Vision Retreat

Mission, Vision, Values: Part 1

Contributed by: Krystal Meiners, Director of Marketing

I recently read an article from FastCo entitled “Why Are Construction Workers the Happiest Employees?”It was such a catchy headline – 1. Because I truly feel that I work with some of the happiest, most positive people at Green Canopy and 2. Because the article was literally published hours after our annual Mission-Vision-Values (MVV) workshop.

The article goes on to explain many of the reasons that construction employees are particularly happy in their jobs – the number one reason is that they feel supported by their team. The article couldn’t be more right. And our recent workshop revealed much of the same.

This workshop is one of my highlights of the year - it is always an experience that gets our team teary-eyed about the culture that we share and the support that we have for one another (OK, maybe I’m the only one that got teary-eyed BUT I know people were excited to share and inspired to continue building a great company). It is also a time where we define or vision and goals for the year.

While some would cringe at this type of corporate, stick-in-the-mud, trust fall, team building event – we have yet to have that experience during MVV. Probably because it is less of a team-building event and more of a realignment of the company - a chance for everyone to speak to the values that we foster as a team.

Each year we discuss and develop a set of values that enable us to work better, smarter and with more impact as we grow and change as an organization. It’s like group counseling for a group that already works well together. Our “counselor” is Neil; a lithe corporate culture connoisseur with a big brain and a dirty mouth. He leads our process and lends great perspective. He keeps us from getting hung up, and keeps the mic moving (further and further away from our CEO). Got to hand it to Neal – he knows what he is doing – and keeps people talking during a variety of group breakouts, Q&A and team sharing.

In part 2 and 3 of this blog series, we will explore the Core Values, Aspirational Values and work mantras that were developed by the team and that are currently being synthesized into a consumable format.

For now – I was hoping to share the thoughts of some of our team members on the process and what they got out of the shared experience. For many – it was their first MVV, which is particularly impactful to us as a company. Their first impressions and insight into the framework that keeps our corporate culture from stagnating is quick to reveal whether our values are perceived as lip service or not.

Here is what some of our team members had to say:

  • Dean Gorby; Project Manager and MVV Virgin:

  • I felt humbled after the workshop Friday, so many talented people devoted to such a worthy cause – the fact that the leadership put so much effort into sharing their vison with us and allow us to become part of it through participation, only makes me more committed to contribute to the success of GCH. I hope I can be a part of its future.

  • Canuche Terranella; COO & MVV Veteran:

  • I love hearing the perspective of the guys I don’t work with every day. I love hearing about what Accountability means to Oscar, what Autonomy means to Larry, what happens when you take an idea from sales and you interpret it from the perspective of the site super.  It’s a great moment of sharing perspectives and re-calibration to what we’re working on.

  • Eric Thomassian; Project Engineer and MVV Virgin:

  • I think it’s an important workshop to have because we have so many people from different backgrounds who have different values and reasons for being here at Green Canopy. As a mission driven company, it’s important for me to have the opportunity to lay out our values and mission for the coming year. It aligns and connects us together as one company towards similar goals. We know better what we can expect from each other and what we to be held accountable for as a Green Canopy employee.

  • Ami Nieto; Office Manager, Portland Lead and MVV Veteran:

  • The annual MVV retreat is a fulfilling and motivating experience for me as an employee at Green Canopy. For me, this year’s retreat was a reflection of the recent changes within the Company and a reminder to focus on the importance of our core values. I would appreciate an all-day retreat so that we would have time to talk more about our vision and mission. There is so much more we could talk about as a group that would provide value to the culture we experience each day at Green Canopy.  It would also enable us to synthesize the values as a team and come up with the “new name” for those values that are being changed. It feels like we are losing a bit of the group voice by having the Leadership Team take it to another room/place/time to decide on those values among themselves.

Every year, our CEO has shown the same video during our Mission Vision Values retreat. The video depicts a funny, groovy dancer in a field doing his own thing. Soon he has a crowd around him and everybody is having a good time dancing and grooving and loving the music. For the last few years – Green Canopy has managed to attract a number of talented individuals who are excited to join in the dance and enjoy the music. This year – Aaron challenged us. He stopped the music and said “Dancing together in a field is fun but what if this were a flash mob?”

He challenged us all to hone in, focus and master what we do at the company so that when we all dance together it is choreographed and succinct- intentional yet impactful. At the core, we are all dedicated and passionate people – but becoming masters of our work, masters of our budgets, and masters of this business is what is going to take us from passion to profits – from dancing in a field alone, together – to dancing together in support of one another.

Sure the article mentions that construction workers are happy because the industry is on the rise which leads to job security, etc. but that can be said about a lot of industries. The reason why Green Canopy employees are so happy – is because we are a team – with shared values that allow us to dance together.