What do you get when you bring together a team of young, fun, creative, talented and animated professionals and ask them to spend three hours brainstorming ideas on how to frame your company’s future vision? Brilliance? Chaos? Eye-opening revelations? Or a tedious afternoon of playing mundane games of corporate “group-think”? Honestly, I didn’t know the answer to this question until we got together last month, although one thing I could bet on – that it was going to be anything but boring!
And so, on an early December afternoon, the core Agilis team got together to try and generate fresh ideas on how to define (and refine) Agilis’ core values, vision, and mission going forward.
When we first founded Agilis, the main idea behind it was simple: to provide a service that nobody else was offering to businesses along the entire chemical value chain. We knew that producers, buyers and distributors wanted (and needed!) to establish their online presence, but didn’t have the right in-house tools, or a suitable commercial solution that could easily and cost-effectively get them there. That initial vision was clear enough to understand, it resonated well with our early customers.
Fast-forward three years, and Agilis has matured from an early-stage startup to a fast-growing technology company with a rapidly expanding customer base. And while we still believe that our principal goal is to enable e-commerce technology adoption among chemical producers, buyers and intermediaries, we thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to revisit some of the basics:
And with a team as young and creative as the current Agilis crew, we knew that after a few hours of hard-core thinking, we were bound to come up with something good.
A set of focused exercises, expertly moderated by our creative design genius Wendy, helped get everyone in the right mindset. Do we want to be more like an established brand (dependable, reputable, but generally unexciting), or an innovative, disruptive enterprise that’s challenging the status quo? Which brands are closest to Agilis in attitude, their feelings toward customers, and their personalities? GM or Tesla? Red Bull or Coke? Salesforce or Microsoft? Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, or Lizzo? (OK, this last one may have little to do with a corporate vision but actually revealed how well-versed our team members are in the current celebrity culture!)
Of course, what came out of the session was not a complete and polished set of press-ready statements, yet, it was immensely encouraging. We immersed ourselves into discussing what’s important to us as a team and as a company, and I think we now have a clearer idea of the direction we need to go. Here are some highlights:
I left the session smiling – what started as an idea in my head is now a successful company with a solid vision for the future, complete with a fantastic crew of enthusiastic, like-minded people.
Soon enough you will see a refined and perfectly wordsmithed version of our "vision and mission" on our new website. But in the meantime, I wanted to share with you this communal experience that our team had a few weeks ago. We will do it again soon – it's good to get the creative energy flowing. Who knows what we will come up next!
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