Outside Angle’s 2021 Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is drawing to a close after a busy and exciting year that included ramping up to warp speed with the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, closing out our engagement with our very first client (ASCD), and navigating expansive engagements with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, HCM Strategists, AdventHealth, and Downtown Boxing Gym. We did a few smaller projects with Frontline Education, Learner-Centered Collaborative f/k/a Altitude Learning f/k/a AltSchool (incredible, exciting evolution!), Black Women for Better Education—and we completed a steady full-year team alignment and performance cycle with Zoobean.

These engagements stretched and challenged us, helped us learn what we need as a company when it comes to experience and capabilities, and pushed us to grow as leaders at a pace that we rarely experienced before. In short, it was a whirlwind year that taught us an incredible amount about work and life and building a real team.

We are so grateful for the contributions of some of our departed colleagues, including Olamide Alli-Odai, who is now at LinkedIn full time, Yiting Hui, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon who helped us with small research projects, Aminata Sow, who helped with a variety of client needs, and Chris Sweeney, who helped make an impossible summer camp into a huge success.

We also grew our full-time team, clarified our Senior Advisor roles, and began to build out staffing for our biggest engagements. That effort continues, and we’re grateful to our amazing full-time team for being willing to roll with whatever we need. We could not do any of this without you.

In what feels a lot like “coming home” to our core identity as an organization, we also got clearer about our practice areas and began to pitch work that really aligned with our story. We were even able to decline work that was clearly misaligned with what we really want to do. We are so excited about where our practice areas will lead and we’re looking forward to taking on more engagements in each domain.

We also launched our blog in 2021 and, with great gratitude to Meredith Bortz, we published a bunch of fantastic content that helped us earn the attention of new clients and partners—and stay in the practice of telling our story even as we were in the grind of client work.

Finally, we collectively navigated the variety of pandemic-related challenges that arose along the way, and recognized the importance of caring for ourselves and each other. We clarified and codified our values accordingly, and of that we are very proud. Here are our values:

  • Humility over expertise (it is better to grow than to know)

  • Possibility over pessimism (it is better to see beginnings than barriers)

  • Progress over planning (it is better to get things done than to talk about getting things done)

  • Integrity over profit (it is better to be true to what we believe than to prioritize money)

  • Love over everything (it is better to lead with love and let it prevail over fear, hate, and other negative forces present within and between us)

We hope these continue to resonate and encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on how these values are playing out for each of you.

We are excited for the adventure that 2022 will bring, and can’t wait to take it on with our growing team and “extended family” of partners and collaborators.

Love over Everything,

Sarah & Sam