Tag Archives: corporate parties

The key to innovation – Team appraisals and collaboration

Corporate Venues Somerset

‘Cognitive intimacy’ leads to collaboration, according to Lyssa Adkins in ‘Coaching Agile Teams’.  Team communication is so in flow, it’s almost Vulcan mind meld quality.   There is trust, the willingness to be vulnerable and put forward stupid ideas, which can be built upon to become great ideas.  Risks are taken, feedback is given, people say it, how it is and mutual accommodation and respect is encouraged.

In his fabulous podcast ‘WorkLife’ Adam Grant talks about how the Newsnight team and Trevor Noah are so relaxed in the company of each other that they engender ‘burstiness’. When generating ideas for new jokes and story lines they laugh and accept seemingly stupid ideas, along with those which appear clever and inspiring.  They are willing to be vulnerable, knowing that sometimes it’s the silliest idea that inspires the best thoughts.

Achieving burstiness and cognitive intimacy: 

  • Are your team objectives driving the behaviours of collaboration, which are essential to innovation?
  • How do you encourage the sharing of ideas and learning within your team?

It’s important to ensure that individual objectives don’t sabotage team success.  For example, objectives which encourage an individual to ‘take something and make it your own with evidence of you driving results’, will encourage work grabbing, limelight hogging and credit taking, rather than giving away ideas which enable team improvement or acknowledging the skill of others so the best result can be delivered.

Reviewing and appraising performance together will enable open discussion and the sharing of ideas and challenges.  It will build trust and understanding and make sure that individual and team objectives are aligned.

Spending time away from the pressures of the everyday can give this way of working a tremendous boost.  A yearly team review and appraisal brings together and acknowledges the contribution and learning of everyone.   You can explore questions like these:

  • What value have we delivered this year?
  • How do we know we have made a difference?
  • Where could we have made more impact?
  • We know we have grown because?

Review the past years activities together as a team – milestones, challenges, failures, learning, achievements. This begins to build a shared understanding – a perspective where the sum of its parts come together, so everyone can see the bigger picture.

The opportunity to explore ‘do differently’s is opened up – identifying improvements and team objectives for the year ahead.  Affirming the growth of the team as a whole, encouraging support as everyone works toward the same aligned purpose.  Mis-alignments in objectives are highlighted, where if one person ‘wins’ this could be at the expense of another.

The Big House Co. have the ideal settings for a corporate away day where you can take time out for a team review and appraisal. With big comfortable spaces, plenty of equipment and spacious dining areas, The Big House will take care of the practicalities, so you can concentrate on spending time together.

Some reflective conversations may get intense (in a good way), so take some time to have fun together too – reinforcing trust and positive relationships to take back into the workplace. Every large house has onsite fun, ranging from games rooms, cinema rooms, to hot-tubs & pools, we can even put you in touch with excellent local chefs if you want a helping hand with some cooking!

Setting the boundaries around open and honest review is very important to productive conversations.  Lyn Bayley-Paxman has over 20 years experience of facilitation, working with corporate leaders and teams. Her mission is to help teams to work in an environment where they thrive not strive. If you have a specific objective for your corporate away day she will design a bespoke day with you, facilitate a specific meeting, or use her proven process for a ‘Team Pause’ day, where teams reflect and understand, before considering their future shared vision.

Here is her Linked-in profile or contact her on 07950 914328, lyn@evolveyou.co.uk .  Alternatively, get in touch with us at the Big House Co about your corporate away day and we’ll organise for Lyn to be part of your experience.

 

Reflection – Why slowing down will help you to go faster

Corporate venue Somerset

Organisational life often feels as though we are on an incessantly running hamster wheel.  Deliver to this months targets, get the reports out, have team meetings, react to a problem, fire fight and then – it all starts again.  You don’t have time to stop – right?

Well – not necessarily.  Because when we’re stuck in the constant ‘do,do,do’, it means we neglect our ability to reflect and review.  When we do this there’s a risk that we will just keep on doing what we’ve always done, which may eventually lead to poor results.

Reflection develops our understanding – of what’s working, what’s not and what we could do differently.  It builds our resources to innovate, create, collaborate and improve.

The actions we then take are more considered, focussed, specific – we speed up.  Less firefighting – more problem solving.

