Two years in…
Last December, I wrote about the origin of The PEAK Fleet one year in to our venture. That first year, we expected to struggle, we were creating our company from scratch and hustled to get those first customers. We had the enthusiasm of creating something new, making all our own decisions, and the fear of failure motivating us to persist.
Year two in a venture that is gaining momentum is a different feeling altogether. The adrenaline that fuels you in the first year can start to turn to exhaustion. I realized that I hadn’t had a full week of vacation without any work happening since we started the company. The realities of being an entrepreneur, the less sexy realities, set in: Filing taxes, keeping up on bookkeeping, filling out Requests for Proposals.
This year we start facing the reality of: fear of success. When we coach start-ups and growing organizations, we consistently find people worrying about failure, but often not preparing for the challenges success can bring. It’s important to look at all the facets of a business to make sure that the right steps are taken at the right time so that success doesn’t become an overwhelming situation.
We have grown to the point of really needing a Fleet consistently on board to take our vision to the next level, and support help to do some of the things that we aren’t as good at and bog us down. It means…letting go of our “baby” and letting others help shape it and carry our message out further to the world. [stay tuned for announcements about new Fleet members soon]
Among the workshops we teach, are those about teamwork, developing a culture, conflict, and inclusion. It was now time for us to really apply to The PEAK Fleet what we encourage our clients to do! We have confronted and worked through necessary changes and made decisions that weren’t without conflict. However, armed with an alignment to our personal and PEAK Values, as well as practicing what we preach, we are moving into this next phase feeling strong and with eyes open.
While I’m admitting that we’ve had our challenges in 2018, we’ve accomplished a lot, and I’d like to share a few of those highlights with you!
Lessons from the Jazz Ensemble at Design Week Portland:
In last year’s recap, I introduced our Organizational Development through the Arts program, including Lessons from the Jazz Ensemble (LJE). This year LJE found an appreciative audience at Design Week Portland. Developed in partnership with the Mel Brown Septet, The PEAK Fleet delivered an exciting event sponsored by United Tile among others. It was a highlight of our Spring. More about the event is available at https://www.thepeakfleet.com/2018/05/11/always-learning-lessons-from-the-jazz-ensemble/. A short summary video of the performance is available on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/MwV6-Vsp_OY
PEAK Values®: This year we celebrated receiving a Registered Trademark for PEAK Values, which are at the center of our initiative to encourage everyone to lead a values-based life and create values-based organizations.
What began as a project to serve our consulting and training clients became a product. The PEAK Values® Card Deck is now at the center of our vision to help thousands of people discover and share their core values.
We’ve now sold PEAK Values Cards around the world and are working on a new edition to come out in early 2019. We also have a book in the works to expand upon the importance of living a values-based life with intention.
Focus on Education: One of our first clients last year happened to be an Elementary School. While we hadn’t originally intended to focus our practice on Education, we quickly realized how well helping schools improve their organizational culture and teamwork practices aligned with our mission. Since that first engagement, we have now grown our offerings into a Healthy Team series that is delivered to teams and cohorts of principals, administrator, and teachers alike with excellent feedback on the progress of teams. That first client went on to win a National Blue Ribbon Award in part due to its culture. In addition, this year we became a preferred vendor with 1GPA, which serves over 600 institutions across the country.
Our Healthy Teams series is tailored to educational environments as well as tailored to other industries such as high-tech and manufacturing. Contact Brian or Jen for more information about this valuable development series.
Start-up Bootcamp: We also developed a bootcamp in 2018 geared toward organizations in the start-up or growth phase of development. This course offers actionable take-aways to implement the right organizational and employee initiatives at the right time in your organization’s life cycle.
The year ahead: We are working on a values-oriented book we intend to publish by Summer 2019. In addition, we are working on expanding our Start-up Bootcamp to a broader audience and with additional content. We’re also working on expanded systems-thinking workshops for organizations, and for individuals in partnership with fellow traveler Kelli Gizzi.
As we wrap up 2018, I know we both want to express a tremendous amount of gratitude to those who have partnered with us, provided guidance and support, and encouraged us along the way.
With Persistence, Empathy, Authenticity, and Kindness,
Jen and Brian