In a year of extraordinary change, we’ve found strength and learned a decade’s worth of lessons. At least, that’s what happened for us in our organisation. If you’re keen to finish this year strong with your team, as we know you are, you’ve come to the right place.
There’s no way we can trudge our way through the final months of this year, to then go on and soar in 2021. We’ve got to lay the foundations for high performance now, and that means taking the time to reflect and reset with our teams.
In this article, we’ll share some of the most valuable team activities you can undertake to finish this year strong. So, grab a notepad and pen, or a digital whiteboard, and get ready to dig deep.
Team activities to finish the year strong and close the chapter on 2020.
Team Activity #1: Identity Library
Our identity is like a library of stories we tell each other. Which books are constantly checked out? Which ones gather dust on the shelf? To open up your account at the identity library:
STEP 1: Get some whitespace
Find a space with a whiteboard, or even just a wall that you can cover in sticky notes. This is to make it visual. You’ll also need plenty of room to move around. For hybrid and remote working teams we’d recommend using Miro for this activity.
STEP 2: What are your stories
Break out into pairs. Spin some yarns of when things have gone really well…and when they didn’t (we often learn more from our losses than our wins). Something that has gone well could be a project being recognised. Use the whiteboard, sticky notes to write them down. Just gather rather than edit.
STEP 3: Review the catalogue
Share your reading lists. Discuss as a group, your collection of stories: why do you choose these stories?Assess and list these stories on the whiteboard (written or as sticky notes), as being ‘a useful story’ for the future, or ‘unhelpful story’ for the future. A general rule of thumb is, if a story causes us pain, it’s time to let it go or flip it.
STEP 4: Curate your new library
Now that you’ve divided the stories into useful’ and ‘unhelpful’ sections, map the stories that:
- Tell us about what makes us unique and helps us fit together, thrive and survive.
- Also map the stories that drag us down or pull us apart. Discuss a group commitment to encourage the right stories and leave behind the unhelpful stories.
Team Activity #2: Winding The Clock
Reset your alarm. Cancel your snooze button. Kick off your security blanket. It is time to get up and go. What could we do if time vanished?Let’s look at the mental shifts and major logistical steps needed to achieve those goals.
STEP 1: Start the clock
Bring a group together and nominate one of your collective goals. We want to be thinking about “bigger picture”stuff here. Now talk about a hypothetical timeframe that would suit it: are we thinking 12 months, or maybe, two years? Put both up on a whiteboard or a Miro board.
STEP 2: What would have to happen
Using the whiteboard, draw three horizontal columns.Title the first column with your original timeframe. Below that title, write the bold moves, mental shifts and the major logistical steps that the team would need to make to achieve the goal in the timeframe set.
STEP 3: Half the time + double the effort
Now move to the next column; title it as half of the timeframe (e.g. if you originally had 6 months, reduce it to 3 months). List again the heavy lifting required but with half the timeframe.When complete, repeat again in the third column, halving that timeframe again (say, 6 weeks).
STEP 4: Question the default
Did some of the options presented in the second and third columns present reasonable expectations?Now return to the first timeframe. Was there a security blanket there that was pulled off? Talk this out. What does this mean for further planning? Remember, great teams challenge themselves.
Did you find these team activities useful? Want more where this came from? Check out our list of 5 minute team building activities for virtual teams for more inspiration to take your team from good to great.