Since I joined Brand Embassy in early 2015 the team has nearly tripled in size (and we're still hiring like crazy!). Our growth both in terms of head count and product innovation has been exponential. But with each new team member—at times one per week—the special bond that made us a mini-family was weakened. The new guy with a beard was affectionately referred to as "beard" for a solid 2 months, and we distinguished the new Peter from the old Peter by "Peter with the long hair" and "P Dziddy." We needed something to solidify our bond and build the type of trust and mutual respect that makes a team great. It was time for team building.
There's no perfect formula for team building. Trust falls, rope parks, renting out an entire island and turning it into a luau can all be part of the fun, but the secret element of a successful team building is doing things together for an extended period of time. Only then does a shared understanding of what makes us tick as individuals surface, and there's no better place to reveal your true self than "in the nature." That's why the Brand Embassy team spent 4 days creating a civilization of our own in the hills of Bohemia.
Normally, we spend our days in the office creating virtual products and digital relationships, but now it was time for us to turn inwards to each other and learn something not found in books or blogs. It was time for Andrea to share her passion for dancing drum circles, time for Damian to adorn his Pharaoh-like headdress, time for Kristyna (who was 8 months pregnant at the time) to show us her fire-walking skills, and time for Albert to teach us the art of spoon carving.
Just beyond the fun, eating and merrymaking we gained a deeper understanding of each other. The kind of understanding that makes you stay late at work to help your colleague complete a project just because you care about their well-being, and the kind that brings patience instead of frustration when things go wrong. A team is only as strong as their weakest player and at Brand Embassy we work every day to make each other stronger. This commitment to each other is in no small part due to team building.
Here's what our magical time in the Bohemian hills looked like. It included building teepees, running in the meadow, swimming in the lake, walking across fire, baking chicken in the ground, finding our spirit animals and smoking plenty of hookah.
Interested in joining a team like this? Get in touch. We've been looking for someone just like you.
Sharon, our SVP of Sales North America, directs the team building teepees
Peter (P. Dzidy) invites us to the gun show
Ivana and Daniela try playing the bongos, upside down...
Albert and Michal bond over a pair of perfect pecs
Did someone say beer o'clock?
Albert is a talented designer, and enjoys playing with wood
The team builds a solar farm. In the shade.
Oh no, actually it was dinner. Will the earth's thermal energy be enough for a hot meal?
Vit (CEO) and Damian (CTO) dress as pirates and pretend to bury some treasure.
Amazing percussion jam-session around the fire
The dev team thought Vit and Damian had actually buried some treasure....
8-month pregnant Kristyna (HR) walks on fire. The photographer was more scared than her.
We created a beautiful team mandala
The survivors photo!