As a relatively small and agile company, we are in the fortunate position where most of our iXblue Australasian survey team members get to work from home when they’re not out on location undertaking client surveys. As you can imagine, our staff love this flexibility, however it does pose two problems:
- Keeping everyone up to date with operational matters
- Ensuring everyone is across the medium to long term strategic vision and direction.
The answer lies with getting together annually at a time when there is minimal operational activity and maximum chance for all employees to attend.
This year, we held our Annual General Meeting in Wellington, NZ. Fortunately, all of our employees with the exception of our Finance Manager, Jo Eagle, were able to make the meeting.
Key items of discussion and review
During the week we spent time reviewing activities including:
- the financial performance of the iXblue Group in general and specifically the performance of the Australasian survey division
- the various events that several of us attended and presented at throughout the year
- our marketing activities and results, and planned strategies
- the changes to our Accounting software and potential areas for improvement.
We also took time as a team to discuss bottlenecks in our operational workflow and brainstorm fixes to resolve them. This was an extremely valuable exercise to do as a team, as it gave everyone the opportunity to share their experiences, understand the flow-on effects, and contribute to developing the right solutions. We know that one of our key points of difference is structured project management and flexible operations; and to maintain these competitive advantages we must all be committed to operating in a Kaizen environment of continuous improvement.
Illuminating site visits and training
We were fortunate to be given two valuable opportunities for site visits during the week.
- The first was to the LINZ Cartography section to meet and discuss the survey work we have been providing and to explore potential areas for improvement we could implement to assist our major client LINZ.
- The second was a tour of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) super-computing facility, and also a tour of the invertebrate collection. The NIWA visit was amazing, and appreciated by all.
Our annual meeting wound up with a three-day training course, where our team learned all about the latest version of Caris HIPS and SIPS.
Overall our annual get-together was a highly valuable and rewarding period for all of us. In particular, our two newest members, Martin Tunwell and Peter Locke commented that it was great to fill in a few knowledge gaps and learn more about the culture and direction of iXblue.
For all of us, it was a wonderful opportunity to spend time getting to know each other better, and to work together in the same physical space and enjoy team camaraderie.
Can’t wait for the next one!