Originate is used to doing things differently. So it is no surprise that our company-wide meetings are a far cry from traditional.
The “Attack” is a company gathering that Originate has held each year since its founding in 2007. The event was renamed three years ago (from the more conventional, “retreat”) to reflect the company’s culture of fearlessly attacking complex and difficult software development challenges and going “all in” when we get together.
Put simply, a “retreat” is not in Originate’s DNA.
The Attack is more than just an opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day work of the company and relax (although that is a big part of it). The Attack is about getting people who work around the world from each other—in nine global offices—together in the same place so that they can forge deeper connections.
Face-to-face introductions were all the more important this year because the company has doubled in size in 2014.
This year’s Attack brought together over 120 of Originate’s employees to a mansion in Las Vegas, where the focus was on them: the people who make up Originate and who have driven the company’s success over the past year. Employees took part in activities that fed both body and mind, participating in discussions about company priorities and making good use of the hot tubs, swimming pool, and massages that were available on site.
Because a culture of interdependence and collaboration is critical to the unparalleled results Originate delivers to its partners, the Attack fosters this in spirit and in practice.
The weekend started at The Innevation Center—a unique public/private innovation space that houses Originate’s Las Vegas office. The day was spent discussing personal, departmental, and company goals. Employees had a chance to brainstorm and share visions with their teams and colleagues, and then hear from Originate leadership in a series of interactive panel discussions and exercises.
The following day, Originate staff spent a Las Vegas hot Saturday at the mansion that Originate took over for the event. The day was devoted to relaxation, but putting so many smart, diverse people together in one, collaborative place means new ideas organically flourish. Everyone in the company, from intern to CEO, was sharing thoughts and talking about coding in the pool, over heated foosball games, and while eating spreads of food.
One employee said, “You know it’s Originate because you’re hanging out in the pool laughing with the leadership team, but also giving your thoughts about the best way to solve a challenge one of our partners is looking to us to deliver on.”