Over the last seven years, Gaia Resources has grown from a small table in my lounge room through to a mid-sized company that now employs 23 people. On Monday was a big milestone for the company, and it was also a milestone for me personally, and I tweeted about it being the best day of my career.
Over the last week, we expanded our office to take over the whole floor at Level 1, Building B, 661 Newcastle Street. For the past few months we’ve been really jammed into the old office space, so doubling our available area was a big sigh of relief for all of us.
AJ, Lyn, Debbie and I co-ordinated the move using our project planning templates, Mantis for tracking the issues and ran the whole move as we would a commercial project. The project ran really smoothly – while AJ, Lyn, Debbie and I did the preparation work the office kept running, and most of the staff had an hour downtime while they moved offices, and that was it.
The move went really smoothly, and along the way we found time to have a bit of fun as well. There were some really great outcomes along the way – we learned more about cabling from AJ (than perhaps some of us would like), we learned that Telstra don’t know where we actually are located, and that shifting to Natural Power is really easy to do. AJ, Lyn and Debbie made this really a successful project, and without their hard work we’d really have struggled to achieve this as smoothly as we did.
The move wasn’t really finished until Monday, when we had a team strategy day, where I presented the business plan and the new organisational structures to the team. Given that we are now a mid-sized company, we have had to restructure the business to suit. To that end, we have now set up three business units within the company, known as the Spatial Business Unit (run by Andrew), the Software Engineering Unit (run by AJ), and the Management Business Unit (run by me). This gives us a better management and reporting structure within the business, and hopefully this will enable us to be more flexible and responsive as well.
At the strategy day, I also outlined the business goals and projects we will be undertaking over the coming year to achieve those goals. This was something I approached with a little trepidation; I’ve always found sharing my aims and goals for the business to be a little scary. However, the team were totally behind these goals, and that absolutely made my day. They gave some great feedback on what we are planning to do, and how we are planning to do it, and it really gave me a buzz to see everyone so willing to get behind these aims and get stuck into the challenges we will face over the next year.
We ran a few exercises on the strategy day as well about testing how we work in teams, how we communicate, and how well people can follow instructions. The fun one at the end of the day was about putting together Lego kits, with one person reading the instructions and the other trying to follow the verbal-only directions, with a few variations on roles as well. I was nice enough to leave all the pieces in the kits, though (I just tipped them all into one big bucket).
Then after the strategy day we headed out for a team dinner up the road at the Oxford Hotel. It was a great way to unwind and celebrate this move as the milestone that it is for the business.
So that was my best day in my career – seeing something that germinated in my lounge room as being something that would be achievable in the near future. I’m really looking forward to the new challenges for the company over the coming year, and now we have the space to deal with them, too.