Banter, boat rides and beautiful weather- insight into our off-site!

GD1 Team

Have you ever heard someone say “A touchscreen can’t replace the human touch?” Last week, at our first in-person offsite in ‘too long’, we rode a ferry together; and sat face-to-face across from each other at a table (goodbye virtual coffees!). We left with our hearts a little fuller, our vision a little bolder and our appreciation of each other a lot bigger.

There’s just something about getting out of Auckland. Jumping on the ferry to escape the city relaxes everyone just enough to forget it’s a workday. In this case, we were headed to Waiheke island for two days of learning and sharing as part of our new commitment to bring staff together quarterly.

Covid has meant that more than 50% of our team have been onboarded remotely, with many of them spending less than a week in office since joining. For GD1, this offsite represented not only an important opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future as a team; but also a way to get to know each other outside of our day-to-day roles. 

Get set… 

There are lots of things that make for a good offsite - from choosing the right location to allowing enough ‘down time’…but what really made this one super special was not only the ‘what’ we did; but also the ‘how’. 

Commit to the cause…

We get it; everyone is busy. However, by encouraging a ‘phones away; no email’ rule and removing the expectation to keep up with comms, we were able to deep dive into conversations and give our full attention to the facilitator and team. The result? Much deeper interactions and an undivided focus on what we were there to achieve.

Build trust by being vulnerable…

One of the first ‘icebreakers’ we dived into was to describe a special item in our homes that meant something to us and why. Tears were flowing, laughs were shared and we all got a little closer. If you asked any one of us to describe our teammates’ special items, I have no doubt that we would all be able to recite them all in detail. That’s when you know a task has had an impact. 


Level the playing field…

Archery and laser clay shooting provided ample opportunity for hilarity and light-hearted fun. No, these sports aren’t for everyone - but doing a task that no one is ‘exceptional’ at meant the laughs were constant. 

A few little take aways…

We could write a novel about our discussions (don’t worry, we won’t); but suffice to say - investing in those two days as a team wasn’t just worth it but also, we believe, essential.

If you’re considering doing the same - here are some of our learnings:

  • Time spent together is never wasted time. 
  • Understanding where you come from and how you operate sets the foundations for your future.
  • Passion does not run businesses; but it does set teams apart. It’s worth taking time to build it. 
  • We all love coffee…too much, if the coffees are flowing so is the work!

What’s next?

At GD1, our big picture ‘visionaries’ are balanced and supported by our ‘process drivers’. At the end of our offsite, our team pulled together our key drivers (the what) and allocated priority tasks (the how). We’ll all be holding each other accountable. Each of us understands that our long-term vision can’t be achieved without active steps in the right direction. 

A final, massive shout out must go to the GD1 operations team for not only pulling this event together, but going above and beyond to make it so much fun. We’re talking swag on arrival; grazing platters and drinks pre-ordered and waiting in our rooms; seamless activity transitions and so much more…

In addition, Wild on Waiheke was an incredible venue with delectable food and a relaxed vibe that allowed us both to unwind; and simultaneously be inspired. 

Lastly, our A++ professional facilitator Mandy Davies was exceptional at ensuring everyone (even those a little less comfortable with sharing) was given equal opportunity to contribute. 

If you have any must try locations or activities for an offsite, please reach out! We would love to hear what other organisations have tried and loved…

Written bY
GD1 Team



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