From September 6th to September 8th, 2023, The Grant Plant’s team gathered for our annual retreat in the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico. With a clear set of objectives and a meticulously crafted agenda, the retreat aimed to propel the team towards our envisioned future, foster team cohesion, acquire valuable knowledge, engage with clients, and refine organizational processes.
Managing the logistics of the retreat was especially challenging given our recent office move just a week prior. However, the experience only underscored our team’s ability to operate efficiently under pressure, showcasing our resilience in the face of unexpected challenges.
This blog post serves as a chronicle of the highlights and pivotal moments from this enriching experience.
Day 1: Setting the Tone
The retreat commenced with brunch at the picturesque Campo, nestled within the Los Poblanos Inn. We then returned to the office, where TGP Co-Founders Tara and Erin set the stage for the days ahead, celebrating TGP’s prosperous 20-year journey and guiding the team’s collective gaze towards the future.
We participated in an insightful “Rose, Bud, Thorn” activity, led by Aly, Director of Strategy and Organizational Development. This exercise encouraged everyone to reflect on their strengths (the “rose”), areas for growth (the “bud”), and challenges to overcome (the “thorn”). This candid self-assessment fostered conversations about specific opportunities for improvement, ultimately leading to focused discussions during another session.
Later, the conversation shifted towards understanding TGP’s organizational structure and roles. Our client, NACA Inspired Schools Network (NISN), visited to share insights on a recent restructure they underwent. The Senior RDO Team, including Cecily, Laurel, Tonia, and Wendy, facilitated team discussions on reimagining how TGP is structured to support team and client success.
Day 2: Client Visit, Kolbe Workshop, and 20th Birthday Party
Thursday provided the team with the opportunity to directly engage with clients during a visit to the City of Albuquerque. This firsthand interaction offered a deeper understanding of the client’s work and needs, creating a platform for open dialogue.
The day continued with a Kolbe Workshop led by the Kolbe Training Department, equipping the team with tools to leverage individual strengths for enhanced collaboration. The subsequent Kolbe Follow-Up session allowed everyone to share and explore each other’s work styles, paving the way for improved workplace collaboration.
The day concluded with a celebratory TGP Birthday Party at Season’s Bar & Grill. Laughter and camaraderie filled the air as team members, clients, partners, family, and friends gathered to toast to TGP’s past accomplishments and exciting future. As we reflected on the journey that brought us here, we were reminded of the profound impact we’ve had on New Mexico’s communities. Together, we’ve helped secure over $250 million in funding for tax-exempt organizations, enabling them to improve countless lives. We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who joined us. Your presence made the evening truly special. For those who couldn’t be there, your well-wishes were felt and appreciated.
Day 3: Reflecting, Planning, and Client Visits
The final day began with a warm welcome from Paula, Business Manager, and Molly, Operations and Project Manager, setting a positive tone for the group working sessions through an icebreaker: “What was your first or worst job?” The team wrote their answers on paper and attempted to match each teammate to a job. From an underpaid vet assistant to an amusement park employee our team has held some interesting jobs.
The team then enjoyed lunch at El Vado before two more client visits to PB&J Family Services and The Semilla Project, allowing the team to hear the impact of TGP’s work for our clients firsthand. These visits were a powerful reminder that the millions of grant dollars we have secured for our clients are not just numbers on a page; these funds enable our clients to innovate solutions and provide critical services within our communities.
As the retreat drew to an end, Tara and Erin led a closing session. The team then gathered at Tara’s home to enjoy food and drinks, celebrating the hard work we accomplished together.
The TGP retreat of 2023 was a resounding success, achieving its goals of vision-setting, team cohesion, knowledge acquisition, client engagement, and organizational refinement. The experience will undoubtedly serve as a cornerstone in TGP’s continued growth and success. We extend our thanks to our team and our clients for their contributions and heartfelt participation in every aspect of the retreat.
Looking to 2024, we will focus on growing and restructuring our team to build internal capacity, ensuring we can continue to grow a supportive staff infrastructure and provide the individualized, superior grant services we are known for to our clients. We will also work on expanding grant training opportunities for professional and prospective grant professionals to cultivate a strong culture in New Mexico around this highly specialized and needed skill set.
This post was filed under: Inside TGP