Just a few weeks ago, my colleagues and I participated in our annual retreat – though this year, admittedly, looked a bit different than in years past. Instead of gathering in a hotel conference room, we spent the day over Zoom discussing opportunities to strengthen and grow the company in the coming year. While many organizations engage in similar annual planning exercises, Reservoir’s annual retreat is unique – one where everyone at the firm plays a role and has an opportunity to contribute.
At Reservoir, we take a “One Team” approach to everything we do, seeking to foster an inclusive environment across all aspects of our work, especially when it comes to business development. Prior to our annual retreat, all employees are asked to rank their top choices of “Business Development Groups” – the focus areas of which may change year-to-year, depending on discrete opportunities identified by senior leaders.
Once assigned to a group, Reservoirians begin the research, analysis and brainstorming needed to develop a strategic approach to expanding the business in the particular focus area assigned to them. This could mean anything from developing or formalizing a discrete service offering, looking inwards to identify opportunities to make internal operations more efficient, or leveraging unique subject matter expertise to anticipate forthcoming trends in the policy environment or health care market.
No matter the focus area of the Business Development Group, each team is encouraged to conduct both primary and secondary research to understand what knowledge or resources currently exist within our organization and what industry-wide best practices might tell us about successful approaches. Ultimately, the team is tasked with developing a strategy or approach that builds off of this foundation and differentiates the firm.
After weeks of preparation, teams present the findings of their research and pitch their recommendations to the rest of the company. While there are no winners and losers like on Shark Tank, the goal is to convince everyone that your approach to growth in a particular area is well-researched, strategic and worth the time and resource investment. Once aligned, Group members move towards executing on the approach they developed, which will carry on throughout the next year.
What I think is most special about Reservoir’s annual retreat is that employees at all levels participate and have the opportunity to help shape the future of the company. As a Managing Associate, it’s an opportunity for me to further develop the skills needed to identify opportunities for business growth and execute successfully. It also enables collaboration with colleagues I may not typically engage with, as well as the ability to learn about new areas of health care policy, strategic communications and public affairs. It aligns us as a team toward a path forward, with everyone helping to shape that direction. And with a lovely all-staff dinner waiting on the other end of these presentations, it’s an annual event I always look forward to!