07.17.19
Corvus Team

“Birds of a Feather…” The 2019 Corvus Summit

This month the Corvus team flocked to our Boston headquarters from around the country for the inaugural Corvus Summit. 

Recapping the 2019 Corvus Summit

[PHOTOGRAPH] A group of corvids enjoying lunch and a story from co-founder Mike Lloyd (far right) in between workshop sessions

A group of corvids enjoying lunch and a story from co-founder Mike Lloyd (far right) in between workshop sessions

For a startup with a team distributed across the country, events like this are essential to ensuring that all members of the team have a chance to have shared experiences. It wasn’t so long ago that most Corvids were based in our headquarters in Boston — and “all hands” meetings were held weekly. With the significant expansion we’ve experienced this year, that’s sadly no longer feasible. The Summit is a way to make sure we don’t lose that close team-wide connection as we scale.

[PHOTOGRAPH] Vice President of Cyber Underwriting Brian Alva and Senior Product Manager Tora Olafsen discussing their own Corvus experiences
Vice President of Cyber Underwriting Brian Alva and Senior Product Manager Tora Olafsen discussing their own Corvus experiences

We also felt it was important to take time for exercises that we simply don’t have time for in the busy, day-to-day flow of building a business. Things like discussing how we define our company culture, taking a step back to consider (and celebrate) our accomplishments, and demonstrating the power of the mission behind the business. The Summit was a great opportunity to dig deep into these subjects and renew our shared commitment to Corvus values.

[PHOTOGRAPH] Assistant Underwriter Sara Kourkoulos and Chief Technology Officer Jaimie McElhiney

Assistant Underwriter Sara Kourkoulos and Chief Technology Officer Jaimie McElhiney

One major theme of the Summit was building a Corvus culture, based on trust. As Corvus continues to engage in a period of rapid growth, a major effort will be required from every team member, across every department. It’s critical for our team members to gain a level of familiarity and trust with one another, on a personal and professional level, and for each person to have confidence in our mutual commitment to growth. 

A second important theme was the changing roles that we will face in a fast-growth environment. For some of us, our roles will narrow. Others will grow from being a front-line contributor to a manager. Change will be the only constant.

[PHOTOGRAPH] Corvids collaborate for a group exercise

Corvids collaborate for a group exercise

Another outcome of growth will be engaging in cross-departmental teamwork that is rapidly iterative. Teams within the company may form quickly and be disbanded as we test new ways to get further traction with many possible markets. The Summit is a way to spread a shared sense of urgency so nobody feels that they are exerting more effort than their colleagues. We participated in activities that got the team thinking “big” about the future of the business.

[PHOTOGRAPH] CEO Phil Edmundson and his team present the different pieces of Corvus coming together

CEO Phil Edmundson and his team present the different pieces of Corvus coming together

It was also a time for some fun. The team loved showing off our new Allbirds shoes and hitting the town after each day’s workshop concluded. We got lots of positive comments from friends, family, and colleagues. We’re already looking forward to next year!

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