FCCE’s Fourth Strategic Away Day
Expectations were high for our fourth annual, strategic away-day last month. This year FCCE directors Penny Banyard and Dan Sweet were determined to avoid the standard ‘run of the mill’ offering and go for a more creative, fun and informal atmosphere.
De Vere Tortworth Court is a very unique historic venue set in a stunning landscape. For our yearly review and presentations, we found the perfect sized room with beautiful features, a fireplace and moulded ceiling. We set up a creative, tiered, cabaret-style with 3 people at each table.
Friday evening began with a review of the previous year’s results, achievements and highlights. Each year Penny presents and shares her passion, thoughts and insights about an inspirational business improvement book she has read. In Taming Tigers, Jim Lawless shares his ten steps to help others achieve their dreams by taming the metaphorical tigers in their life. She began her presentation by asking the team, are you writing the story of your life, or is the Tiger? Pen went on to explain that the Tiger is the invisible force that stops us acting or moving into the unknown, taking a risk, and living our life/work adventure. She also introduced the ‘New Economy’, whereby attitude surpasses skill and leadership is required of everyone. She put it to the team, that if they learn to tame their Tiger and unleash their potential, the rewards are immense!
The team enjoyed a relaxing, pre-dinner drink with some delicious tapas at the bandstand on the terrace overlooking the gardens while watching the sunset. At 8.30pm we were invited back to the Victoria Suite to discover the room had been transformed and set up for several pub-related games including the Quiz Game Buzz! We were divided into 4 teams and after eating from a menu of scrumptious pub grub including fish & chips and gourmet burgers, we got down to some serious competing. Dan’s team won and obviously he continues to remind us!
On Saturday morning, we met Ian at the front of the hotel to go on a mindfulness walk in nature. He took us to the middle of the stunning gardens and split us into 3 groups each focusing on one of the following key words Refresh, Relax and Release. We gently walked around the gardens in our teams connecting with the natural world using the key words to guide our senses.
After 45 minutes in the fresh air, we returned all calm and relaxed to focus on some strategic project work in the ‘Room at the Top’ – one of Tortworth Court’s unique conference suites. From the last event, we still had lots of ideas which hadn’t yet come to fruition, so we focused on producing project plans around achieving the following main themes – overseas business, specialisms, supplier relationships and lost business. We also had 2 guest speakers, Kate from accounts on ‘joined up thinking’ and Cheryl making us think differently about sales.
At 12.45 we left our laptops and headed back to the great outdoors. KDM- one of our key suppliers – met us with their ‘Game Your Throne’ activity. We were divided into 2 teams – House Lannister and House Greyjoys – two of the rival families from the popular Game of Thrones series. The game was aimed to challenge each team with riotous tendencies – ensuring only those who work together gain ownership of The Seven Kingdoms and get to sit on the Iron Throne. By rotating around each activity zone in turn, teams used their skills wisely, pulling together their individual strengths in their bid for power. A series of themed challenges and games were set for each ‘House’ with teams gaining valuable gold coins in line with the degree of their success. The event concluded with the Wild-Fire round, after which Team Greyjoys were victorious and were invited to sit on the Iron Throne while Team Lannister were ordered to bend the knee!
All in all, the whole event was a fantastic success and the team left energised and excited for the future. We always feel even more connected after our Annual Away Day and this one definitely was the best so far!