Reflecting on Lessons and Successes from a Jam-Packed 2019, by Ryan Hansen
Two weeks ago, I was in Centennial, Colorado, setting up for one of our biggest events of the year. Our team was bustling around, welcoming guests and setting out materials for the meeting portion of the day. It was a warm and sunny day at a golf course in this Denver suburb. Later, as our group took to the course for a quick golf scramble, I even managed a mild sunburn.
Wait a second. That was not two weeks ago - that was three months ago, at our Leader-Chip event in September. It sure feels like it was only two weeks ago - 2019 really is flying by! Today, in the heart of December, I'm sitting by a fireplace with a hot cup of coffee on hand and a chocolate Labrador lying across my feet (I don't mind, he's warm!).
It's easy for me to spend this time of year dreaming about our great, big plans for 2020 (trust me, they're big and they're bold). In fact, our team has spent a large part of November and December making plans for 2020. But, to paraphrase John Maxwell, evaluated experience is the best teacher, so I try to take time during this season to think about all that happened in the last year.
Deep breath. Whew. 2019 was a momentous year for Alloy! Our team was blessed to meet and work with some truly incredible people across the country, and throughout the year we picked up new products, resources, skills, and tools to bring to bear for our clients. I certainly can't cover everything that happened, but here is a snapshot:
Fairways for Flood Relief: Over $17,000 for Flood Recovery in Nebraska
There really is no other place to begin this list. Everything changed when the floodwaters arrived on March 15th, 2019. Our home town of Valley was in the heart of the impacted area, and our team wanted to be a part of the recovery efforts. It turned out really well (we hosted more than 100 golfers and raised over $17,000 - you can read more here), and we were blessed with an incredible response from local businesses and generous neighbors. It also took a huge effort from our team. We called in every resource we could find (it turns out that my grandma is excellent at soliciting silent auction donations), and we put most of our usual business on hold to make it work. Looking back, we can admit that we had no objective reason to think we could pull it off. The lesson here? Just jump in. You may never know what you can do until you have already done it.
Look Who's a Best-Selling Author!
Somehow, in the middle of preparing to host a charity golf scramble, Jamie co-authored a book! This was another in a line of Alloy firsts this year, and one we could not be more excited to accomplish. Discover Your Team's Potential is a collaborative effort from twenty experienced trainers of the DISC model of human behavior. The book is an insider's guide to applying the DISC model at home and at work, and we were thrilled to see it hit the Amazon Best Seller list this summer! Once again, we are so grateful to have been a part of this project, and we believe it is truly a testament to the unbelievable people we have come to know in this industry.
Leader-ChipTM Hits the Road
This September, we took our Leader-Chip leadership summit format to Colorado! Twenty leaders from the Denver area joined us at South Suburban Golf Course for a day full of growth, networking, and golf. If you have been to any of our events, you know just how much fun we have, how much growth we experience, and how the weather never seems to agree with us. Colorado did not disappoint, and the skies opened up to deliver a magnificent show of rain, lightning, hail, and flash flooding.
I had no idea how much we would learn about event planning and organization just by taking a familiar event to an unfamiliar place, but this feat made us evaluate every element of our usual format and helped us create an even stronger structure for this live event series. We are already planning to return to the Denver area in 2020!
New Products, New Resources, and New Clients
One of the core beliefs that Jamie has instilled in Alloy is that the more skills and resources that we have at our disposal, the more experience and expertise we can bring to bear for our clients. This has been a foundational element of our growth, and it has led us to some excellent tools (in some surprising places, I might add).
In 2019, we brought Resilience at Work to our clients for the first time. We were attracted to this tool because it offered something that we hadn't been able to find: practical, solution-focused suggestions for sustaining personal resilience at work. Seven components to manage the everyday stress of work, stay healthy, learn from setbacks, and prepare for future challenges. Finally, more than a lecture on self-care. Finally, a definition of resilience that can actually be applied at work! We have received excellent feedback on this material, and it is quickly becoming a favorite topic for us.
2019 also brought two completely new concepts to Alloy Solutions. The first was a new way of serving our corporate clients. We launched the Alloy Academy because we saw how many of our partners grew frustrated as their training proposals got stuck in purchasing and lost momentum. It was the same cycle everywhere: 1) A leader sees a training need. 2) The leader has to figure out where to find the help they need. 3) Rounds and rounds of discovery calls, proposals, negotiations, and notes from purchasing officers to reach an agreement. As time drags on, training needs change and the initiative loses momentum. We had to help speed up the process. The idea was to make training more convenient for the teams and companies that want it - essentially, a faster approval process. With the Academy, our clients have on-demand access to our coaching, training, and live events, with the security of a trusted partner who already knows their culture.
Finally, our newest and most complex addition to the portfolio: online courses! This was a big learning curve for us, but it is a challenge we are glad we accepted. With some new technology in place, Alloy has a brand-new way to deliver training and other materials for our customers. Jamie and I are both naturally introverted, so you can imagine the nervous glances that were shared around the office when we started talking about the idea of stepping in front of a camera to record video lessons. Even so, we dug up our courage and beta-tested a course earlier this year! Once again, we had to jump in with no idea whether or not we could pull it off.
I hope that 2019 has been full of new experiences and outstanding people for you, just as it has been for us. Our team has been blessed to work with so many excellent leaders and teams throughout the year. If we have had the opportunity to serve you or your organization, I hope you can see how much we appreciate the choice you made to work with us. It is a privilege we do not take lightly. As we turn the page on 2019 and enter a brand-new decade in just a few days, I would encourage you to take note of what the past year gave you. Relish the memories and remember the lessons. Here's to a year of growth and success in 2020.