Innovation and Team Building

Not so innovative at the moment as I’m currently bedridden while feeling a little sick. Slept 11 hours straight AND even took an hour nap. And still feel exhausted.

Had a busy week, with full 3 days of training and team building. It was really cool! We had 2 full days of training with topic of Innovation and Design Thinking approach with all managers in the group. Some flew in from other countries in Asia, and we even got one flown in from Netherlands.

It was packed of activities divided into groups. I’ve definitely read about Design Thinking, watched Ted Talk on how Design Thinking could help design your life (great one), and did a workshop on it before. My best friend uses design thinking approach to teach her students in her company. So it wasn’t an entirely new thing for me since this approach has been such a hot topic for a couple years now.

But it was definitely a great chance getting us to work together as a team; brainstorming, presenting lots of ideas, and speaking up to the group. We had to redesign movie and restaurant experience by trying to figure out customer pain points and using techniques (and lots of post its!) trying to get lots of ideas. It’s SO hard NOT to jump to solutions! This is what we all have learned. As a manager, you are forced to find solutions on a daily basis, and you have to find it quickly for people in your team. It goes against my nature to NOT find solutions, only generate ideas first. My boss also said, you need to give people in your team a chance to find their own solutions so they can grow too, while you support them. So true.

What I really love the most was not about the knowledge we got, but the opportunity for me to get closer to the team. Had a great chat with managers in Cambodia and Philippines when previously we only got to talk via conference call and emails. Nothing beats face to face meeting, I can tell you. Being with them and having actual conversation together made me feel like it’s going to be easier working together with them now, hopefully with better understanding too.

Then another day was a full day of training and team building activity in our company. I had to give a presentation along with other heads of departments. And I decided to go for topic Digital Marketing 101 knowledge sharing session. I was quite nervous before speaking as usual, but did prepare myself for this and come on! hyped myself up that this IS MY topic and I know this shit. So in the end I totally ran out of time while presenting as I got way too much to share with everyone. Got very, very positive feedback as quite a few managers rushed to grab me after presentation and say that wow, they have NO clue about digital before, it’s so new for them, please send my slides to them so they can share with team. One director even came talk to me that wow I didn’t know you are so good at presenting. Totally unexpected by that.

Never thought I’m good at presenting by the way, and I was quite stressed while preparing this presentation that I would not do it well enough. In fact, this whole 3 days made me look up to big bosses who are SO good at public speaking and inspiring team when they speak. I want to be able to do that! Even think if there’s anywhere that teaches public speaking for management or in professional setting. It’s an important quality if you aspire to be a leader, isn’t it? And I’m still far away from that.

Had fun with walk rally activity and even Halloween party that evening! Thought it would be totally stupid team building, but it was more interesting than I thought. We even had a mission to go for foot massage near our office which was absolutely favorite for me (obviously!).

Love seeing all of us come together like this and we talked to big boss that hey, next year we should do this kind of conference in other countries or even on resort. Let’s get out of Bangkok! It’s also cool getting closer to big bosses these past 3 days too as everyone was more or less relaxed. Loved that they joined all activities with us. I sat next to my boss and even got brief feedback on my performance so far. All good, and he’s aware I have a lot more on my plates now. I gladly take it though, always see it as a challenge to get through.

Having said that, it drained so much of my energy having to be full ON the whole 3 days, being around new people, talking so so much, presenting so many things non stop. I love it, I love us, and I think we are a cool team, but as an introvert, at the end of it I just really needed to hide under my desk or lock myself in my room alone for 3 days straight. If you are an introvert, you know what I mean! And how having Me time and your own space are a priority to help you recharge.

Definitely having a quiet, peaceful weekend (no more people, please!) and hoping that I won’t get sick 😦 Really taking it easy and even skipping the gym. Another busy week ahead. Need to get energy back soon, hopefully!

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