Identity 2019 Winter Biannual Sets Foundation for Ambitious Agency Goals

By: Andrea Trapani

Coming off a strong 2018, Identity has continued to experience new and exciting opportunities, fueled by our incredibly talented team, great clients and our focus on delivering stellar work.

In an industry that is constantly evolving, our team is thinking bigger and executing smarter. And it shows.  This is the ‘always wants more’ core value and growth mindset that has positioned our agency to lead not just here in metro Detroit , but across the state and the country. Our future has never been brighter and I couldn’t be more excited about what 2019 has in store.

Part of our thoughtful business-building process has been a coordinated effort to set measurable annual goals and provide our team with a clear roadmap of expectations. A large component to this formula has been our biannual state of the company meetings – all part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a business operational guide which has been foundational to the DNA of Identity.

Brew and View

We host the biannual meetings each January and July at an off-site location in metro Detroit. At these meetings, leadership sets the tone for the year, shares goals for the agency and elicits feedback from our team. It has evolved to a day of experience sharing, honest conversations, team building and a healthy dose of inspiration to tackle what’s next.

Our January 2019 Biannual—held at Hopcat in Royal Oak—concluded with our team feeling energized, refocused on our core values, bought in to our big goals for the year and a refreshed sense of what it means to be great.

A Vision of Our Future

To start the session, Identity President Mark Winter shared some inspirational vision for the year. We then asked our team: What fires you up? Motivators are typically unique from person to person. Sure, there are some general categories you could reference: earn a new title, feel valued, increase compensation or execute stellar work. But, we found it helpful to hear directly from each team member their key motivator for the year. Many provided examples or specific context, helping to frame what success might look like for the year.

After taking some time to reflect, we honed in on our progress in achieving Identity 2020–a vision that Mark and I laid out in January 2016 that details where we want the agency to be from growth, service and vision standpoints by the end of 2020. During this vibrant discussion, our leadership team provided a clear roadmap of next steps to achieve this exciting and transformative vision.

Stay tuned on our progress as 2020 quickly approaches.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

From there, we did a brief review of 2018 and opened the floor up for the team to share their experiences from the year—the great, the good, the bad, the ugly. Talk about a real moment of truth.

Asking employees to open up, or let down their guard, can be tough in any industry. Vulnerability is a tough emotion to navigate. However, we asked team members to come prepared with stories related to where they truly succeeded in 2018, as well as moments where they could have taken a different path.

Our leadership team then provided a candid look at the success of our 2018 goals and how they impacted the agency last year as well as our growth trajectory for the future. Similar to previous biannual meetings, we shared financial elements, including what we need to accomplish from a new and existing client growth perspective in order to hit our key milestones. Every member of the team plays a role in helping either add or retain revenue, and visualizing the financial health of the agency helps to ensure they’re bought in to our shared success.

Refreshed and Recharged

Our biannual meetings have become part of the fabric of Identity. Personally, they are some of my favorite days of the year. Taking time away from the grind of the office to drill into direction and the necessary teamwork and traction required to achieve the next level of success is paramount. Connecting with our team in a fun environment is part of our Identity Way (a phrase we like to use to describe what makes us tick).

The Identity team has responded well to the lofty initiatives we’ve set forth, seeing them as a vehicle through which they can better focus their collective talents. In addition, the transparency shown at these biannuals by everyone in the agency helps to strengthen trust in leadership and the confidence that every team member is a part of something bigger.

Let’s do this, 2019.