Every summer, AIMMSians from all over the world get together in The Netherlands for Connect Week. We meet, exchange ideas, work collaboratively, absorb new information, have fun, and push each other to better the company and indeed ourselves. It’s an inspiring week and we want to take you on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of what we go up to and why we do it every year.
So, why do we do Connect Week?
Building a connected community is an important element of our purpose; it is at the very core of who we are and what we strive to achieve. At AIMMS, we recognize the tremendous value in fostering meaningful connections among ourselves, with our customers, users, partners, and the broader AIMMS community.
So, Connect Week is about starting with ourselves, to reinforce our purpose-driven and self-organized work culture. In a connected community, we can achieve remarkable things. Feeling connected with others helps us to collectively overcome challenges, ultimately to help our customers and partners. Connecting with others helps us feel valued, cared about, and respected. Of course, there is huge value in working flexibly and remotely (which is engrained in the culture at AIMMS), but we also know that a connected workplace is vital in keeping The AIMMS Way of working and history of more than 30 years alive and well.
What activities did we do?
Each day during Connect Week was different and inspiring. We were pushed mentally and physically and had the opportunity to hear from people outside of the organization about their business problems and solutions we could come up with together. The program contained a variety of sessions designed to inspire and build a lasting connection amongst AIMMSians. Here’s a flavor of what we got up to:
– Hear from the leadership team: Strategic updates
– Hear from AIMMSians: Project presentations, product demo and feedback sessions, and internship presentations
– Guest speakers from Heineken, Google, and BIT
– Reflect with team members in person (instead of remote)
– Cross-functional team alignment in person
– Chair massages
– Healthy habits sessions about a positive mindset and breathing
– Meet new AIMMSians for the first time
– Catered lunch buffet with a different theme each day
– Closing the day with drinks, snacks, tombola, and board games
– Evening at the beach with competition and BBQ
What did we learn?
I decided to ask a few colleagues what they learned, and this is what they said:
“AIMMS Connect Week was great for catching up with colleagues and discovering cool wins across departments. It’s also very encouraging to see that ambitious people in the organization think about the long-term and how to be on the front foot in supply chain innovation.”
“AIMMS Connect Week marks one of my favorite moments of the year. During a vibrant week, I enjoyed getting together with fellow AIMMSians from all over the world to connect, learn, laugh, and play! Connect week reinforced a shared passion for our work, supporting and inspiring one another to achieve our best.”
“I learned a lot about the company because I haven’t really had the opportunity to speak with anyone who doesn’t come to the office. So, it was great to meet everyone and learn more about what other AIMMSians are up to.”
“I got to learn more about my colleagues who are not based in the Netherlands. Before we only had virtual interactions and they are more formal, so I didn’t get to know them on a personal level.”
“I gained a deeper understanding of my colleague’s perspectives and that helps for better collaboration in the future in reaching common goals.”
A lot of work and preparation goes into Connect Week with people coming together from all corners of the globe. There really is no substitute for in-person connections, learning, and development.
Bring on next year… which will be a special anniversary edition celebrating 35 years!