Stepping Outside The Walls

Whenever our family goes on vacation, something magical happens.

That said, almost every trip starts with groans of not being able to hang out with friends, having too much work to take time off, some bickering while we pack the car or head to the airport (I’m usually the culprit on that one), and God forbid we go somewhere with no cell service! Despite the challenges, I always insist we push through it because I know that once we’re in a new city or set up at camp underneath the trees, the magic begins.

The same type of objections happen at work the when the boss announces the company retreat, “Ughhh, team building?”, “I don’t have time”, “I hate making small talk with people from work”, but I know for a fact that a professionally curated and facilitated outdoor retreat experience sparks just as much magic for corporate teams as it does for families.

Earlier this summer, Spark4 headed up to Stanley, Idaho to host an off-site for a small but mighty tech recruitment company. It was a 3-day retreat at a private cabin on the Salmon River in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Each day the colleagues worked and played together as they solved problems in adventure-based, culinary and creative scenarios, all of which were totally outside of the realm of their typical “work”. The team building retreat presented a unique and level playing field where it was safe to let guards down, explore new and unknown territories and, as a result, grow through the challenges as a team.

As the CEO put it, “(the adventure retreat format) offered us a chance to work together, delegate, see each other outside of the office and work. In doing so, we all had takeaways from seeing strengths in others that weren’t necessarily evident at the office, to watch each other address fears/insecurities …and our team has a more grounded, relaxed feel because of it.”

The kind of personal connections and insights that are made when we’re interacting outside of our normal confines are powerful. These connections contribute to a greater understanding of self and a higher level of trust and appreciation between colleagues collectively impacting the fabric of the culture. This shift happens intrinsically but only if you step outside your normal boundaries.

Although we fight against leaving the office and our regular routines, once we become immersed in the new environment, the magic begins.

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