In response to a question on a trainers’ forum asking for an hour-long activity to celebrate a team’s accomplishments, this is what I came up with off the top of my head. I hope you find it useful.
First off, get the team into pairs. If you can pair up people who don’t usually work closely, or are in different roles, so much the better. Get them to interview each other using a variant of the ‘Appreciative Interview format‘ from Appreciative Inquiry that goes like this:
- Tell me about the team accomplishment that has meant the most to you this year – your best moment with the team.
- What’s important to you about this story? (this will give you at least some of the values that motivate team members)
- What factors were present that made this accomplishment possible (this starts to look at what had to be present for the success to happen – if you identify these enabling factors, it should make it easier to have more successes in the future)
- If you had one wish for the future, what would it be?
Time for the whole interview: 15 minutes each way
Notes: give them a crib-sheet with the questions on. Brief them that in question one you are after stories, not analysis or opinion. Also that you’re looking for the positives, successes, achievements. Get them to write a ‘headline’ for the story on a post-it note, with more post-its for the answers to each of the other three questions.
Then get the team to collaborate in placing the accomplishments on a timeline (drawn on one or more pieces of flipchart paper in landscape mode, depending on how many accomplishments you have to fit into the year).
Above each accomplishment put the post-its with the values that have been identified. Immediately before each event, stick the enabling factors. And at the ‘future’ end of the timeline, stick the wishes.
Take a high-res digital photo of the whole thing – or preserve the physical artefact.
That should just about fit into an hour. What you will probably find is that the interviewers will start to feel inspired by the interviewees’ stories, and also that the dialogue helps people understand each other better, so it’s a useful bit of teambuilding as well.