No matter the industry, team building activities are some of the best ways to foster a great company culture. Here at Brandlective, we have an annual team day which involves us getting out of the office and participating in some activities to strengthen our internal relationships.
With only 15% of the worlds one billion workers feeling engaged at work, it’s safe to say that we think investing in team building activities is important. This year we booked a day of survival skills with Really Wild Business.
We met at 7.30am at the office in London Bridge for a quick breakfast before taking the train out to East Grinstead. We headed for Sheffield Park where we met survival expert, Steven Shove. He believes "Nowhere is more competitive than the wild, except perhaps for the world of business!” and has built a methodology to help businesses apply survival skills to business management, sales, and marketing.
We arrived on our private site in the woods and had a moment to enjoy hot tea and coffee around our campfire before we were given our 'animal names' and official tribe markings (on our foreheads). Now we were ready to being our survival skills training.
The activities throughout the day were eye-opening. Learning to build shelter, use ancient weapons, start fires (even in the rain), and how to stalk prey were fantastic team building activities.
OUR TEAM HIGHLIGHT THEIR KEY LESSONS FROM THE DAY:
STACEY - We stood in pairs at one end of an open field. One person wore a blindfold and was instructed to walk in a straight line to the end of the field. Our partner was not allowed to give us instruction, only to say the word ‘stop’ if our blindfolded partner was going to bump into something. Not one of us managed to walk in a straight line - it was incredible. “I swear, I walked straight ahead.” The activity showed us how easy it is to get lost in the wild when you have poor visibility (perhaps because of fog or darkness). I also learned that even though we may have a clear direction of where we want to end up in business, it is easy to go in circles, if you do not have the right support or resources around us.
ALEX - We participated in an activity where we had to spot foreign objects in the forest. We had just 1min 30sec to try an spot as many things as possible. Most of us saw bits of tinfoil hidden in trees, little toy bugs placed inside tree logs and plastic bags on the forest floor. However, every single one of us missed the high-visibility jacket and bright pink hat. It was mind-blowing - how did we miss them? The takeaway from this exercise is sometimes when we are so focused on the small details we miss the things that are really obvious. We need to take the business that is right in front of us, rather than spending so much time seeking out the business opportunities that are hard to find.
LUCY - Steve showed us lots of examples of plants that can be used as food or medicine. He asked us ‘If lost in the wild, when should collecting food become your priority?’ The correct answer is, whenever you spot it. Take the ‘quick-wins’ when you can. In the wild, it can be the difference between life and death. The same applies in marketing. We need to look at ways to capitalise on opportunities that present themselves even if it is not the most convenient time as it could be the difference between a campaign going viral or a complete flop.
BRIONY - We built shelters out in the woods using just 3x items: A tarpaulin, a few tent pegs, and a rope. We were forced to be creative to ensure our shelter would protect us from the rain and wind. By using trees, logs and leaves we were able to create a structure that would shelter us from the elements. I like this activity because it proves that even with limited resources it is possible to create something that could keep us alive if ever lost in the wild. Sometimes our clients don’t have huge marketing budgets so a lesson I learned from this activity was that when presented with a challenging objective with a limited pool of resources we can think outside the box and use free tools to help support new marketing campaigns.
ZENYA - I learned how important it is to ‘be engaged’ in every activity. By that I mean, being present and giving the thing you are working on your full attention. Steve taught us a technique for throwing sticks to hit a target. At first, I left one of my hands in my pocket and just threw the stick without focusing. I missed the target. He encouraged me to engage and use the technique we had learned - this was a good wakeup call and a reminder of how important it is to participate in everything we do wholeheartedly - this will help us to achieve success.
RACHEL - I thought the whole day was brilliant. My key takeaway from the event is that when we tackle challenging circumstances with a positive mindset, really incredible things can be achieved. As a team, we pushed outside our comfort zones and tried new things. Our core values are: Be Bold, Ooze Credibility, Empower Others, Cultivate Adventure and Licence Success. I’m proud of how the whole team lived these values throughout the day.
VICKY - I loved learning how to make fire. It's something I've never done before. Did you know there are 7 different ways to do do? I also enjoyed discovering that everything we need to succeed can be found around us. Even in the most challenging times, by reviewing the resources, we have access to we can find a way to succeed. The answer may not be apparent at first, but by using some creativity, we can find a way to achieve anything.
Knowing that if we can survive and thrive in the wild, we can do the same in business is empowering. The culture at Brandlective is fun, competitive and ambitious. We've worked very hard over the last few years to find the right balance. Like many businesses, we have experienced challenges over the years, but it is days like this which help us to connect and to discuss openly how we can continue to support our clients, empower each other to get the best results and help the company to grow.
"Our team day was a huge success. Feedback from the hosts has been really positive; they were impressed at how well the team worked together. There is a lot of friendly banter within the team, but it was great to dig a bit deeper and give everyone an opportunity to show each other how much they care and respect one another " said Stacey Kehoe.
A day out of the office to learn, be creative and bond will have a positive impact on our business. We hope our clients see the benefits as we apply some of these lessons in the coming weeks.
As a team bonding exercise, this is one of the best we have done. Here’s to achieving all of our goals in 2018!
Learn More about Really Wild Business: http://www.reallywildbusiness.com