June 25, 2014

Kenway’s Favorite 10 Moments

As lucky employee number ten, I was bestowed the honor of reflecting back on Kenway’s ten years in business in order to rank the favorite 10 Kenway Moments.  “Employee number ten?” you ask with a raised eyebrow. Yes, those who began with Kenway in the earlier days of the company knew the “order” in which we were hired.  Most of us came to Kenway from large firms where it was impossible to know which employee number we were (likely because it was around 35,987,234), and we were excited to be a part of something so new that you could name the employees and the order in which they arrived.  It was our badge of pride.  We knew the “numbers,” because we celebrated each new person that was brought into this new company, as it was a quantitative sign of growth and confirmation that what we were doing was succeeding in the marketplace.  However, as the company grew faster, and, yes, there was turnover, the whole employee number concept went to the wayside.  But we still celebrate each and every person who joins Kenway.  We still celebrate each and every success.  We still recognize and appreciate the impacts that each person brings to the table.  We just don’t focus on the associated employee number anymore.

But I digress with that brief history – back to the purposes of this article.  As I began taking a trip down Kenway’s memory lane and pulling together my thoughts, I realized that to take it upon myself to solely come up with the favorite moments seemed a bit one-sided.  Although I have been with Kenway for about 65% of the company’s existence, there are plenty of others who preceded me and others who have come onboard after me, all of whom would have different experiences and viewpoints on this topic.  So, I went out and engaged other Kenway folk to capture their thoughts. Not surprisingly, I received a broad range of responses that are reflective of the diverse individuals that make up this company.  As the thoughts came pouring in, I realized that building a list of favorite Kenway Moments was not going to be the difficult part – it was trimming down the list to a mere ten!  There have been a wealth of notable moments in Kenway’s ten year history, far greater in number than what reasonably should be allowed in a newsletter.  So with that, I present you with our best attempt, a collaborative list of Kenway’s Top 10 Moments.

  1. Thriving in the Great Recession – During those challenging years starting in 2008, Kenway not only survived, we grew!  Staying firm to our Guiding Principles and demonstrating superior client service allowed Kenway to expand while others were closing their doors.
  2. The Start of the Charity Golf Outing – Those who have attended our now annual charity golf outing should not be fooled by what appears to be the effortless coordination of an event of this caliber.  The event takes months of hard work to organize, schedule, and plan – even now after we have done this for four straight years and have gained efficiencies and learned some valuable lessons.  So you can imagine the extraordinary effort it took for a 5 year old company to pull off its very first golf outing.  What started off as an idea to help raise money for a charity has grown year over year in participants and the amount of funds donated to a great cause, which is a great transition to our next Kenway Favorite 10 moment.
  3. The Beginning of Our Relationship with Inspiration Corporation – It started out with a few employees researching various local charities that aligned with Kenway’s principles.  Out of the candidates researched, Inspiration Corporation was chosen.  We have had a relationship with Inspiration Corporation since 2010, and our employees continue to volunteer their time to monthly and yearly events in addition to the big golf outing every September.  Our president, Brian King, was also invited to serve on their board.
  4. The Beginning of the Quarterly Offsite Kenway Meeting – Recognizing that there is little worse than an all-day company meeting in a typical office setting, Kenway made it a little more interesting with the beginning of the offsite company meeting.  Occurring every quarter, two of which are for an entire day, this meeting offers Kenway employees the chance to focus on the development of the company and each other by taking them out of their everyday work environment.  After our most recent all-day company meeting, employees’ families were invited to come enjoy the weekend and engage in non-work related activities together.
  5. The Launch of the Kenway Compass – Found at Kenway Compass, our quarterly Kenway newsletter provides subscribers with articles related to the core Kenway service offerings and various other relevant topics. This was yet another great example of a group of employees coming together to accomplish a large undertaking and create something that spreads the word about the work we do and who we are.
  6. Formalization of the Services Based Approach – A distinguishing factor between Kenway and our competitors is our services based approach to client projects that provides clients with the best fit resources to handle the job.  Gone are the days of only providing a “one size fits all” approach to every project.  Instead, Kenway will staff the people with the right skills at the right time to accomplish the scope of work within the appropriate time frame.
  7. Start of Theta Groups / Theta Time – Kenway now provides dedicated time for employees to break into smaller groups every month to discuss creative ways to solve problems, tackle a project, or help fellow colleagues address a specific issue they might be having in their career.  It provides the opportunity to “get in the flow” and brainstorm creative, innovative ways to address a certain topic, and the great thing about it is that the topics are not limited to just work.
  8. 1st Client Appreciation Night – In 2009, Kenway wanted to provide a fun way to say, “Thank you,” to our current, former, and prospective clients, so Kenway’s Client Appreciation Night was born.  The event has turned into another annual event for Kenway and, once again, takes us out of the typical work environment to spend time with our clients and prospects in a different, more relaxed setting.
  9. Formalization of the Guiding Principles – What started off almost as a “Top 10” list is now 24 guiding principles that focus on integrity, quality, value, and respect for each of us as individuals.  We have won and lost clients because of them, but through it all, they have provided the means that have paved the way to ten years of success.
  10. In the spirit of being light hearted, I would be remiss if I did not mention the big Co-ed 16” Softball Championship.  In the several years leading up to this noteworthy event, the team usually held first place throughout the entire regular season, only to “choke” in the playoffs.  But the year that we were least likely to make it past the first game of the playoffs, we won the entire championship.

How Can We Help?