When someone says "team building" our skin crawls a little. We're all for building and working together - that's what we do with our clients, with our suppliers and especially with each other in our office. What we do like doing is inspiring. Putting together days or activities that make people feel… Feel happy, feel challenged, feel moved, feel like they could possibly do better, feel like they are part of something bigger, a part that makes up a whole. Where do you fit in?
I couldn't do this without my incredible team - did you know that we are a power-house Squad of seven women plus our social media driver by the sea so that makes us seven and ¼. Each one brings their own idiosyncrasies, personality and spunk, they inspire me and we need to inspire each other because we also get bored. We also find ourselves going to the “norm” and we have to keep pushing to do better and think differently, keeping inspired is hard.
"Finance people can be fun too." theSQUAD
1 Exit the Comfort Zone
Don’t sit in a conference and have the laser pointer clicked at you and the badly designed clip art slides making you yawn and wish you weren’t sitting there and rather completing that long list of household chores. People want informative experiences and content that feeds the soul.
What an Inspiration Day or experience does is take you on a journey, doing things to encourage living a more inspiring life. Making you think and get out of your comfort zone and LISTEN, most importantly listen – when you have a good teacher you learn and engage – when you have the Finance Department reading out the terrifying numbers in a monotone voice you switch off – it does not have to be like that – Finance people can be fun too – you just have to get THEM out of their comfort zone.
"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities." Stephen R. Covey
2 Participation Outdoors
We need stimulation to create a memorable experience - for people to participate and not be passive. Psychology Today says the answer to happiness may be as simple as changing our environment because our physiological, psychological, and emotional states change as our surroundings change.
So, if we’re in a beautiful, new or fun space we’re able to focus better and become more engaged. theSQUAD want to take people out on Inspiration Days set in weird and wonderful places, from an undiscovered Jozi rooftop or underground bar to a river under a weeping willow tree - please let us.
"Stories are a communal currency of humanity." Tahir Shah
3 Extraordinary Storytelling
What do you know about the woman who has decided to go to Mars? How well do you know your people? How well can you guess what other people are thinking? By using storytelling devices we bring people together, delivering an overall message or a goal by capturing the audience’s imagination. We know a lot about Dr Adriana Marais, BTW, the South African on the list to live on Mars. She wants to be an extra-terrestrial and kept people enthralled at a recent Inspiration Day.
“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” Frank Borman
4 City Adventures
For clients looking for a transformative experience we ask how much they know about the places in and around their city. There's a wealth of culture, excitement, beauty, food and history all around us. (Jozi - go on a spice tour or a tour of the Ponte.) Each of these themes are Inspirational Days but weave the experience together with a futurist speaking about urban trends, and you have the ideal setting for Execs to talk about their future business plans.
"People crave comfort, people crave connection, people crave community." Marianne Williamson
5 Community Involvement
For a rich, rewarding and deep learning experience there's nothing more powerful than an event which helps uplift the community in some way. Be it refurbishing a school, cooking meals for a soup kitchen, collecting books / clothes / furniture for those in need or even tagging a Doodle Session for Night of 1000 Drawings onto the end of a work meeting. theSQUAD can roll these Inspiration Days out strategically for businesses wanting to get to know each other better, become more hands on and be the change.
Get doing Inspiration Days - they're fun, memorable, effective, insightful, learning experiences designed to surprise and delight. Actually, it might be better to call ourselves Event Experience Designers rather than Event Managers.
Kelly McGillivray, Squad Leader
Contact: Kelly McGillivray