Last month, all of our teams across all offices got together under one roof for our annual Highwire Kickoff in San Francisco. Our focus this year was individuality; with our theme – “Walk Your Way” encompassing that.
With beautiful bay views at the historic General’s Residence at Fort Mason, our teams got right down to business once onsite. The conversations were based on the Strengths Finder 2.0 book from Gallup and Tom Rath, which analyzes your personality strengths and focuses on those strengths versus your weaknesses. With a total of 34 strengths, including Analytical, Connectedness, Learner, and Woo; our facilitator guided groups to ask each other thoughtful questions and put their strengths to work. The best part of these learnings was seeing how we, as an agency, compliment one another.
Another huge part of the Highwire culture (and a focal point of this year’s kickoff) is our committee groups. Highwire Helping Hands – our community group, Diversity + Inclusion, and Society – “the memory makers,” are just a few of the committees which were showcased “science fair style” to increase visibility and engagement among peers.
And finally, what is kickoff without a little competition?! This year we hosted a Shark Tank initiative with the help of Funworks, highlighting our focus of the year – Digital! This effort dove deep into impressions and pre-thought biases. It also allowed Walkers to think clearly over some pretty great ideas! Due to the nature of this activity and what it means to our business, we can’t publicly acknowledge what came of it – but more of that will come this year 😉
And now, here’s what a few of our Highwire Walkers had to say about kickoff –
Megan Grasty: My favorite part of kickoff was how hands-on and interactive it was – this was my sixth kickoff and it was by far the best. I especially enjoyed the science fair, it was fun to hear more about what all of the committees have to offer and also really enjoyed the creative touches each had, like the thumbprint tree art project at the Diversity & Inclusion booth and the “thank you” writing station at the Strong Careers booth.
Ben Liwanag: Kickoff was a great opportunity for me to see my colleagues in other offices in real-life, rather than over video. This year kickoff was an amazing addition to Highwire’s training initiatives, letting everyone get together to focus on skills to grow our careers (like this year’s Strengths Finder assessment), and establishing the agency as the best tech agency around, as seen from a fun Shark Tank competition!
Ali Mapplethorpe: My favorite part about kickoff was getting to spend time with coworkers in other offices that I don’t get to see every day. I also loved the “thank you” card station; that there was a dedicated portion of the event to thank our teammates for the hard work they put in day in and day out was really meaningful!
Katelyn Lavine: My favorite part of Kickoff was analyzing our Strength Finders. It was very cool seeing the strengths of my team members, as well as my own, to then better understand how we can work together in unison when collaborating across teams.
Bailey Harmon: My first Highwire kickoff blew me away. From engaging in a real-life Shark Tank scenario and finding my strengths (and weaknesses) with a personality guru, to meeting my awesome coworkers I’ve been working with for the last eight months in person, everything was such a rewarding experience. OH, and the best memory? Carol and Emily (two of our principals) dressed in shark costumes.