Away day case study: Preparing an expanding team for new challenges
Team: Business Analysis Team, University of Roehampton
Location: University of Roehampton Campus
A moment from the day: The anticipated rain has held off. We are outside on the lawn of historic Froebel College after an uplifting wander visiting the blossom heavy trees, swan family and lake of the campus. The team is lining up in a semi-circle according to a number of different categories such as length of service and personality types. The team members are moving and able to view who is similar and next to them in each category, as well as who is far away, alongside a changing overview of the full team. It is a physical and eye opening means to tell the story of the team, briefly charting the history of the team and its recent expansion. The line-ups reveal the diversity of backgrounds, styles of working and how the team interacts. This activity provides deeper team understanding and serves as a foundation for discussions eventually feeding into the actions agreed at the end of the day.
Before the day: Walking and sitting coaching style conversations were carried out with senior members of the team in order to clarify and
focus the aims and outcomes for the day.
On the day:
Walking and line-ups: The day opened with a series of walking talks. A moving conversation has a different quality and creates an atmosphere of positivity, openness and trust. The team gained fresh air, new perspectives and felt prepared for the work of the day. A line-up activity outside enabled the team to raise awareness of their characteristics.
Strengths: The walking activity was used to capture team strengths. Consequently, the team were able to further explore and discuss who they are, how they operate, how they interact with the wider institution and how to capitalise on their strengths.
Scenario activity: A real world scenario was used for an activity in groups. The team completed actual work and developed an effective way of working while gaining practical feedback, input and ideas from each other.
Planning: Drawing on the activities, conversations and discoveries of the day, the team worked collaboratively to agree and identify a series of actions to take forward.
After the day: The team felt connected and prepared. They benefited from working together, sharing different perspectives, discovering more about their team and leaving with a comprehensive set of actions.
What the client said: “As a close knit unit who share a small open plan office, the team were very sceptical about the benefits that could be gained from a team-building away day. However Anise was able to construct an effective agenda for the day that ensured we could gain a more focused perspective on our aims and objectives. Anise has a very calm and professional demeanour that brought out the best from each team member and everyone finished the day feeling more positive and that “we really got to know each other better”. A month on from the away day, the team is still in a positive place and is driving forward on completing many of the agreed actions of the day. What’s more everyone agreed it was a fun day too, and are looking forward to the next one.”
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