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How to Build a Dream Team in a Weekend

Kivu’s first-ever all-company retreat overcame the logistical challenge of bringing in over 120 employees from around the world to become a roaring success story. Over three days and across two locations, staff met and bonded with colleagues from the US, Canada, and UK – sometimes meeting co-workers they speak to daily for the very first time in person.


Canceled flights, lost passports and the usual confusion of group travel could not stand in the way of a memorable weekend. From threat intel and social media training sessions to in-depth reviews of Kivu’s financial performance and new service lines, no topic was off-limits, with the agenda emphasizing transparency and pride. Transparency, because we want all staff to be committed to our journey and join us for the ride – and understanding that journey is a crucial first step. Pride, because Kivu would not exist without the extraordinary work its employees deliver every single day – and we want the whole team to be as proud of their work as we are of them.


It wasn’t all learning and work, however. For one, the retreat took place at the exceptional Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA. With surroundings as lavish and cozy as that, everyone was sure to enjoy the downtime in between sessions. Additionally, a program of both structured team-building activities, courtesy of Empower Adventures, and leisure time ensured that the whole team had plenty of options for diversion and entertainment. Have a look at the video and gallery below for the highlights and a few snapshots from the weekend.


The retreat was also the perfect occasion to celebrate the first installment of our Kivu Pride Awards. With nine accolades, including special honors for innovation, customer experience, and kindness, the awards ceremony recognized outstanding achievements across all aspects of the business. Winners and runner-up nominees all demonstrated the values that we as a company work to uphold every day – so well done and congratulations once more to everyone.


Ultimately, what did we as a company and individual team members learn? Where to begin.


  1. Everyone has a hidden talent– and dancing seems to be one of them. From gifted problem-solvers to skilled structural (balloon) engineers and effective communicators, our team is made up of talented individuals with multi-faceted skill sets. It was great seeing those hidden talents shine through.

  2. Teamwork really does make the dream work. Whether it was team challenges successfully completed in record time or recognizing the stellar work our various specialists deliver Kivu ‘works’ because of the powerful collaboration between team members.

  3. Comprehension generates commitment. Working towards a shared goal requires everyone to know what that goal is and understand why it matters, as well as how we plan to get there. Senior staff members presented on their functions and goals for 2020, creating a shared understanding of where we are and where we are going.


We are thrilled to start 2020 with such energy and look forward to the next retreat. Thank you to all who joined and made this event such a success.



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