Do you practice retrospectives with your team at the end of a project? Do you perform individual introspection from time to time? What if we could combine both exercises to look back at 2017 achievements? This is what Retrospection is about and here is ours at Keen Bull.
The retrospective is a key moment when using Agile method for working in a team. This is the moment when you look at what went well and what didn’t in a project and reflect on it. We use this method weekly at Keen Bull as a way to close our week. Each member of the team shares what went well and what didn’t, what we’ve learned and what puzzles him or her. Some of us also practice introspection as a way to get a better understanding of who they are, how they live their work and how they can grow with it. But as the days go by with tasks to perform, we never entirely take the time to share our discoveries as human beings.
What if we could use the changing year momentum to mix both approaches? What about combining collective retrospective and individual introspection? And why not to use a joint energy to force oneself to look back at what was accomplished, before opening a new page with 2018? What will happen if we try to merge our individual view with the point-of-view of our team members to tell the collective story of the 2017 book?
Well, this is what Retrospection is about: building a collective story of the past together. How do you get this story? First by writing every individual story of 2017, then by sharing them and listening to all the points of views in the team. Finally by identifying where the individual dots are connecting. Here is what we have found out about our year 2017 at Keen Bull.
A growing team exploring remote work practices
A lot of new faces join the Keen Bull adventure this year. It started in January with Massimo and Stefano in Italy. Spring brought a more feminine touch to the team with Iolanda and Sophie in Switzerland. After the summer break, we adopted “Geekbot” that has been doing a fantastic job as a facilitator of our daily check-in (asynchronous stand-up meeting) and our weekly retrospective.
As the people in Keen Bull are living in the places they love, our challenge was to find an effective way to work remotely with a growing team while maintaining a shared culture of work. We have explored many options and ways of doing it over the year. One of the backbone tools that stick in that exploration is Slack where we discuss, organize our work and collect shared knowledge. Another great tool that we rediscovered at the end of the year is RealtimeBoard that creates a digital shared space for all our canvas and post-its sessions.
A renewed Shared Purpose
Bringing new people in also challenged the purpose of Keen Bull. And we use two meetings in Rome to evolve from our starting point: “Include seamlessly the social innovation into the Fourth Industrial Revolution” to what we have called our “Guiding Star”. This is the name we have given to our renewed shared purpose that fuels our work together as Keen Bulls. After an intense co-design session, we came up with a new sentence representing it.
Our Guiding star: Building a new inclusive economic system by leveraging on technology and social innovation
With this guiding star in the head, we have materialized the three pillars we are walking on. Doing this exercise has helped us to make more meaningful and impactful meetings with organizations sharing our purpose. We’ll share soon the results of one of the cooperation sparked by these meetings and having a greater understanding of our purpose as an organization.
A proud Certified B Corp
After starting the assessment in 2016 when the company was created, we finally jumped again into the certification process in April and became one the 2,350 (so far and counting) certified B Corp in the world. In June, we took an active part in the B Corp European summit in Portugal by facilitating a workshop on building partnerships for good using the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). We guided a group of social entrepreneurs through the process of measuring their impact with the BIA (B Impact Assessment) during the Good Festival in October in Lausanne. Moreover, we are supporting B Lab Switzerland in launching and running the Best for Geneva program together with other partners and by co-designing and building the digital solutions with B Lab Switzerland team.
The growing impact of our Research Lab
With Rosemary IV Lab, we investigate the impact of technologies & scientific breakthrough on people and the environment. This year, we started new applied research projects granted by the European Commission and the SEFRI (Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation). 4D Hybrid that aims to develop a new concept of hybrid additive manufacturing. AMable which focuses on bridging the gaps in the digital process chain to enable European SMEs to fully adopt Additive Manufacturing. Free Wheel whose purpose is to increase the mobility of people with disabilities thanks to a shared service using 3D printing technology. We shared our journey in better understanding the impact of Additive Manufacturing on Society and our Planet during an online conference at the Disruptive Innovation Festival held by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in November
All in all?
2017 was a year of individual and collective growth. We have explored many unknown topics, tools and methods and we have learned a lot in the process. We also have a great time together and lots of digital and in real life good laughs. And we can’t wait for 2018 to begin with its share of new adventures and challenges to make our work more meaningful and our world a better place to live in.