The Value of Team Development: Our Inside Story

The prize you win when you beat a room!

The prize you win when you beat a room!

While we regularly meet as a TSM team to talk strategy about our work, to share and brainstorm, and stretch our brains, we recognized the need to get together and have fun. So, we decided to take a day, to invest in ourselves, and do fun things together—yes, the whole day! We even put up away messages on our email accounts and everything.

We started the day with an Insights retreat. We all took the Insights assessment and reviewed our individual and team results together. Building self-awareness and examining characteristics about each of us we may not have fully realized led to a few team breakthroughs.  We plan on leaning into this information in the future as we work to understand the best ways to communicate and collaborate with one another. The Spark Mill will be exploring other assessments in the future – both to strengthen our own team and to examine what tools are available and best for our clients.  Most of us have previously participated in quite a few assessments similar to Insights, and we are happy to talk through which might be the best for you if your team is interested in doing a group assessment.  

All of that self-reflection made us hungry – so next, we were off to lunch, where of course we talked more about our Insights profiles but we also spent time talking about things that weren’t related to work in the slightest. Kids and holiday plans dominated our conversation, and it was nice to take a long, leisurely lunch and to get to spend time with co-workers in a relaxed setting with delicious food (thanks Mekong!).

We wrapped up the day with a trip to an escape room run by our friends over at Escape Room RVA.  Check out the link if you’re unfamiliar with escape rooms. Richmond Magazine voted it the best “out of office employee activity” this year. It was by far the highlight for our team, not only did we beat the room (at 52 minutes!) we all had a blast in the process. I can’t recommend this activity enough—we are all in agreement we want to incorporate this into our organizational development work with clients…and we wouldn’t be opposed to doing it again ourselves!

We finished up around 3pm leaving a couple of unexpected free hours, which for a staff with young kids, having free time on a Friday afternoon while you already have childcare felt like a true gift!

We challenge you to take time out of your busy schedules to have fun together—play, get creative, think outside of the box! Whatever might work best for your work culture. It’s worth it!