Chronicle of a vibrant springtime team gathering
One of the most awaited events of the year for the Reforestum team has already arrived and, almost without realising, has also finished: the Team Gathering. Last week we celebrated the third edition of what we call in Spanish “jornadas de convivencia” in the small and gastronomic town of Salinas de Pisuerga (Palencia, Spain).
We are an international team working 100% remotely and sharing our passion for nature. These are the main reasons why we get together twice a year in natural surroundings that invite dialogue and joint reflection with two main objectives: to deepen our understanding of the most important issues for the company and to enjoy seeing each other, getting to know each other better and connecting in person.
On this occasion, the event was held at the Molino de Salinas hotel, a luminous spot next to the Pisuerga river surrounded by lush riverside vegetation and close to where most of the reforestation projects promoted by the Reforestum community are concentrated.
We focused on two objectives aimed at achieving the Key Result of the quarter related to improving how we work together as a team: to learn in detail from the whole team about Reforestum's strategy and current situation in commercial, competitive and financial terms and to implement mechanisms to improve how we work together.
When defining this gathering, we drew on the lessons learned from previous episodes and it was clear to us that it had to be planned by representatives from all areas to ensure that the concerns of all of us were taken into account and to be aligned in our priorities. And, without a doubt, this has been the key to success.
The sessions were dynamic and varied, both in content and format. And, according to the results of the internal survey conducted after the event, they were all very well received.
These included in-depth discussions around our current funding process and the inter-team feedback session, where, based on a team-wide self-analysis, we gave and received feedback from each other in an open, honest and constructive way.
In the words of Alban Bressand, co-founder and CFO, during the feedback session: "Sharing our strengths and weaknesses by team consolidates our collaborative culture based on trust and is a very powerful starting point for each team to establish an improvement plan".
The so-called "Guide of me" were also introduced and implemented in the new internal knowledge management tool. These personal guides are a tool for discovering and communicating individually how we work with others and are designed to help us understand cultural and personal differences and to better collaborate in the distance.
They also reflect part of the essence of each team member and humanise the virtual world in which we operate. It is especially inspiring to read the sentence with which our CEO and co-founder of Reforestum, Diego Sanz Prieto, begins his self-description: "I am more motivated by personal values than by business. I started Reforestum because I love trees, I feel at home in the forest and it breaks my heart to see how badly we are treating our planet".
The days went smoothly, with laughter and virtual post-its intermingled with spring sunshine and a dreamlike setting. At no time did the mood or engagement wane, as one of us said of the event: "[I loved] the energy and commitment of everyone, you really feel that we are here to give the best of ourselves". There was also a sense of focus on fostering safe spaces for listening, open communication, collaboration and respect: "One of the things I liked most is being in the right environment to think about Reforestum and its mission in a fundamental way.
Undoubtedly, the Reforestum team that came together in Salinas de Pisuerga in May 2022 was a much more mature team, more intertwined. Especially the product and engineering team, who are the reference for the rest in terms of processes and work planning. It was a real shame that our Tech Lead, Ulises Gascón, could not physically be with the rest of the team. We missed him at every moment, but at least we managed to have him digitally present at all the sessions.
From our first gathering in Frómista, we got the launch of the new website and, from the second one in El Falset, the implementation of the OKR methodology and the definition of our values. We can say that the main tangible result of this third meeting is the implementation of tools and collaborative dynamics to better carry out our day-to-day work.
The icing on the cake of these days was our Saturday activity: visiting Reforestum's forests with Juan Carlos Maldonado, the forestry engineer we have been working with since our origin, who patiently and kindly answered all our questions.
We had the opportunity to see the Kiehl's Forest, the Forest Share of each of us in Calahorra de Boedo, Quintanilla (a recently planted forest almost ready to be shared on our platform that amazed us for its dimensions), and Genesis. It was really moving: seeing those trees so young and small gave us the perspective of the gigantic effort that nature invests in making them grow and how important our role is to promote and protect ecosystems.
There is still the aftertaste of tiredness from a few days that were as beautiful as they were intense. The shot of positive energy received from this meeting prepares us to face the hectic months ahead, always critical in a start-up like Reforestum. In September, the autumn Team Gathering 2022 awaits us, which will surely recharge our motivation batteries to the maximum. We all are looking forward to it.