A Simple “Coincidence”

It’s about 5 pm on a Saturday in the middle of August last year and I’m sitting on a couch, next to some co-workers, in a large living room of an Airbnb in Hood River.  I’m trying not to get distracted by thoughts of hops.  You see, it just so happens that I scheduled our semi-annual leadership retreat on the same weekend as the Hood River Hops Fest (I swear it was a coincidence!).  We’re on day two of the retreat, and we’ve covered a ton of ground, and we just have one more topic to get through before I can get my hands on a super fresh hoppy IPA.

The L6

There are six people on the Leadership Team (L6 for short) at Portland Internetworks: three department heads and three other leaders of the company.  We meet at least once a month; sometimes it’s a short, two-hour meeting in the office, sometimes it’s just a quick lunch at a nearby sandwich shop, and sometimes it’s a three-night, out-of-town retreat.  At our shorter meetings, we usually tackle some of the day-to-day issues that might need some quick thought and decisions.  It’s at the longer meetings where we talk about big picture, high-level strategic items like: next hires and fires, new products and services to roll out, goals for the next year, financial results for the previous quarter, budgets, company culture.  It’s very important to be out of the office for these meetings so we don’t get distracted by our everyday responsibilities.  As leaders of our company, it’s on us to develop the long-term strategies, goals, and plan of attack for the future.  And we do that at the L6 retreat.  We rent a six-bedroom vacation rental for the weekend, one with a big living room where we can sit comfortably for two full days.  When you’re sitting in comfortable clothes, sipping on coffee, surrounded by co-workers you trust, knowing you can say what you feel and think without judgment or repercussions, real progress can be made.

What Matters Most

Mmmmmm hops.  We’ve got one more topic for the day: ‘Moving into our new office space’.  After much discussion around the move into our new 13,000 square foot space, a discussion involving timelines, layouts, rent schedules, and tenant improvements, we finish the meeting with a brief look at our agenda for Sunday morning, and then head out the door to walk to the Hops Fest.  As much as I love a fresh hoppy beer from Pfriem or Breakside, what I really love is working at a company where I can be part of a team that honestly cares about one another and is diligently working to make Portland Internetworks the best it can be. Cheers!


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Derek Humbard is the Director of Finance & Administration at Portland Internetworks, get to know him Here.

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