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Celebrating "One Team," in one place: LeanTaaS’ Company Kickoff 2024

In August 2023, Makala Muhammed joined the “flexibility-first” LeanTaaS, where over half the employees work remotely, as an iQueue for Operating Rooms Product Implementation Specialist. In January 2024, she traveled to the company’s headquarters in Santa Clara to meet her colleagues in person for the first time. 

“The experience as a whole was breathtaking,” Muhammed says.

After a year of recordbreaking growth and milestones, LeanTaaS kicked off 2024 with another unprecedented achievement: gathering the entire company in one location for the first time since the onset of COVID-19.

LeanTaaS employees celebrate a banner year at the Company Kickoff 2024

This Company Kickoff (CKO) event centered LeanTaaS’ mission of helping health systems transform operations and care delivery through its AI and predictive analytics solutions – iQueue for Operating Rooms, iQueue for Infusion Centers, and iQueue for Inpatient Flow, which empower leaders and staff to do more with less.

At LeanTaaS CKO, over 300 team members from Client Services, Data Science, Design, Engineering, Marketing, Operations, Product, and Sales gathered together in Santa Clara to share ideas, plan for the year ahead, recognize their accomplishments, and be inspired for the future. 

Throughout the event, LeanTaaS employees had opportunities to socialize and celebrate with one another. They also met with their own teams, in larger groups, and company-wide to discuss upcoming goals and plans. 

“That was definitely a defining moment for me,” Muhammed recalls of a session by LeanTaaS leaders Sanjeev Agrawal (COO) and Ashley Walsh (Senior Vice President, Client Services iQueue for Operating Rooms) on the future of the iQueue product suite and the company’s evolution. “It was a testament to the company’s longevity. LeanTaaS has come so far in the 13 years that it’s been around in some form, and there’s so much more room to grow and so many more things to accomplish in the next coming year. That really rallied me up.”

LeanTaaS gathers in one place for a meal

CKO provided in-person connections 

As part of a flexibility-first company, LeanTaaS team members enjoy the freedom to live and work in a wide variety of locations throughout the US. They also make their own schedules. Apart from a period each workday when time zones align for reasonable meeting hours, employees are free to build their days to optimize their own productivity. This flexibility also means LeanTaaS can seek the best talent from across the country. 

Although team members are physically scattered across states, LeanTaaS is dedicated to acting as “One Team.” The opportunity to connect with colleagues face-to-face is invaluable. CKO 2024 provided this, in the form of team building exercises, working meetings, and team dinners.  

“My team and I really don’t see each other in person, other than the company get-together,” says Michael McLarnon, an Engineering Manager on iQueue for Inpatient Flow. At CKO, “getting to socialize within the team is inspirational, a reminder of how we’re all working to take our team and product in the right direction.” 

Members of the iQueue for Infusion Centers R&D team – Engineers, Data Scientists and Product Managers – build something tangible together

Aligning LeanTaaS’ functions as one team, with one mission 

CKO also offered a chance for LeanTaaS employees to foster connections with people in other product or functional areas they may otherwise not have encountered. Outside of official sessions, informal conversations among teams united CKO attendees on LeanTaaS’ mission of deploying AI to improve efficiency in hospitals and ambulatory settings throughout the US. 

Members of the Sales and Marketing teams step out for a coffee break

Glen A. Guenther, a Product Manager on iQueue for Inpatient Flow, found these opportunities particularly valuable. “The more we delve into discussions together about our company goals and the ‘why’ behind them, the more seamlessly we can realize those goals as part of our everyday work,” remarked Guenther. “Having both the structured session discussions and the informal chats during breaks proved invaluable to gain alignment on why we do what we do.”

The Engineering team gathers for a breakout session
In the office, a LeanTaaS team member leaves input on their colleagues’ strategy meeting

McLarnon was also inspired by connecting with engineering teams outside his own product. “Some of my favorite parts were having bigger conversations about what we were doing, and sharing information…Even if we’re not building the same exact product, we can find alignment and direction together.”

The iQueue for Operating Rooms Outbound team shares their love

LeanTaaS employees celebrate success at CKO

CKO included multiple events for relaxation and celebration. Individual teams enjoyed offsite dinners, game nights, and other activities. One evening, the entire company gathered for a banquet with LeanTaaS trivia and raffle prizes. 

LeanTaaS team members collaborate on the dance floor

Dancing followed, with an emphasis on classic choreographed songs that brought team members to the floor together. “It was really cool to see everyone let loose and just enjoy and be themselves,” Muhammed says.  

Cross-product leadership lets loose together

After the company-sponsored party, a group departed for karaoke in town. McLarnon was disappointed he was unable to join this group, which included many of his engineering team members. Guenther, meanwhile, found this “late night, or maybe early morning karaoke session” just as valuable as the onsite meetings. This in-person time deepened his bond with the engineers and other cross-team colleagues he collaborates with remotely day-to-day.

Output from Makala Muhammed’s team session at the banquet photo booth

Senior Software Engineers Casey Holzer (background) and Tim Birkmire (foreground) perform late night karaoke 

“I personally thrive in high trust environments,” Guenther says. “Having that time onsite together is a chance to build relationships and trust. When you trust your team, you feel more comfortable sharing novel ideas and perspectives, which can lead to innovation.” 

Following CKO, the entire LeanTaaS team looks forward to further innovation, and driving more positive healthcare outcomes in the year ahead. 

“The idea behind the event, allowing us to connect closer, is great,” Muhammed says. “Every day I learned something I was able to apply to my job and the way that I think about my role. I’ve been really grateful to learn so much in such a short time.”

Learn more about LeanTaaS, our solutions, and our mission to optimize hospital operations through AI and improve access to care for all.

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