On Site, In Sync
Knak has goals, and since we know our team is the key to reaching them, we got together for a few days of goal setting, mission clarifying, and brewery touring. Here’s the inside scoop on our very first Knak on-site.
Our team is spread all throughout Canada. While we love the remote setup, Zoom calls and Slack channels are no substitute for facetime (The real kind. Not the app.). So, we converged on Ottawa last month and spent 4 days digging into our mission and solidifying our strategy for the next year.
Knak, By Definition
We started with an open discussion about Knak. Our founder and CEO, Pierce, asked each of us how we define Knak’s mission, and it was interesting to hear that we’re on the same page. We also had a chance to share our own ideas of what we think is possible for the future.
Then, we spent a bit of time breaking down Knak’s building blocks: the why, how, and what of what we do. First and foremost, we’re Marketers helping Marketers. We’re obsessed with our customers’ success, and we’ll bend over backward to exceed their expectations. Here’s a recap of how we make that happen:
Why we do what we do: We empower enterprise marketing teams to focus on what matters to them. By streamlining the email creation process, we’re freeing them up to devote their time and resources to driving revenue.
How we do it: Knak’s easy-to-use, self-service platform eliminates the distractions and pain-points that enterprise marketers face.
We also spent some time reviewing our core values and discussing how we implement them in client engagements and prioritize them when we make hiring decisions. These are the principles that keep us on track:
- Show Respect
- Practice Transparency
- Think Bigger, Act Bigger
- Stay Curious
- Maintain Balance
- Take Calculated Risks
- Get Sh!t Done
It’s easy for a CEO to dictate goals. The larger the organization, the greater the likelihood that someone without a ton of day-to-day interaction with the team is charting a course for the future and handing the plans down to be implemented. We have a great team, and even though I’m sure we could implement whatever comes our way, that’s not the way we work at Knak.
We started our goal-sharing session by giving each team member a chance to create a conservative and an aggressive revenue goal for our next fiscal year. We shared those goals on a whiteboard, and as a team, we arrived at our goals for the next year. Some are aggressive, some are more conservative, but most importantly, our goals are in keeping with our mission and they have team buy-in.
We also took the time to identify gaps in our team and sketch out a hiring roadmap for filling those gaps. We did the same with our products: what should we prioritize, when should they be completed.
It was a frank, open discussion, and it gave us a great opportunity to make sure we’re in alignment and working towards the same north star.
Eating Our Own Dog Food
Next, we got creative. Over lunch, everyone (everyone!!) on the team created emails. I’m not a designer and I don’t have a tech background, but I, along with the rest of the team, used my own skillset to create an email. We reviewed the emails together and took the time to consider them in light of the feedback we get from our customers. The results were fantastic! In just over an hour, each person on our team created an email that was identical to one from their favorite brand. We already knew that Knak made emailing easy, but seeing the number of beautiful emails that the team created in no time at all was a validating experience for the team.
I’m not about to join the design team, but we liked the exercise so much that we’ve planned to incorporate it into future team meetings and use it as part of the on-boarding process for new team members.
Ottawa is a beautiful city, so spent some time showing it off to our visiting team members. We did a brewery tour and got to know each other better. It was a chilled evening, and it was great to make some more personal connections with the team.
The on-site got us in sync in a way that only actual face time can. It helped bring our goals and expectations into alignment, and it opened the door for better communication in the weeks since. We’re energized to work towards our goals, and we’re ready to carry on with our mission!