The Professional Takeaways from San Francisco

By Team 2016 Member

During my experiential learning adventure in San Francisco, I learned such a variety of important business-related ideas. I tried to absorb everything I could from the business professionals I met with and the speakers I listened to.

One of the most important concepts I learned was from Mamie Stewart, who spoke about the importance of companies realizing the link between company culture and meetings. Mamie said, “meetings are where decisions are made, insights and ideas shared, and relationships build.” I thought this was an extremely powerful statement and a concept that laid out the foundation of the importance of meetings. Mamie also explained the importance of why businesses should set desired outcomes for every meeting, use norms to establish expected behavior, and take notes and share them to build a knowledge bank for yourself and colleagues.

Along with Mamie, I also benefited from Jason Fried’s keynote speech. Jason Fried’s philosophy is to think of an entire company as the best product possible to make, instead of only considering the actual product. When companies do this, Fried explained, a better foundation and understanding for the company’s mission, values, and goals can be made clear for both employees and customers. Jason Fried also highlighted the importance of eliminating workplace distractions. His company policy adopted the method of posting important notices on a private online forum for the employees to analyze and do at their earliest convenience, instead of interrupting their work. Fried’s company also eliminates noise in the workplace. He has adopted what he refers to as “library rules,” where everyone works in a quiet, comfortable environment, which he believes boosts overall employee work ethic and efficiency.

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