One of DMC's annual traditions is having an off-site All Day Company Meeting (ADCM) where everyone takes the day off project work to learn, share knowledge, team-build, and spend time together outside of the office. Our ADCMs have taken us everywhere from ice skating in Chicago to roaming historic Boston. These company meetings are a chance for our offices to combine forces as well. This year, Chicago and St. Louis combined for their ADCM as did our offices on the West Coast.
Our All Day Company Meetings are something that employees forward to each year. It's a day where we learn and have a lot of fun while doing it.
Check out what each office did for this year's ADCM.
Midwest (Chicago & St. Louis)
It was a cold and dreary Chicago morning in late October, as Midwest DMCers near and far (DMC St. Louis) made their way to a new and exciting location for our annual All Day Company Meeting.
As we wandered into Homestead on the Roof, we were greeted by hot coffee and a breakfast buffet with frittatas, donut French toast, and fresh fruit. Our leaders gave directions on how the day would go after some sleepy socializing and snacking. The morning consisted of four learning sessions, and the afternoon was for fun and games!
The morning sessions were 45 minutes long, and everyone attended four sessions that employees chose in advance. Some of the topics covered included Tim’s Top Tips, What I wish I had Known my First Year at DMC, Giving & Receiving Feedback, Coaching, Old School DMC Vernacular, and Sales Fundamentals.
After the four sessions finished, the restaurant served us a delicious lunch, and the fun and games began. DMC Chicago and St. Louis were split up into teams of about eight people, and our skilled game masters explained the rules of the competition. The games started off with the classic "Simon Says."
We competed in events from balancing on one foot for the longest, naming everyone in the company the fastest, and eating Skittles with chopsticks. The competition ended with an epic dance-off. Winners received different prizes like trophies and giant jars of cheese balls.
After our day of competition, we headed to the bar next door to enjoy some drinks with our coworkers for happy hour. We had an awesome day of working hard and playing hard.
West Coast (Denver, Seattle, & Reno)
DMC West started the day bright and early at the Gordon Biersch Brewery north of Denver. We split into three groups and engaged in enlightening discussions related to our Core Values including Respond to the Customer, Be Profitable, Share Information, and Tell It Like It Is. After lunch, we went to the Warrior Challenge Arena to engage in our Core Value of Have Fun.
The Warrior Challenge Arena is where individuals may go to prepare for the American Ninja Warrior. So, DMC went to test their balance, strength, and problem-solving skills.
We worked together in teams of six to complete challenges like making a human basket to transport hot wings, ferrying everyone across a piranha-infested river to safety, completing an obstacle course while walking on buckets, and escaping a volcano by crossing a lava river. To finish the challenge, we created pyramids to lift engineers to touch the facility’s ceiling!
The day concluded with a happy hour to reward all the new warriors we trained. Everyone even rallied for an epic game of Killer Queen.
DMC Houston decided to embrace the [awesomeness] of our city by converting our ADCM into a Taco Tour of H-Town. Each stop brought a round of delicious tacos (and margaritas) accompanied by a new discussion topic in a series of roundtable conversations geared towards learning from each other's successes and mistakes.
We kicked off our day with a round of breakfast tacos and shared tips on building positive customer relationships, learning new ways to connect and create mutual understanding with clients on an individual basis.
Our next stop featured Velvet Taco and a conversation centered around effective project management techniques. Over a delicious assortment of fusion tacos (imagine chicken and waffles *in taco form*), we shared experiences and tips on managing budgets, timelines and teams. After two rounds of tacos, we were ready for a shuffleboard break and brainstorming session on future office expansion, preparing to grow our team and capabilities even further.
Feeling refreshed (and almost hungry), we continued to Torchy's for some delicious queso and a breakdown of old-school DMC terminology, discovering the origin stories of many of the terms we use on an everyday basis.
Finally, we decided that no Houston taco tour could be complete without a visit to Houston's greatest taco truck and a real hidden gem, Tacos Tierra Caliente. Over our last round of tacos and beer, we discussed profitability and what it means for our clients, for DMC, and us as individuals.
DMC New York held our 2018 All Day Company Meeting on Friday, November 2nd. We kicked off the day with a bagel breakfast from NY favorite Best Bagel and set up for the morning in our lab space, which has a great view of the Manhattan skyline and ample room to gather around our mobile TV.
Before our first workshop, our fearless leader Jon delivered a State of the Union (of DMC) presentation, where he reflected on our year of growth. Jon talked about new offices, new employees, and more ambitious and diverse projects, and spoke about DMC’s plans for the coming year.
Our first session of the day was a presentation by Liz and an accompanying group activity that focused on productive strategies for coaching for both the mentor and the mentee. After a quick ping-pong break, Jon led our second workshop of the day, Sales Fundamentals. Jon shared both core strategies and helpful hints based on experiences from his career at DMC for building positive client relationships and finding new projects that fit DMC’s ever-expanding areas of expertise.
Our third topic was a group brainstorming session where we worked on developing improvements for some of our internal processes such as enhanced knowledge sharing and communication between DMC’s various offices. Finally, Simon offered an adaptation of the always-popular Tim’s Top Tips (the brainchild of DMC’s very own Tim Jager) called Simon Says Successful Suggestions in a Succinct Slideshow Setting. He shared a variety of small tips for success, and other DMC-ers chimed in with related stories from their own experience.
Following our morning workshops, we hopped on the subway and headed down to Stone Street, a historic area of the Financial District. Our first stop was Route 66 Smokehouse for a big lunch full featuring classic American fare (and barbecue!). After we had our fill of tasty food, we moved across the street to The Cauldron.
It was here that we grabbed magic wands, put on our wizarding robes, and stepped out of the Muggle world for the afternoon. With help from the establishment’s resident alchemists, we honed our mixology skills by crafting and enjoying some magical potions (cocktails) at the definitely-not-Harry-Potter-themed bar concluding a successful day full of reflection, learning, and fun.
We had an excellent time at the ADCM this year in DMC's Boston office.
As is typical for DMC, we had a busy day of work and play. This year, we went to Boda Borg - an entire building filled with a bunch of different puzzle rooms which they call “quests.” Before we dove into questing, we started the morning with a series of enlightening and entertaining presentations from a few of our seasoned employees on a variety of topics including how to manage projects, how to coach co-workers, and how to interact with clients.
We even had a few DMCers in town from the Seattle and Chicago offices joining in. After lunch, we heard many stories from projects DMC has done over the years, letting the old-timers reminisce about the old days while giving newer engineers the opportunity to hear about lessons learned and mistakes to avoid.
After that, it was finally time to explore the much-anticipated quests. In groups of 3-5 people, we tackled the mental and physical puzzles with themes ranging from farm animals, to computer hacking, to brewing potions, to escaping Alcatraz.
Some of the rooms were particularly tricky and required us to keep trying over and over until we got them right. With enough persistence, we were almost always able to get to the final room and unlock the box with the ultimate prize: a stamp for the quest booklet to keep track of how many quests we were able to complete. There were enough quests to keep us busy for the rest of the day with some groups staying all the way until closing time at midnight!
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