On a rainy day in October 2015 we packed our bags and travelled from London and Helsinki to Barcelona. We then spent a glorious week in a mansion next to the small village of Portella at the foothills of the Pyrenees. Our aim was to become energised before the winter kicked in, but the trip proved to be a lot more valuable than that.
We continued to work on our client projects until noon and then we spent the afternoons discussing our work and how we can improve. Each of us got a small probe, which included self-reflection tasks related to our role in the organisation. By filling the probe and sharing our thoughts we were able to see how we fit in our work community and how we can support each other better. Empathy is as important to us in our workplace as it is in our client projects.
We arranged workshops on specific topics related to our competence. What was of key importance was how we can continue to improve our design competence and communicate the value better for our clients. This has resulted in a totally renewed basis of our offering, which we have been improving on after returning to our offices.
By taking off and totally changing the surroundings and normal context of your work you also affect your mindset and perspective. At times thinking “outside the box” requires redefining what the “box” for each one of us means. Judging by the amount of fresh ideas and renewed energy the trip has returned value ten times the cost. We have already started building excitement for the next trip. We haven’t yet decided where it will be, but we know that it certainly will be worth it, and it will be somewhere warm!