The Retro

New Relic’s offices in Portland are much like those of other high tech firms. They are sleek and beautiful. For the Dayton teachers coming from a small rural community, the offices were a different world.

But as the teachers and the managers came into the main conference room – one that overlooks the entire city – it felt like a homecoming. Something had happened over these past six weeks. Their worlds had become one. It felt like a family gathering.

During the retro, stories were told. Stories of deep learning. Stories of creative problem-solving. Stories of real friendship.

In six weeks?

Ward and I were in the room, listening to the team. We recognized that something powerful had happened, but we were not sure exactly what it was. It felt like the retro was just scratching the surface of a more profound experience.

At the reception after the retro, Ward suggested that the two of us go deeper into this experience. So we started asking the teachers and the managers if they would be willing to do follow-up interviews with us. They agreed.

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