We just finished our midyear planning meetings and I wanted to share a few highlights with all the members of our Foundant community. If you remember last year’s recap, our summer meetings tend to be more about professional growth and team building than the more serious business planning that we perform in our annual kickoff meetings each January. The cultural component of the meetings was even more important than usual since we’ve added so many new members to the team over the past six months. We’re now up to 29 team members and I think we may have officially outgrown our usual meeting location since I don’t think we could cram any more people into my wife, Shelby’s yoga studio!
We started our meetings with a reflection of our year-to-date results and it is amazing how much we accomplished over a six month term. Our ultimate measurements are the number of new clients added and the retention of existing clients and I’m pleased to report that we shined in both areas. We added 84 new clients and had a 95% renewal rate for clients with expiring subscriptions. Both of these numbers are outstanding and the team deserves to be very proud of their work.
A prime objective of all our planning meetings is to identify a few projects that we feel have the greatest ability to impact the company by complementing or going above and beyond our day-to-day work. As a result of these discussions you can expect to see us working on our Connect and Expert Services product lines, continuing existing events like You Fly We Buy, rolling out some other client-focused networking activities, and launching some new training tools in the coming months.
Improving our skillsets is always a high priority and we had some great learning opportunities at our summer meetings. The Foundant sales team implemented a Book Club at the beginning of the year and reviewed one of their books for the entire company. The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor, provides many scientifically-proven examples to demonstrate that happy people are more successful than their not-so-happy counterparts. We’re believers and glad we all have one more reason to focus on being happy! We all spent some time building Vision Boards to remind ourselves of the great things already in our lives or those we would like to bring into our lives. Finally, Mark, Chris and I led a discussion to introduce the RED critical thinking model to our culture. We think this will be a great tool to help us slow down and approach difficult problems as we search for the right solutions.
As I mentioned, having some fun, getting to know each other better and recharging our batteries was a prime objective of our meetings and I believe we firmly accomplished these goals. Everyone, regardless of experience, made it out to the golf course for a round prior to meeting our families for a picnic to close out the first day. We closed the second day of our meetings with a float on the Gallatin River and I’m confident that the laughing could be heard for miles. As witnessed by Happiness Advantage and many other sources, teams that enjoy working together accomplish more than teams that don’t get along. We have lots of different personalities at Foundant, but when watching everyone engage in these social activities it’s easy to see a high-level of comradery and respect, and I know that’s one of the reasons we’re able to do so much to serve our community of clients and partners.
We’re very excited to work with you all to continue our success in the second half of 2014 and beyond!