So there we were: The Carroll Management Group–a front runner among privately-held real estate companies, and our own Magnovo Training Group–redefining team building, organizational development, and leadership training across the globe.
It’s amazing what can happen when two world class forerunners get together. Success is simply inevitable.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with The Carroll Management Group several times before. In fact, ours is only company they look to for team building, leadership training, and staff development. This time around, they invited us to conduct one of our favorite team development workshops, aptly called The Big Picture Workshop because it brings into sharper focus how each staff member fits into the big picture at work.
The Carroll Management Group had recently acquired some new properties and hired some new managers; and they wanted to facilitate their acclimation to the company through some customized team building activities. They also wanted their new employees to see the fun side of the company.
The Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta was an idyllic setting for this workshop because it’s tucked away on a 26-acre nature preserve with every amenity you could want at your fingertips; and there’s lots of peace and quiet so that it’s easy to focus on the task at hand.
In this case, the task at hand was the creation of five artistic masterpieces co-created by members of five small groups. There were 150 staff members, but no one got lost in the shuffle because each person was assigned to one of the five teams. A set of 4-foot-by-4-foot canvases was distributed to each group.
Our facilitators guided them through the process of deciding what they wanted to paint. One of the biggest challenges was that each team member had to contribute an individual idea, and then work cooperatively with the other members of their group to bring a shared vision into being.
The interesting thing about the whole workshop was that none of the staffers knew what to expect at the end. Each person had a clear idea of their own responsibility, but no one was sure of how it would fit into the big picture–something we can all relate to at some point in our careers.
As employees we all know that everyone has the responsibility to do an excellent job and to help share the load. We may perform our various duties diligently, but we don’t always understand just how vital our work is—and how much value we add to the success of the whole organization. Our workshops demonstrate that everybody has worth and purpose. The hallmark of a Big Picture Workshop is inclusion with everybody on every team contributing to each piece of art.
For the five Carroll Management Group teams, even though they worked to develop a shared vision with a unified concept or theme, the final outcome was a happy surprise when they saw how their one-of-a-kind masterpieces came together–some were abstract; some were pictures of nature–all were beautiful in the eyes of each beholder. The other happy surprise was that each team came away with some finely honed communications, leadership, and collaborative skills.
Hours of cooperation, problem solving, and teamwork were reflected in each art piece. Staff members had learned how to listen to each other and how to translate what they heard into a work of art. There were 225 canvases divided among the five teams. Together they created a big picture of who they are as a staff and how each of them adds depth, strength, and value to their company. Each canvas was like each employee–an important part of a magnificent whole.