A few of the team are avid travelers and they chose Morocco as the destination. We wanted to go somewhere different and get a sense of culture on our travels. And nothing seemed more different to the rainy west of Ireland than a sunny city in the North of Africa! It was important to remove the whole team from their day to day roles to discuss a plan for the company for the coming years. Innovation and forward thinking has always been central to Ex Ordo as a company and this seemed the best way to prioritise this.
We landed in Marrakesh after a three hour and forty five minute flight from Dublin. Thankfully, we were greeted by our driver at the airport who brought us as far as the old city walls - we arrived late in the evening so it was a bit of a shock to the system to have to walk through the madness of the medina to get to our riad! A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. We were not disappointed when we arrived, the girls had done an amazing job of finding such a beautiful place to stay - the photos speak for themselves!
Down to Business
It didn't take the team long to settle in to Moroccan life! But we were here to work, so we laid out a timetable and started work the next morning. We ran sessions in the morning and evening where we discussed different topics related to the company. We debated our company culture in the morning and then outlined our product road map in the evening. The aim here was to go back home with a new future plan for the company and a more efficient way of running things day to day, with input from all teams on these ideas.
Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakesh comprises an old fortified city packed with vendors and their stalls (the medina) and is bordered by modern neighborhoods. It is one of the busiest cities in Africa and this is clearly evident strolling through the medina.
It wasn't all business however. In the evenings we would play games and have a few drinks to wind down after a hard day of sessions. We ate out every day and got to sample some lovely tagines, b'stilla, kebabs and delicious skewers from the street stalls and restaurants.
It was a tough few days - some say the hardest in Ex Ordo memory! It was mentally very draining as we thrashed through all of our current ways of implementation and what could be done better. Challenging perceptions and thinking outside the box made for some interesting discussions! But we left Marrakesh with a new frame of mind and some fresh ideas for the future of Ex Ordo!