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Gridcog Team Retreat, Bali 2024

Sipping cold drinks by the pool, looking out over rolling ocean waves, is a great way to kick off the work week, right?

In February, the entire Gridcog team got together in person for just the second time since we launched for our second IRL retreat. As a global, remote-first team, it was an opportunity to spend time together face to face, and in sunglasses, for three days of sun, sea and team building activities - and without the time-zone battle. 

There were a number of new faces joining us this year, reflective of our expansion across UK & Europe, and our team flew in from their respective home nests to meet in Bali, Indonesia. The fabulous Hotel Komune provided a base for us to sharpen up cooking skills, snorkel in paradise, and get stuck into strategic planning for how to continue to provide exceptional value to our customers and the energy transition in 2024. 

It’s an interesting thing, to work with people every day, in some cases for months, and to not have had the pleasure of meeting in person. We love that Gridcog has been able to build a thriving, dynamic team of energy nerds that transcends geographic location, but it sure is lovely to be able to swap stories of life in London vs. Australia, try every fresh juice on the resort menu, and enjoy the humidity-centric delights of Bali’s climate without a screen separating us. 

Gridcog Team Retreat, Bali, February 2024

A welcome dinner on Tuesday evening kicked off our retreat, and already the team energy was high with laughter bouncing across the table. A round of introductions followed by another round of Bintangs kept the conversations flowing all night. 

The next morning, while some gathered for a gentle yoga class, others enjoyed a run along the beach. We then made our way to the conference room where we began part one of our three Design Thinking workshops, led by the fantastic Craig Griffiths. These sessions were our opportunity to collaborate in real time and in person on how we continue to make Gridcog great, and as we split into four teams composed of Gridcoggers from different time zones and divisions, and bring a diversity of ideas to the discussion. 

Our first session was centred around exploring and cementing Gridcog’s values. Sticky-notes were filled with words such as “bold”, “trustworthy”, “fun” and “resilient”, but to strive for excellence and achieve big things were quickly established as our core themes.

Design Thinking Workshop, Gridcog Team Retreat, Bali 2024

After a quick break for lunch and a bit of glamour for a photo shoot, we reconvened for the second session of the day, which focused on brainstorming ways to work collaboratively across multiple time zones. Working through the Design Thinking phases (Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype) and rewarding insightful ideas with red dot stickers, we narrowed our thoughts down to two concrete themes. The first: we’re keen to find a way to improve knowledge sharing and work structuring. The second: we value human connection. We left the workshop with lots to think about and a big appetite for growth. 

Cooking up a storm, learning new skills

Ashok, Energy Analyst, London, was the first to wear the tall white chef’s hat and served up some delicious turmeric vegetable lettuce wraps. Next up was Pete, Co-founder & Head of Product, Perth, who blended up a flavoursome yellow chicken curry. Then we dodged flying raw chicken as Alice, Senior Developer, Perth, learned the Indonesian knife technique to mince meat for chicken satay. Finally, Jarrad, Senior Software Engineer, Melbourne, closed out the class with his meticulous cutting skills as he finely chopped vegetables for the sesame tofu salad. 

Cooking classes, Hotel Komune, Bali 2024

We ended the day enjoying our cooking class meals and a not-so-easy quiz night hosted by some of our Melbourne-based team, Jarrad, Senior Software Engineer, Clare, Customer Success Coach, and Alex, Flexibility Markets Lead. Team Bali Dogs took home the win and claimed a beautiful Balinese bracelet as their prize. 

On Thursday we all boarded a ferry and were whisked across a very choppy ocean to a nearby island where we embarked on a snorkelling adventure. The crystal blue waters presented us with tons of colourful fish, eels and even a turtle. We tried to take a group underwater photo, but as you can see below, it didn’t go well. (We’ll do better at next year’s retreat!) 

Attempt #1 Underwater Team Photo - Will try again next year!

The price is right 

We returned to Hotel Komune after lunch where we participated in our third and final facilitated session; this one focused on Gridcog’s pricing/package structure and to answer the question, how do we build a clean, easy-to-understand and attractive plan structure that supports our ambitions to decarbonise the energy system, and that works best for our customers. 

Again, we filled the room with sticky notes and red dots until we narrowed down the core themes. We brainstormed ways we could restructure our product plans to focus more on the project type or features needed, rather than on usage. It’s a complicated problem with no straightforward solution, but an afternoon of design thinking really helped the team collaborate on ways we can improve this in the future - we’ll keep you posted!

Our 2024 retreat came to an end with a farewell dinner on Thursday night where we unwound with travel stories, friendly debates and a couple of lychee martinis. Clearly not ready to call it a night, we hung around the table until the restaurant closed, at which point we migrated over to the pool. These are the moments that make retreats like these so important. At home we work hard and successfully navigate communicating across our time zones, but getting together to laugh and hangout outside of work is invaluable for creating the bold and resilient culture we strive for at Gridcog. Bring on Retreat 2025! 

Gridcog Retreat Team Photo - Bali 2024
Lindsay Le Grand
Brand & Content Associate
Gridcog
March 1, 2024
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