How do you spark creative problem solving in your team? Try an offsite meeting!
Offsite meetings are a great way to establish your business goals and encourage team building with individuals at every level within your organization – but they can also require a lot of resources and planning!
With that in mind, it is important to plan offsite meetings within a creative space that will help support and enhance your business goals, what you are trying to achieve as a team and your long term vision.
Here at the Gladstone we’ve hosted countless offsite meetings from innovative companies–from Shopify, UberFlipp and Red Wing Shoes to Ikea, Pepsi and Neal Brothers. Take a peek at our meeting spaces here. Our management staff has also taken our meetings offsite to locations such as Hamilton’s Cotton Factory and the Toronto Island.
Here are 3 effective ideas we took from Eagles Flight to improve our own offsite meetings! We hope they spark some inspiration for you too!
1. Turn a Brainstorm into an “Actionstorm”
How many times have you sat in a company offsite session that was designed to capture new ideas? Brainstorming can be engaging, but when it doesn’t result in action, participants are left feeling like they didn’t accomplish much. Reframe your brainstorm as an “actionstorm” so that individuals know their participation will yield tangible results.
For example, if you are trying to come up with ideas for a new product or service, start with a brainstorm and then take it a step further by narrowing the options and assigning each one to a specific individual or team to continue researching and developing the idea. Set clear expectations and a timeline for presenting the results and a plan for future development. The organization benefits from the collaborative process at the company offsite and the long-term action items that support the business goals.
2. Take Team-Building to the Next Level
Almost every company offsite is guaranteed to have a team-building exercise. While these can be valuable, the results are often short-lived. If you are considering team-building exercises, look for activities that you can transfer back to the workplace. Trust falls and rope courses are fun physical activities that will create better bonds between individuals, but do they really help you achieve your organizational goals?
A better option would be an experiential learning session designed to instil conviction in improving teamwork, through a powerful experience that links the materials presented to the participants’ real world, and outlines how to apply the learning to their on-the-job reality.
3. Get Serious About Games
Gamification is a great way to teach new skills, but games that don’t support business goals are not a good use of resources at a company offsite. Save these types of fun distractions for the summer company party. Turning a teaching moment into a game is limited only by your creativity, or you can work with a company that has already done the work for you. For example, you can use a program like Lord Devon’s Demise, a murder-mystery themed experience that teaches individuals how to effectively manage meetings. This type of experiential learning event is more effective than a dry presentation that doesn’t sink in, and it supports business goals in a way that horseshoes and Capture the Flag never could.
What company offsite meeting ideas are you considering for your next corporate gathering? Do they support your business goals?