Why we are absent for 5 days a year

This post was originally posted on www.thebigbuilding.com

First of all, you should know that I am not a morning person. Not even a tiny little bit. I am the one person you want to avoid whenever possible when the sun hasn’t risen yet. But, as they say, sometimes you have to rise to the occasion, so that’s what I did. Together with Nick Stevens, who is also not a morning person. We were lucky enough to surround ourselves with two team members who are better trained in performing in the early hours.

So, there we went, all morning- and not-morning persons equally excited at 5.30AM, on our way to Flachau, Austria, away from TheBigBuilding. Because we were going to work on The Big Building for 5 days straight. Does it sounds strange to you? Moving 1.000kms away from work, to work, on work? At that moment I had no idea what to expect, except for the fact that I would be able to hit the slopes during the afternoon. That was good enough for me to get up before sunrise the coming days.

The trip turned out to be worth so much more than ‘getting some work done’ in the morning and snowboarding in the afternoon.

The literal distance allowed us to figuratively take some distance from the business we had all been working so hard in. That’s not a typo. Normally we were working IN the business. Wise words from Nick Stevens. During our trip, we had the space and we had made the time to work ON our business.

It allowed us to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. We were able to look beyond our to-do lists for the coming weeks, and set out our course for the year 2017 as a team. The mornings were intense, the afternoons were physical outlets and necessary to empty your head for the next day. The evenings were team-time in a non-work context. Sometimes talking, sometimes dancing, and somehow Jägermeister ended up being involved in both cases. The conversations held by Jägermeister were of course of outstanding quality on either personal or professional level, after which we blissfully went to bed. The next day we did the same thing.

And again. And again.

Mentally, in those four days we have collectively produced more work than we normally get done with the team in months. While we are all putting in all our effort inside TBB every day, these days brought us the magic to make some brave decisions with the goal to make the everyday TBB a bit better for everyone.

That is why, as of tomorrow, January 11th 2018, the entire TBB team will leave Groningen for 5 days, taking the time to reflect on the amazing year we have just left, look ahead to all the exciting stuff that is coming our way and work hard to make TBB a little bit better everyday.

We are going out of the business to stop working in the business and start working on the business.

We’ll try our best to take as much of the “StrategySki” with us back home and spark you with excitement for the future.