In a competitive world it’s essential that organisational teams are agile in the face of change.  This stems from their ability to learn.  Learning happens in both the doing and the understanding.  To understand, you must reflect. John Dewey (psychologist) said, “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”

Reflection isn’t just about understanding what went wrong and how you could do better, it’s about understanding what went well, so you can do more of what works.  It’s honestly and non-judgmentally examining our contributions.

When we’re contained within our work environment and the pressures it presents we’re not always in the right frame of mind to pause, step back and examine with an open mind.

The work environment demands (sometimes covertly) that we demonstrate our competence, our ability to be in control and deliver.  This is what is recognised and rewarded, however, this doesn’t facilitate openness.

The most effective reflection happens in a safe environment.  One where judgement and criticism are suspended and it’s possible to examine a situation openly and honestly.  James Zull (author, the Art of Changing the Brain) said, “Even if we experience something that has happened to us before, it is hard to make meaning of it unless it engages our emotions.”  He also points out that reflection is a search for connections and suggests that we have to seriously consider the role of emotion if we want to foster deep learning.

The Big House Co. have the ideal settings for a corporate away day where you step away from the hamster wheel and take a productive pause. With big comfortable spaces, plenty of equipment and spacious dining areas, The Big House will take care of the practicalities, so you can concentrate on spending time together.

Some reflective conversations may get intense (in a good way), so take some time to have fun together too – reinforcing trust and positive relationships to take back into the workplace. Every large house has onsite fun, ranging from games rooms, cinema rooms, to hot-tubs & pools, we can even put you in touch with excellent local chefs if you want a helping hand with some cooking!

Setting the boundaries around open and honest review is very important to productive conversations.  Lyn Bayley-Paxman has over 20 years experience of facilitation, working with corporate leaders and teams. Her mission is to help teams to work in an environment where they thrive not strive. If you have a specific objective for your corporate away day she will design a bespoke day with you, facilitate a specific meeting, or use her proven process for a ‘Team Pause’ day, where teams reflect and understand, before considering their future shared vision.

Here is her Linked-in profile or contact her on 07950 914328, lyn@evolveyou.co.uk .  Alternatively, get in touch with us at the Big House Co about your corporate away day and we’ll organise for Lyn to be part of your experience.

 

Corporate away days

Corporate parties

Come on team, we need to get out of the office!

 

If that’s the shout that’s going out where you work, you might like to read our ideas…..

Get away from the day to day

When you’re stuck in the everyday, hectic world of your job it’s very hard to get time with your team for anything other than routine meetings and normal workload. Corporate away days are a popular way of breaking out of the daily “noise” to focus on yourselves – be it for corporate parties, as a reward or celebration, or a structured event to manage change.

Creativity thrives

When you’re looking for corporate away day venues, optimising creativity can be very important in your choice. A retreat from the distractions of normal working life gives your team the opportunity to be imaginative in their thinking and problem solving skills, to build good working relationships and to appreciate each others talents.

You might want to consider hiring your own BIG house. These gorgeous properties are not hotels and give you the opportunity to focus inwards on your team and conduct your business in complete privacy for a night or so. They provide a creative atmosphere for working together – whether it’s your whole group working as one, or if you’re looking to break out into smaller teams.

Flexibility is key

While staying at your own corporate house rental you can have the best of both worlds. A relaxed environment that’s exclusively yours, but with the benefit of being able to have whatever you want, whenever you want it. A hotel type schedule can be an interruption to your flow, so bear this in mind when you deciding on your corporate away days.

At a BIG house you can also hire on a self catering basis. Everything about having a group staying together in a BIG house requires co-operation, so it can all be a team building exercise, if you want it to be, even making the tea!

Add some fun

We all know that all work and no play makes for an innovation dead-end. So during your corporate away days it’s a great idea to add in a fun element. This could be a team building game or an enjoyable activity arranged exclusively for your group.

Perhaps, something that no one has ever tried before and which will make the event unique and memorable – axe throwing, anyone?

Corporate events in Somerset

For corporate party venues in Somerset, we’d recommend Widcombe Grange, with its great scope for fun elements with the outdoor pool, hot tub, boating lake, games room and 17 acres.

Or, for totally luxurious corporate weekends away we have Tatham House, currently undergoing a high spec renovation, it will be a spacious and light filled 10 bedroom (all en-suite) property available from 1st June 2018. Facilities will include indoor pool, tennis court, cinema room and games room. Perfect for work and play.

Do get in touch for further information.