” Daly said. “We had sixteen people involved across three teams, all passionate about this and wanting to contribute.”
In preparation for the presentations, team members discussed what they’d like to see from AMEND and what their individual goals were, then brought it all together into a company vision.
At AMEND, we have such a unique culture and business model that’s worked from when we started with five people, to now. But, as the company grows, it’s naturally going to get further and further away from the core.
“In order to keep what people love at AMEND, it’s going to take time,
thought, and strategy.”
Maggie Daly, Project Leader
Phase III: Enter the Shark Tank
One by one, each team stepped up to face “The Sharks.” Some teams hit hard with ambitious, pivotal, and monumental goals for the future. Some played it safe and predicted exactly how we could achieve sustainable growth. But among the entire team, we were able to set the stage for a REAL conversation on the future of AMEND. Everyone had similar goals of where the company could go — just in different magnitudes.
Dylan Accorti, Senior Analyst at AMEND, noted that “the presentations were full of new ideas that haven’t been talked about before. We were able to put together a new strategy to explore in the short-term to bring these ideas to life.”
After the event, our team had an “action-item” list to accomplish by the end of the month, setting the strategy in motion.
Phase IV: The Impact
With its size and business growing rapidly year to year, AMEND’s leadership wants the company’s future to be directed by the people driving the change. And our team is certainly up to the task.
“Because of the situation we’re in,” Daly noted, “getting ahead of the curve and involving our team in the Shark Tank event will ensure that AMEND can continue to drive innovation while maintaining the awesome culture that makes people want to stay.”
By fully relying on and investing in our team, we are investing in our future. Our team’s hopes may be high, but even far-fetched goals are reachable when you have a family as strategic and ambitious as ours. Even Mark Cuban would agree.
Looking for ways to fuel growth and innovation in your organization? Connect with Bobby Smyth to start the conversation.