“Gatherings are important to the human experience, but too often we don’t give them much thought.”
– Priya Parker, The Art of Gathering
It’s undeniable that the landscape of gathering has changed so much in the last couple of years since the pandemic. At The Garage Group, it has felt like a pendulum finding its new homeostasis – going from what was a primarily in-person way of operating to being fully remote to a now hybrid-work environment. As we start to settle into this new way of working, we decided to slow down some and apply our entrepreneur mindset to bringing intention, collaboration, and humility to this transition. Because changes in landscape like this can often come from a top-down approach or be implemented without a collective mindset, and that simply doesn’t align with our understanding and compassion for how much this change impacts all of us individually and as an organization.
Which brings us back to the above quote by Priya Parker, author of the book “The Art of Gathering.” We felt inspired by Parker’s work because it is more rare for us to all be together, and when we do, we want it to be impactful for everyone involved. She writes in her book, “When we don’t examine the deeper assumptions behind why we gather, we end up skipping too quickly to replicating old, staid formats of gathering. And we forgo the possibility of creating something memorable, even transformative.” We resonated with this sentiment and it ignited us to think differently about how we gather. So while planning our recent tri-annual Basecamp event, where our full remote team gathers in-person for inspiration, equipping, and connection, we started with purposeful gathering in mind and intentionally oriented our time and activities.
A few learnings from our ever-improving Basecamp:
The excitement, momentum and new connections of these Basecamp events really carries our team forward through the next quarter.
A couple of things to consider for starting the conversation with your own team:
In a conversation with some leaders from Slack on Brave New Work’s podcast this Summer, they laid out that meetings are helpful when we are debating, deciding, developing, or discussing. You can listen to the podcast here.
Try “Marie Kondo-ing” your existing meetings. What we mean by that is just like pulling out all of your clothes and laying them on the bed (check an episode out on Netflix if you haven’t seen), write out ALL of the meetings that occur on a weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, semi-annual, annual, etc. basis and then ask yourself the above questions. You may not only find redundancies, but lack of meaning.
While this is a work in progress for us, we are loving where we have started and what’s next for us is to take this intention to hybrid-working, and beyond.