Whether you’re brainstorming ideas for a company’s new logo in the park, discussing the pending merger on a sailboat, or mulling where to have the company retreat while on a sunny restaurant patio, pack along pens, notebooks, multicolored index cards and pocket folders.
Free of the usual workspace distractions, meetings outdoors and outside the office are tailor-made for energizing your team and sparking creative thinking. Read on to learn more about the tools you’ll need to make your outdoor meeting a rousing success and stimulate more productivity in the workplace.
Item 1: Notebooks
Notebooks are more than a place to jot down notes. Consider the following team-building exercises: Scavenger Hunt and Blind Drawing. They can help your team explore new ways to problem-solve and connect colleagues who might not normally interact.
As an icebreaker, divide your team into small groups, give each group a pen and a small notebook and assign them a list of silly tasks to complete. The first team to check off all items in their notebook wins.
Partner off everyone into pairs. Each pair sits back to back. One person has a notebook and pen, the other has a photo of an object. The person with the picture must describe the object to his or her partner without saying what it is while the other sketches what’s described. Set a time limit and see how well the pair communicates.
Tip: Customize this exercise to better your business needs. Pair members of different working groups together and have the objects be related to different team members’ roles. By problem-solving and writing down objects related to colleagues’ jobs based solely on description, this exercise can help your team break down silos and spark greater productivity through improved communication.
Item 2: Index cards
Mad Libs Mission Statement:
So, what does your company stand for? And is your mission statement both relevant and authentic to its workers?
Give everyone index cards and ask them to articulate why they are proud to work at the company. Keep the responses anonymous to ensure candor. As the responses are read aloud, encourage your team to take notes in their notebooks. Once all cards have been read, open up the topic for discussion, building upon it by asking for suggestions on how your team can be more productive in achieving your company mission.
Item 3: Pocket folders
Once the outdoor activity is complete, make a point not to lose any of that momentum. Keep a pocket folder handy to organize index cards and mementos from the day spent working outside. Then, hand your teammates these helpful bookmarks to keep in their notebooks and encourage productive thinking.
Download our printable bookmarks featuring the benefits of working outside with your notebook. That way, you won't forget to head outside to reap the rewards of greater productivity, focus and creativity.