What, How, Who, Why?

What, how, who, why. Four questions that inform everything we do. What is it? How will we make it happen? Who is involved? And why are we doing it? When you consider these questions in any type of work, projects run smoother and people feel more connected to their work and their teams.

You may have noticed Iluma took an online break this past week. That’s because our crew gathered in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a team retreat! The goal of which was for our team to get aligned with one another personally and professionally. We spent valuable time together, and we also spent a lot of hours in the office asking those four questions. Take a look at how we structured our week-long retreat…

First we took a look at what ongoing projects were in progress and what is on the radar as our big audacious goals. We covered each project in detail. Scope of work, timelines, deliverables.  We really dug deep into the specific details of each project, making sure nothing went unnoticed. Goals for each project were discussed as well so we were all on the same page with what we wanted the final product to look like.

In terms of how, we discussed how Iluma Learning would operate moving forward. Iluma has a lot of exciting projects on the horizon! For that reason we decided we needed to update the way we work and how our company is organized. We had a discussion about what programs we were using and whether or not they served our needs.  We cleaned up our systems and made some big changes in project management software.  We took some time to really get organized, ask a lot of questions, and walk through all our processes so we were sure everyone was clear on how approvals happened and how communication should flow. In the end it turned out that our team needed to make a few big changes in order to accommodate our growing business! 

Considering who is in charge of what might seem like a no brainer, but it’s still an important step in the alignment process. It doesn’t have to be anything major.  Think of it as a team check-in. What is everyone’s role in the company? Has this changed? Maybe tasks have shifted or certain people have taken on more responsibilities. During our retreat we covered our roles at Iluma at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week so we could make any adjustments we noticed over the course of our time together.

The final question is arguably the most important because it deals with the passion behind the work. We believe that our jobs are bigger than just something we get paid for. Reminding your team why you do what you do can help them feel a sense of purpose and joy in their work. In the way that what, how, and who align your team logistically, why aligns your team ideologically to the bigger picture. For Iluma, we aim to make a difference with our customers and with each other. 

Now that you’ve read about how Iluma used these questions to move our business forward, think about how you can use them to keep your team moving in the right direction! Maybe a retreat of your own.

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