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Further & Faster

August 22, 2023

Our entire ADDO team just got back from New York City.

Yes, we took our entire team to NYC.

I imagine there are a spectrum of responses to this fact:
From, “That’s so cool.”
To, “That sounds expensive.”
To, “How in the world can that be a smart business decision? Think of the time and money spent!”

And here’s my response: It’s not about New York. 

We’ve hosted a retreat in Chicago and many others only an hour from our office. The location doesn’t matter as much as the opportunity for our team to create shared moments. 

Shared moments create shared memories.

At one retreat, we went horseback riding as a group. One of the horses walked into a bee’s nest and was instantly spooked. You can imagine the chaos as a couple members of our team got bucked off their horses while others held onto their horses for dear life! (I hope our insurance underwriter is not reading this.) 

At one of our retreats last year, we surprised our team with a special guest speaker—former UGA Head Football Coach Mark Richt. We will always remember the intimacy and intentionality of that meeting with such an incredible leader.

This is not to mention the many late night conversations around campfires, the team building exercises, and the meals enjoyed together. We still talk about these experiences together, and they provide our team the framework for stronger work relationships to flourish.

Shared experiences create a fertile environment for trust to grow and trust helps teams go further and faster. 

Getting people out of their offices, out of their city, and out of their comfort zone provides them with an environment to build trust with the people around them. This also happens over time in the office as people work toward a common goal together. However, out of office retreats help expedite this process and teams are more unified and eager to work together when they return.

In any environment when you are trying to accomplish big things, you are going to encounter obstacles, frustrations, and differences of opinion. In fact, there will be times you flat out disagree with others on your team. Without a foundation of trust, your ability to work through those differences will be challenging at best. The greater the level of trust, the better your ability to trust motives and keep moving during difficult times. 

When you truly know people, like with a spouse or close friend, you don’t allow small things to set you back.

So, that’s why we do things like take our team to New York. (At least this is what we tell the finance people.)

It’s also just a lot of fun.

Think about the ways you cultivate trust on your team. It may not be a retreat, but an investment in building trust will pay dividends for years to come. 


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