Reconnecting and Refueling for the Future During our Company Retreat

The team at Visible Network Labs gathered this past week for their annual 3-day company retreat in Denver, Colorado. The full team met for the first time in nearly a year, with many staff meeting each other for the very first time face to face. We had an amazing time getting to know our coworkers and their families, with lots of great sessions focused on developing our vision and plans for the future. There is a lot to be excited about in the future of VNL! Here is a summary of our retreat and what we accomplished together during our three days together.

Reconnecting Face-to-Face Was Priority Number One

From the very start of the retreat, our CEO Dr. Varda made it clear that time spent together to reconnect was the top priority for our three days. “Being together as a team after such a long time was exactly what we needed,” she said. “We were able to connect and share time together that has refueled us for the hard work in the coming year.” The team ate our meals together throughout the retreat, including a family barbeque at Dr. Varda’s home Wednesday night. In honor of several VNL babies on the way, we played baby-themed party games, and shared gifts with the expecting parents, while families and kids mingled and played.

We also decided to eat as teams for dinners on Thursday to allow for more time to socialize. “After over a year and a half of isolated, remote work, it was beyond wonderful to connect with colleagues face-to-face,” said VP of Data Science Amanda Beacom. The three days ended with a visit to the Georgetown Loop Historic Railway about an hour from Denver for a train ride through the Rocky Mountains. We left with stronger connections to all our colleagues and a desire to get back to work together to continue making a difference.

Visiting the Georgetown Loop Historic Railroad

Two Denver Venues: Downtown and Denver Tech Center

We split our time in Denver at two amazing venues worth mentioning. We started on Wednesday at the CU City Centre in the heart of downtown Denver. With a lunchtime walk to Union Station and Larimer Square, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at this beautiful space on the CU Denver campus. On Thursday we moved to a gorgeous office suite at the Denver Tech Center. We were hosted by Truespace, a Business Consulting and Coaching organization that went above and beyond in ensuring our time there was pleasant. We took our new company headshots here, with the mountains views and sleek modern design as our backdrop. 

Presenting During Small Group Design Sprints

Taking Time to Reaffirm our Mission and Purpose

One of the most important sessions focused on our core company identity. Working as a team we helped clarify our company vision, mission, and purpose that drives all of our work and goals. Through multiple iterations and breakouts, we focused in on what makes our work so special. Together we decided that at VNL, our mission is to create visible networks that drive systemic change. We envision a world where network science is a tool for solving complex problems to achieve social impact, and our purpose is to provide the network visibility necessary to make this vision a reality.

“The discussions in the retreat reinforced my commitment to my teammates and to our clients, partners, and users,” said Amanda Beacom, “Together we looked back at where we’ve been and more importantly, we laid out a clear pathway for where we want to go.”

Downtown Denver Space
Denver Tech Center Space

Setting New Goals For The Future

Our time together included sprint design sessions, brainstorming around our product-market fit, and numerous other energizing conversations. The focus of our last afternoon was on our company and team goals. The Development, Projects, and Marketing Teams all spent time setting new quarterly goals and creating measurable indicators we can use to track our progress. We shared back our goals with the team and finished with some company-wide goals that reflect our realigned mission and purpose.

“The energy and growth that VNL experienced over the last year were evident during our retreat, says Dr. Danielle Varda. “We are set up for a great year and future ahead!” The retreat was a fantastic three-day experience. We truly cannot wait to see what this team can accomplish together in the coming year. Thanks for being a part of this journey with us!

About the Author: Alex Derr, M.P.A.

Marketing & Communications Manager

Alex joined VNL in 2017, originally supporting our events. He now helps manages our communications and marketing strategy and content development work. Alex creates blogs, infographics, reports, and other content while managing our web and social media presence. He also runs our email marketing campaigns, tracks analytics, and conducts market research to drive our strategy. He supports our entire team with copywriting, graphic design and research, and helps with events, webinars, demos, and other online learning. When he isn’t at work Alex spends his time climbing 14ers (24 done, 34 to go!) and blogging on his own website, The Next Summit Blog.

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