Each year, Altitude Marketing takes a not-so-corporate retreat to reflect on the previous year, current processes and what to improve on for ourselves and our clients.

This year, our focus was “Vision 20/20.” In the weeks leading up to our retreat, Team Altitude was segmented into three groups, each focusing on a specific topic or task assigned to us by Andrew. These groups prepared presentations and skits to unveil during our closed-door sessions planned on the retreat.

On June 16, we gathered and piled into a 15-passenger mini-bus with Liesel at the helm and sights set on Annapolis, Md.

The takeaway for me? There are always simultaneous moving parts in any company or project. We may be aware that those moving parts are going on, but we may not always be aware of the level of involvement each piece requires.

In addition to insightful presentations and discussions, Team Altitude spent an afternoon sailing on The Woodwind II, the same boat featured in the movie Wedding Crashers. We didn’t crash any weddings, but we did learn the ins and outs of sailing – along with the importance of trust and communication.

After a brief lesson on the basics of sailing, our team of now 13 people broke into groups and scattered to different areas of the boat. One team learned and managed the front sails, while other teams took-on navigation, steering and manning the back sails. I wasn’t too familiar with sailing before this trip, and had no idea how many parts were involved that needed to come together in order to sail successfully. The navigation team, using a detailed map, needed to locate a place to go and accurately dictate those directions to the captaining team. Once the captains located the navigation point, they communicated to the sails teams to move the sails a specific direction when needed.

We work together every day in an open environment, all juggling different pieces to our clients’ marketing puzzles, so the collaboration and seamless communication perhaps shouldn’t have been surprising. But it was.

The collaboration among the different teams was amazing. I couldn’t believe how well everyone communicated and trusted each other to guide us in the correct location without a hitch.

Towards the end of the afternoon, our sailing skills were put to the test when our on-boat experts turned the ship over completely to Team Altitude. We had to use what we learned that afternoon to sail the boat back to shore. We rocked it. (Full disclosure: we did hit some slow wind, but not once did any of the teams – captains, sails or navigation – complain or pass blame.)

The takeaway for me? There are always simultaneous moving parts in any company or project. We may be aware that those moving parts are going on, but we may not always be aware of the level of involvement each piece requires. There are multiple bits that need to come together before it can be passed on, and we need to trust one another that it will get done and we are heading in the right direction. We also need to continue to communicate throughout the process to give a heads-up on where those pieces are and if everyone is ready for completion.

All in all, another great retreat for Team Altitude. And I have a sneaking suspicion that by this time next year, we’ll be even stronger as a core unit – which translates into unparalleled, unwavering customer service – and up for whatever challenge the next adventure brings.

As long as it isn’t skydiving.

To check out some pictures from this year’s retreat, check out our album on Facebook!