Visual Roadmap for 2022

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021|

Every year has its ups and downs, and 2021 was no exception. What did we learn from it? How did we grow? What will we stop doing or do more of? Who do we want to be in this new year? These are just a few questions to reflect upon, personally and professionally.

Each year our Artisan Creative team works on creating a vision board. We present these to one another at our January team meeting. The boards are a collection of our short and long-term goals and include both personal and professional aspirations. Most of our team members create physical boards, although a few opt for a digital version using TrelloCanvaPinterest, Jamboard, or PicMonkey.

Presenting to one another creates accountability (one of our core values) and enables the team to learn more about each other’s ambitions, dreams, and commitments. Some set a theme for the year, and then include specific action words and inspirational quotes. All have in common a shared use of imagery that inspires, tells a story, and conveys a message to create a powerful visualization tool.

In addition to sharing our vision and goals at the start of the new year, we review our boards mid-year as well as share a recap at our year-end meeting. This helps keep us on track during the course of the year, which can have many twists and turns. This activity is one of our strongest team-building exercises, as it stays “evergreen”.

Here are five tips to create your vision board and get started on achieving your goals!

  1. Choose a theme
  2. Select words and images that inspire and are true to your core values and positivity and inspiration for yourself and others.
  3. Imagine the integrated life/work you want to have.
  4. Create your board.
  5. Live your best life.

You can either divide your board into sections for business and personal or mix the elements together throughout. The important point is to create an integrated board where your personal and professional aspirations are represented.

Hang the board where you can re-visit it daily—read the inspirational messages out loud— and often! Mine is right in front of my desk, so I get to see it every time I look up from my computer.

Another key element is sharing the board with others. Having an accountability partner will help you get closer to achieving your goals.

If you choose to go the digital route, change your desktop to the vision board artwork so you can see it every day for inspiration and setting priorities.

Tools needed:

  • A large poster board to give you plenty of space to visualize your year, yet small enough to hang on your wall. We use the 22 x 28 size available from Staples.
  • A good pair of scissors and a strong glue stick so the pictures stay on all year long.
  • Variety of magazines to look through and find those inspiring words and pictures.
  • (Optional) Markers/stickers to write on or embellish your board.
  • Patience and Creativity.
  • Time to reflect.
    Cut images and words throughout the month. Select aside a day to create the actual vision board. For some, it’s easier to start with a theme and for others, the pictures and words shape the theme of the board. There is no right or wrong method, harness your creativity any way that works best for you.

What is your goal-setting process?

Happy 2022!  We hope you’ve enjoyed the 599th issue of our weekly a.blog.  

Planning a Remote Holiday Party

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021|

Every holiday season, our Senior Account Manager, has hosted a festive luncheon for our team during the holidays. She has done so for 24 years in a row, except for 2020!  This year we had hoped to come together again person, however opted for another virtual gathering instead.

And, while we couldn’t be in person, we laughed, exchanged gifts, and ate together (via zoom). Our team from across the U.S. was able to join in, and a few of our pets made unexpected zoom appearances too.

Although it was different, it was great fun and we connected from the heart, evaluated 2021, and put plans in place for 2022.  Additionally,

  • We reviewed our Vision Boards with one another and shared our personal and professional accomplishments for the year, and reviewed our goals for the new year.
  • Secret Santa gift exchange took place via Elfster complete with oohs and aahs and zoom screenshots to capture the festivities.
  • We pre-ordered and prepared lunch and eat together.
  • We shared our gratitude and wrapped up our gathering.

This year continues to be filled with new learnings and wonderful, unexpected surprises. This party was no exception.

After all, our core value of creating trusted relationships means connecting and creating memories, and what better way to connect than to celebrate one another!

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season and a lively virtual gathering.

We hope you’ve enjoyed 598th a.blog.

 

Virtual Team Building Exercises

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021|

It seems we will continue to navigate work-from-home life for some time to come.  However, being solo does not mean being in a silo.  There are many opportunities to connect virtually, boost team morale, and spark cohesion by implementing virtual team-building exercises to bring teams together and grow the culture. 

In a remote work environment, communication is the glue that holds the team together by preventing misunderstanding in both task execution and personal relationships. Prioritizing communication with remote teams will not only increase engagement but also foster a sense of support. At Artisan, we have a video-first approach where possible, then resort to slack or calls.  We prefer to see one another and our candidates when possible via video when communicating.

We also incorporate icebreakers into our Monday morning calls. Below is a list of virtual team-building exercises and tips that will spark the sense of community your team may be longing for as we continue maneuvering through these difficult times. 

Start the Zoom Meeting Off Right

Generate excitement and engagement at the start of every video meeting by implementing icebreakers to promote connection and team-building.

For a quick icebreaker, have each team member share a lesson learned for the week or share a “high” and a “low’ from the previous week.  Depending on the team’s dynamic, this can be as casual or as deep as each person would like.   

Another great icebreaker is to is pose a critical thinking question or a riddle to the team. This does not necessarily have to be related to work and can be more playful and thought-provoking. This will not only prompt your team to get their wheels turning immediately, but it will also provide insight into how your team thinks.  We’ve used the 3000 Questions to inspire fun and create meaningful conversations.

Dedicate More Time to Lengthy Team Building Activities

If your company culture calls for more in-depth team-building exercises, many virtual games and activities encourage teamwork and create an immersive experience!

Outback virtual team building has several professionally organized team-building experiences that range from 1 to 3 hours and can be adjusted for any size team! You can even choose between a self-hosted or virtually-hosted format. 

For a more simple activity, create a virtual coffee break or happy hour to celebrate with your team! You can plan several virtual games and activities for everyone to spark conversation and storytelling. If you want to go above and beyond, send your team members a package with drinks and snacks!

Additionally, there are many platforms for team game nights and trivia nights. For example, The Offsite Co. has options from virtual escape rooms to scavenger hunts, and Avital Tours offers cooking classes and culinary experiences.

Utilize Team Building Software 

The transition to remote work started before the pandemic with the emergence of several highly efficient cloud-based software can further increase engagement and build better communication daily.  

Klaxtoon or Mentimeter are two platforms that facilitate remote meetings by enabling each team member to participate with their own device. The software then visually depicts the collected input with easy-to-digest, playful graphics that can be shared with the whole team. 

Both have many features that make them highly engaging platforms, such as filtering ideas by color, creating surveys, and collecting feedback once the meeting has ended. 

Other team-building software such as Range or communication and collaboration apps such as Slack or Trello allow for seamless check-ins with all team members. They facilitate the creation of personal relationships by allowing team members to connect and to communicate successes and challenges. These same tools can also be used for onboarding a new hire remotely.  Additional tips can be found here.

The current global pandemic has created an opportunity for us to adapt the way we work, and more significantly, the way we communicate. We must work together to bring our teams a sense of cohesion and connection when communication only happens digitally.   

As we continue to learn and adjust, it is important to encourage team unity through team-building exercises that make your team feel connected, facilitating engagement and productivity.   What best practices do you use for remote team-building?

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 578th issue of our weekly a.blog.