Noom’s First Annual Leadership Summit (May 13-17, 2019)

by | May 21, 2019

Author: Nicholas Gregory, MA, CSCS

The 2019 Noom Leadership Summit was a dream made reality. It symbolized a culmination of hard work, a commitment to innovation, and an unwavering vision to change lives. For the coach leadership team at Noom, the week-long summit hosted in New York city was perspective shifting, empowering, and even life-changing.

Why?

Because just 5 years ago, the Noom coach leadership team didn’t exist. In fact, Noom was just gearing up to hire its very first coach. Noom has experienced unprecedented growth, and because of this, has grown its coaching team to over 1,000 remote employees.

The dynamic of remote work is just that: dynamic. It is ever-changing as processes develop, improve, and maximize our learning.

As leaders in a fast-paced remote world, we constantly seek to find the best way to empower, support, and equip our coaches with the skills necessary to help create healthier lives through behavior change. The 2019 Noom Leadership Summit looked to develop and strengthen our leadership skills as impactful and empathic leaders who trust those we manage, as well as those we manage with. This event brought together not only coach and project managers from across the country, but from around the world.

Upon landing in the Financial District of New York City, we were eager to kick off a jam-packed week filled with keynote speakers, skill development activities, and socials to allow us to connect and grow closer to our remote colleagues.

Day 1: Virtual turns IRL, knowledge becomes power, and inspiration all around

The beginning of the week was a chance for many to meet for the first time. Seeing a colleague in-person that you have worked with virtually for over a year is surreal. Their face evokes an instant comfortability, similar to seeing a long-lost childhood friend.

As nervous introductions transitioned into friendship and excitement, Tuesday was highlighted with talks from Noom’s Chief of Psychology, Dr. Andreas Michaelides, Clinical and Performance Psychologist Dr.Jonathan Fader, and Noom’s President Artem Petakov. Topics covered the history of Noom, creating positive team dynamics, and thinking from first principles. (inside scoop: there may have also been a rap battle and some #bidirectionalfondness involved).

The day ended with a powerful talk from our fearless leader and CEO, Saeju Jeong. His passion and commitment to leaving the world better than he found it gave us a renewed sense of purpose in our work.

Day 2: Psychology, insights, and collaboration, oh my!

As in-person connections continued to grow, Wednesday kicked off with a presentation on clinical practice and motivational interviewing techniques with Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Joanne Taylor. Many of us learned new strategies to help affirm our coaches and left the session with a new “spirit” for the way that we manage our teams.

The day continued with talks from Noom’s VP of Product- Raj Krishnan and Noom’s Director of Growth- Nihkil Jhunjhunwala. Where we were given an inside look into how we move ideas into products at Noom, and how we have been able to impact so many lives so quickly.

With the techniques learned, we finished the day by identifying and solving problems common to our coaching team, in collaboration with members of the growth, product, and engineering teams! This cross team session allowed us to explore and discuss ways to optimize coach efficiency on our platform.

Day 3 and beyond: Facing fears and breaking boundaries

As we tried to ignore the thoughts that this amazing week was soon coming to an end, Thursday gave us one final day to work with Andreas on having difficult conversations in the remote world, as well as how we can recognize and deal with fear in both ourselves and our teams (inside scoop: there is such a thing as fear of styrofoam, and Laura F conquered it!).

The week culminated with a visit to Noom headquarters, where we presented our solutions to optimize and fix a common coach problem. The creativity, thoroughness, and realism of the projects were motivating, and showed the ability of our coach leaders to clearly identify goals, do the math, and prioritize projects.

Is it next year, yet?!

Thinking about the week, I can’t help but remember that at Noom, we are good people. Good people who care about their work and want to change the world. We realize that the best things in life are not going to be easy but that they are made easier when done with those who share the same passion, vision, and commitment to excellence.

The investment that Noom has made in its leaders leaves us thankful and excited to continue learning and working hard to help people everywhere lead healthier lives through behavior change.

Although we’ve experienced tremendous growth, we believe this is just the beginning. We will continue to perfect our service, learn quickly, and always ask why.

We’ll build this legacy together and continue to be good people along the way. So, from all of your Noom leaders, as Saeju would say: #motherfathercheers!

Let’s keep changing the world together!