Post #4 in our summer team guest blog series comes from Leanne Gee. Leanne returned to the Ann Arbor area from Texas to join our team this summer (she sure didn’t escape the heat!).

One of the things I’ve really come to appreciate about TorranceLearning is its team-oriented work culture. While naturally nice and talented co-workers are at the foundation of this dynamic, there are other effective practices that work to strengthen and maintain it. One such practice is the interactive staff meeting.

Staff meetings are an integral part of most businesses, but not everyone takes an interactive approach. At TorranceLearning, all staff meetings start off with a fun and/or interesting question (most of the time, it’s both). A couple weeks ago, the question was: “What did you do during the Northeast Blackout of 2003?” and the week before that it was: “Who would play you in a movie?”

Interestingly enough, the crazy question provides more than just entertainment value. It creates a relaxed and open atmosphere in which everyone is encouraged to contribute, and it establishes that there are no stupid questions or wrong answers. Such conditions are ideal when leading into more substantial topics of discussion, like the progression of current projects, or any type of client update.

In essence, it is how things are discussed rather than what is discussed that makes TorranceLearning unique. Instead of being subjected to an environment in which one’s title decides who gets to talk (and who doesn’t), interactive staff meetings allow for a free-flow exchange of thoughts and ideas where everyone has an equal opportunity to pitch in.