We all know the benefits of getting out and about, breaking up our routine, and doing things together to build a team – but it’s the getting out and about when you’ve all got so much to do that is so difficult. We’re so busy at work – it requires applied effort to do more than the day job and improve your capacity, collaboration, creativity, communication and connection of remote or distributed teams. Let's call them the 5Cs. There are plenty of reasons we're all so busy, some positive, some negative, but leading the charge in this uncertain world right now are busyness as necessity, busyness to stay relevant in a changing world and busyness as a byproduct of the digital age in a 24/7 connected culture blurring the line between life and work. You are busy, your team is busy - how do you possibly have time for improving the 5Cs?
Before it’s too hot and while it’s still cool – a #microadventure can be the solution to getting some physical and psychological 'space' from the demands of work whilst bringing many of those rewards to your team. Instead of the 9-5 take the team on the 5-9, leaving work of the afternoon to set up camp somewhere close to town – 16 hours to experience something new outside the office, setting up camp overnight and coming into the office fresh from the great outdoors.
The microadventure captures the essence of adventure, the challenge, the pleasure, the escapism and the team connection all in one short, meaningful, relatively low effort (it does not require a lot of time, distance, skill, money or camping experience) adventure for high impact. It is short, simple, local, cheap, accessible, fun, challenging, refreshing, and rewarding - simplicity and the great outdoors can be yours, without the need to go away for a week, spend a budget you don’t have anymore, or circumnavigate the country. Rather than just providing ‘a nice day out of the office’ how about a microadventure for your team…
QUT Entrepreneurship has seen a couple of awesome microadventures this year, most recently as the QUT EMBA Immersion Experience where we see inspirational people working as multidisciplinary leaders to forge invaluable connections – and some of those deep connections were forged here:
We’ve been introduced to the microadventure by QUT Entrepreneurship’s Adventurer-in-Residence Eleanor Carey, dual world record holding adventurer and entrepreneur. Two years ago Eleanor spent 62 days crossing the Pacific Ocean by rowing a 25 foot boat in a 3-person team (no small feat) and cycled solo across Europe prior to this (Eleanor loves the adventure). Eleanor has gone on to found Vokser, running corporate microadventures to improve wellbeing in the workplace.
Eleanor sees an epic outdoor adventure as having close parallels to the journey of starting your own business, developing entrepreneurial mindset and the 5Cs in your team - being willing to step into the unknown, building strength and capability along the way, enhancing the team around you and backing yourself when times are challenging. We see that in the #QUTMBA Immersion Experience, in our #QUTEship team and the #QUT community.
The microadventure improves team capacity (productivity - but P for productivity just doesn’t work for the 5Cs) and is one of the most common goals of team building.
The microadventure increases opportunities for collaboration between team members. By creating activities that you enjoy and can experience as a group, you build relationships and trust, and develop networks and connections outside your day-to-day that will help you in the future.
The microadventure increases creativity and innovation. Out-of-the-ordinary tasks require you to use your imagination to come up with creative solutions, and the 'workplace' adventure itself is a creative endeavour that models a creative way of thinking.
The microadventure increases communication between team members. Enjoyable, fun activities enable you to get to know the rest of the group in a totally different way, enabling a better understanding of each other, their personal values and drivers, and the opportunity to make friends with people you otherwise know as colleagues.
The microadventure can help you increase connection, increasing motivation to nurture a great culture where everybody feels good about themselves; you feel more comfortable in your connection and confident in your and your team’s ability, and it shows that the place in which you work is willing to invest in you and your relationships with each other.
What an awesome experience it was to share it with the impressively cohesive QUT Executive MBA Associates. So whether you’re running the #1 Executive MBA program in Queensland, keeping it real as an entrepreneurial team, looking to develop the 5Cs in your team, or personally developing positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and/or sense of achievement…make the microadventure yours.
Written by Graham Fellows 18/09/20