Our client wanted a corporate event that combined a serious review of their organisational culture, along with a chance for all 180 employees to take part in some fun and games which were reflective of the venue that had been chosen, the Great Hall at Eltham Palace.
The business part of the day was an interactive session that gave the opportunity for employees to input in to a review of the current organisational culture and help shape it for the future. People worked in their table groups to discuss different aspects of culture, based on a respected model, The Cultural Web. To capture all of their thoughts for future use, we each table had an interactive iPad that allowed them to input their thoughts in a variety of formats. This also allowed them to input on to a ‘Twitter-like’ display along with a quick way to submit questions to a panel. This proved a fantastic tool that really helped engage everyone in the process. Best of all, every comment and thought was captured so that it could be worked on further back in the workplace.
Over an extended lunch the group went out in to the stunning grounds of Eltham Palace to find that it had become a Medieval Fayre complete with wandering minstrels, fire-eaters and jugglers. They were able to take part in a range of activities including jousting (on wooden horses!), firing a trebuchet, archery and falconry. This made a great way to relax after all the brain-work in the morning and certainly made for a truly memorable day.
The whole day was captured by our talented graphic facilitator, Paul Richardson.
Our challenge for this team of 17 people was to provide an opportunity for them to learn a bit more about how they work together, understand the blend of behavioural styles in the group and use this knowledge to enhance their effectiveness back at work. The day needed to be a mix of theory and fun, with clear links between the two elements.
It was decided to use a DiSC ® Workplace Profile as a way to achieve the first part of the brief. DiSC ® provides a detailed examination of behavioural styles including what motivates, what causes stress and most importantly for this group, how each style can work most effectively together. No one style is better than any other and the session reinforced how, with a bit of flexibility, all styles can work effectively together. (More information about DiSC ® is available here)
Following a great lunch and some time to explore the venue for this event – Mercedes Benz World – the group were given a challenge. They had to create their very own ‘Rube Goldberg’ machine using a pile of everyday items to propel a toy car across the winning line! If you’re not sure what one of these is, take a look at this fantastic video and all will become clear!
After planning, reviewing and building, the time came to run the machine. There had been no full run through and the tension was high. Will it work? Have we worked together closely enough to make it seamless? The answer was a resounding ‘YES!”. The machine ran flawlessly followed by more noise and cheering inside that could easily have drowned out the noise of the cars on the racing track outside. The group were genuinely delighted that their efforts had paid off – and more importantly how well they had worked together to find a truly creative and entertaining solution to a problem that never was!
“A lot of time and thought went into The Machine event and this really helped to cement the discussions earlier in the day. I have participated in these type of activities before but never had so much fun.”
“The machine activity worked really well and made us work well together as a team. This was particularly beneficial to me as a new member of the team, to get to know my colleagues a bit more.”
Our client wanted a way to engage their employees in the company strategy, departmental goals and objectives for the coming year …. and at the same time have loads of fun! Strategy and fun … not often two words that sit easily together!
We managed to solve this with a highly creative solution that was based on a movie award ceremony … but first, the teams had to make the movies. They were split into groups and sent off with cameras and sound equipment around the streets of Brighton to film short movies about how their department was going to fulfil its goals in the coming year. The catch was that each movie had to be filmed in a different genre – Carry On, James Bond, Period Drama, Horror etc.
On return, the movies were played out and awards presented for various categories. The end results were incredibly creative and certainly helped to share goals and increase understanding of the contribution that each individual department makes.
Our attention to detail and creative solution resulted in a truly memorable day – from the red carpet arrival (with TV cameras and live interviews) through to the credits at the end.
The movies themselves became not just a legacy of the day but a record of the commitments made by each department.
“We have had so many people coming down this morning to tell us it was the best Away Day ever and I personally thought it was as well. Everyone had a marvellous time and the atmosphere today at work is so improved – it’s all everyone is talking about – it has really done our office and culture the world of good at a busy time of year.
I just wanted to say thank you so very much – I know you don’t get to see the impact of your work but I can assure you, we feel it so positively here after these events and it really is appreciated.”
Director of HR
“Wow, what a fantastic day! I think it is probably the best all employee Awayday I have ever been on. Thank you so much for all your hard work and efforts in making it such a success. From start to finish it was a great day and everyone I have spoken to really enjoyed it. I think people felt the balance between business message and fun was spot on and the filming was brilliant.”
Director of Communications
Docklands Activity Day
Our brief for this particular annual employee conference was ….. “ISO9001:2008 – make it fun!”
Having successful achieved ISO status, the client now wanted to ensure that everyone remained focus on delivering, and behaving in ways, that fully supports the ISO accreditation and their Quality Management Standards. Historically , the guardians of this had been one particular department and it was imperative that everyone in the organisation understood the role they played in not only working within the structured processes but also challenging them and improving them.
‘Fun’ and ‘ISO’ are not usually found in the same sentence. The client wanted employees to come away from the conference aware of their responsibilities but also having had an opportunity to work together and taken part in an enjoyable day.
We designed a unique day which was built around the key principles of ISO. It was held at Chatham Historic Dockyards and this
fantastic site enabled us to produce a memorable event. It was loosely based on a treasure hunt style but included a series of elective activities that individuals and small groups could take part in. Each activity had a message that related to ISO.
- a semaphore activity brought out messages about clear communication
- thought provoking activity to achieve a task in a faster and faster time was linked to the need for continuous improvement
- clambering through the hatches of submarine HMS Ocelot to find clues demonstrated the need for everyone to understand their role and how it fits in to the bigger picture
- making rope in the historic Ropery brought out the clear need for documenting processes
- a large scale ‘Battleships’ game taught the need for feedback
- At the beginning of the day people worked as individuals, however they quickly needed to join with others if they were to achieve their ultimate aim. By lunch time they working in teams of 12 and by the very end of the day the whole group of 140 people worked together to solve a human anagram.
- A great lunch and an employee awards presentation were also part of this engaging day.
“Many thanks for your work over the last few months, designing the fun and games around improving the understanding of ISO. I think we managed to get them thinking about ISO and they should all understand the role it plays here.
I think you know my pain, it is almost as easy as making taxation sound fun.”
Head of Business Process Improvement