Away Day Activity with high impact

and not a single post-it note in sight

Away day, offsite, retreat, team get together - whatever it’s called in your organisation, you know at the very least it's going to include:-

AND OF COURSE the team building activity

I’m sure you’ve suffered through your fair share of cheesy or downright cringeworthy activities that someone suggested would be a good idea for the day when in hindsight, everyone would have preferred to have skipped it! 

I mean of course you COULD split into groups and have a competition to see who can build the highest structure using paperclips and post-it notes ……. but seriously, what does that really achieve? By the end of the event, you’ve got a pile of unusable post-it notes and paperclips and everyone has forgotten the point of the exercise anyway.
Corporate away day teambuilding activities are tough to get right and so easy to get wrong!

If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably in the planning stage of an event and perhaps you’ve been assigned the task of coming up with or facilitating a team building activity for your upcoming away day. You know this has the potential to impact your reputation if the session sucks. Now you’ve been put on the spot and you’re desperately trying to figure out what to do to make the best out of the situation.

Well, I’ve got just the session you didn’t know you needed!

It’s fun and engaging – but don’t take my word for it – see the testimonials in the video.

It will get everyone talking and bonding over common problems they face in their jobs and they will develop empathy for their fellow employees at the same time, which usually results in increased collaboration.

On top of that, it has actionable outcomes and develops a skill that you and your team will be able to apply immediately, and use, long after the away day is over to help them overcome barriers and obstacles that get in the way of getting things done.

Sounds good? Want to know more?

I have been leading and participating in innovation, change and transformation initiatives for over 35 years and I’ve repeatedly encountered the same barriers and obstacles to progress across every department, every organisation, every industry and every geography that I have ever worked in. No matter if you work in automotive, banking, consumer goods, defence, engineering, financial services (I could carry on going all the way through the alphabet), everyone that’s ever tried to get stuff done eventually seems to run into them.

The most common of these tend to be behaviours, biases, beliefs, misconceptions and misunderstandings that are never discussed openly and therefore remain unresolved issues that get in the way of getting things done.

I call these “Monsters and Myths” as they are intangible and survive and thrive in the shadows of the organisation, occasionally spoken about with fear and dread.

The key to conquering these Monsters and Myths is collaboration!

The knowledge required to overcome these barriers and obstacles is probably already contained within your organisation – you just need a simple and effective way of uncovering it.



Please complete the form to explore opportunities for my involvement in your away day. I am an experienced facilitator and MC and am happy to be involved as much or as little as you need me to be.

Please note:-

  • This session is approx 90 mins duration depending on your agenda, group size & desired outcome
  • Bookings are advised a minimum of 30 days in advance of your event 
  • I am London based with a UK passport and will travel globally subject to Visa requirements

Don’t delay – get in touch today!   

Session outline

The first step to unlocking the “Magic” is to provide a “safe-space” for people to expose the Monsters and Myths by sharing their stories and an away day is the perfect setting for this.

Participants need to know that they are free to voice their challenges and concerns without penalty and the group setting will give them courage to do so.

In order to facilitate the discussion, we need a common construct and this comes in the form of the Monsters & Myths Trading Cards pictured here. These are created on the fly by the participants with them naming, drawing or describing the Monster or Myth (SO much more engaging than post-it notes, right??) and then shared with the group.

At this point of the exercise, the “scores” are totally subjective and are primarily prompts to encourage the discussion to follow.

What happens next is that people in the group realise that they are not alone in facing barriers and obstacles.

The discussion can then move on to debating and challenging the scores, with the objective of ranking the impact and “sharing the magic” required to dispel the Monsters and Myths by suggesting solutions and ways to overcome these barriers and obstacles.

The simple act of sharing their pain points often surfaces amazing insights as most of the time, the participants collectively KNOW what needs to be done but feel powerless to overcome these barriers on their own – I did say that the key to hunting down Monsters and Myths is collaboration! 

As the discussion evolves, suggestions and solutions on how to tackle the problems will emerge or at the very least, they will be noted for follow up.

By the end of this session, the participants would have:-

  • Created simple and concise summary artefact cards of the top barriers and obstacles they face
  • Established a common understanding of pain points across the team
  • Developed empathy for team members
  • Shared their knowledge & suggestions with others on how to overcome them
  • Built the foundation for future strategy

For an away day or team offsite, the activity can be drawn to a close at this point, but that isn’t the end of the usefulness of this session. Post away day follow-up activities can include:-

Quantifying the impact each barrier or obstacle has on the organisation

Estimating the effort required to overcome them

Affinity sorting / clustering the Monsters and Myths to identify common themes

Creating a strategy to remove the barriers and obstacles

One organisation has even gone on to create an “onboarding pack” of Monsters & Myths cards to help new team members identify and overcome the barriers and obstacles that others had conquered before them!

There are numerous further applications for this approach that can be used in innovation, new product development, customer service improvements, customer advisory boards and any other examples that you can think of where you encounter barriers and obstacles that get in the way of getting things done!

Andrew Vorster