Training through success: foryouandyourcustomers Open Space Days 2018 in Sofia
Valuable, inspiring, enriching, meaningful, connecting and groundbreaking – the list of adjectives with which the employees of [foryouandyourcustomers] thought about the annual group meeting in a joint final round could easily be continued. But as the participants also described the four days in Bulgaria’s capital, the conclusion was unanimous: This event must remain an integral part of the [foryouandyourcustomers] team calendar; it brings employees together, brings them closer and helps to live and develop us and our values.
2016 Mallorca, 2017 Malaga and this year Sofia: The foryouandyourcustomers office was founded in 2017 as the 12th location to date. There, Albena Mancheva‘s team of four has been successfully working on sophisticated technical solutions for our customers for one and a half years now. And yet the country, or rather the location Sofia, was still more or less unknown to the majority of foryouandyourcustomers employees – until now.
105 participants accepted the invitation to the group meeting. ‘With the meeting of all employees, we want to create a unique event and therefore change the locations year after year. Before the foundation of foryouandyourcustomers Sofia Ltd in Bulgaria, I didn’t know the city either and therefore wanted to show everyone not only our beautiful office there but also the surroundings and people,’ said Group CEO Robert Josef Stadler explaining the choice of location. The focus of the meeting was on cultivating a sense of community: getting to know new employees, exchanging ideas among friends and colleagues, working on existing projects and spinning ideas for new ones. Not in the office, but outside the everyday workplace in an informal and new environment. In addition, there will be neither a speech nor company information at this meeting.
‘The benefit comes from the fact that all employees can meet in person and exchange experiences away from concrete customer projects.’
The Open Space Days, an integral part of the annual meetings of foryouandyourcustomers, offered time and enough space for this. ‘We use the Open Space Technology after Harrison Owen since the establishment for the advancement of our enterprise. I myself have known the method for 24 years and am always enthusiastic about its success’.
Learning from the successful or ‘Training through Success’ was the title of the open space sessions. The initiative is required and is gladly shown by the participants. More than 40 topics were offered in the periods provided for this purpose – workshop sessions, exchange rounds, discussion platforms and information events. The variance knew no bounds. Topics from technical, consulting and customer-specific areas were included as well as the culture of foryouandyourcustomers, the question of who our customers are and how we would like to see and develop ourselves as consultants and service providers. Each timeslot was used informally, flexibly and freely in the organization whether in one of the many meeting areas, the common area or with a walk around the nearby lake.
‘It’s something special every year and always great to be a part of it,’ said an enthusiastic Martin Egeli, Deputy Managing Director foryouandyourcustomers Zurich. ‘We come together, have fun being together and enjoy the topics of the workshops. Topics that we deal with again and again: inevitably in customer projects, in cross-location cooperation and in the context of progress. But also on topics that extend far beyond the daily horizon – because they are a part of the foryouandyourcustomers DNA, because we stand for existing values and a special corporate culture in which we can develop ourselves as people and support our customers in the best possible way. They are the reason why, for example, I became part of foryouandyourcustomers’.
After numerous workshop sessions and excursions to explore the city and its surroundings, the big closing party on the last day could not be missing: ‘The party in the center of Sofia and above the roofs with sunset, moonrise and music by Hanna Palme, Catnapp and SYN3Awas for me the best party I ever experienced in my life’, Robert Josef Stadler said the following morning and a look at the faces of many foryouandyourcustomers employees proved him right. ‘Therefore we would like to take this opportunity to thank our organizers Agnes Halbeisen and Tilman Porschuetz once again for the great conclusion to this year’s employee meeting.’