Team Week 2022

Recently, we had the opportunity to get together as a team for the first time since COVID hit… and then COVID hit us!    

We’ve previously had a team week in the past for Gaia Resources team members, and it certainly never used to involve quite as many people coming from quite as many places, but this year we decided it was time to get the band back together and see what sort of music we could make (at least metaphorically speaking, but the Gaia Resources band certainly should be a thing, we have quite a few musicians on board!).

The logistics behind the team week are pretty simple:

  • Plan for people to travel to Perth on the Monday of team week, so that they keep their weekends free (although a few of our team wanted to see Perth in more detail, so some came earlier and stayed a bit longer),
  • Spend Tuesday together talking about strategy, which was a bunch of presentations and discussions, followed by a big dinner to celebrate Gaia’s 18th birthday,
  • Have a “free” day Wednesday where people could “just work together”, or at least do some common meetings or do some face to face catch-ups, 
  • Spend Thursday consolidating the learnings from the “soft skills” work we’ve been doing (see our previous blog here), and 
  • Have our travellers head home on Friday – again, preserving weekends.

What actually happened was that COVID arrived on a plane on the Monday, and then by Wednesday we started to see a few people have symptoms, and then by Thursday we were at a much smaller crew as we had people starting to isolate and stay safe, and on Friday we were madly rebooking flights, getting supplies and extending accommodation to support our afflicted team members.  I have to say that I’m very proud of what we did to support our staff through what became a pretty chaotic week, and how they all handled the sudden change of circumstances!

Despite the chaos, we still managed a few things, as you would have seen on our social media posts.

On Tuesday it was “Strategy Day” – we presented and collaborated on a range of things during the day, which included talking about the history of Gaia Resources, how we did last financial year, and the plans for the future of the company.  This was a lot of talking and presenting, but we also mixed it up with collaboration – we talked about how we can achieve our strategic goals, and we did a big “world café” session on how life at Gaia Resources can be improved in the future – working around a series of stations about the different components of working at Gaia Resources. 


The team getting together for the first time in years

We all went out for a couple of drinks after that, and then off to dinner at Bishop’s House – a very special evening to catch up and enjoy some really great food together.  

Wednesday we had a whole bunch of things pop up – including workshops as a team on some pretty weighty subjects, through to impromptu client drinks later in the day.  By this time we were already in COVID awareness mode, so masks and social distancing was kicking in and we were starting to work out how to handle Thursday… which went as well as we could have expected, to be honest!

Thursday was a “soft skills” integration session, and we did a few activities that were all about trying to cement the work we’ve done over the last few months.  This was some pretty interesting stuff for me – we’ve been working hard on this and I think it has been a big success to get such support from Catharine and Mandy from Yentle in facilitating the day.  It was a bit of a “you had to be there” day – but we still tried to bring in the others that couldn’t made make it in by slapping together a quick audio and video setup!

The soft skills session wasn’t as busy, but it was just as important

There was a lot of other incidental things that happened along the way during the week.  We got to spend some time with each other just chatting and discussing things – stuff that our virtual coffee chats don’t quite deliver on, but go some way towards helping with.  We had a few double takes at the fact that people are actually 3-D rather than 2-D disembodied heads!

We’ve covered Friday already – we had to respond to a rapidly changing set of circumstances during the week around COVID (and, as it turned out, also a flu doing the rounds), which was a reminder that we live in very different times than we did the last time we did this event.  Again, I’m really proud of the work that we did to look after our team.

Along the way, there were a few shenanigans that will make me smile for quite a while to come, like when the team presented me with a “happy birthday” sash and key for Gaia’s 18th birthday.

So, what was the point of all this?  Why did we spend all that time and energy to do this?

In short, because we’re people.  Gaia Resources is a team of people that have come together for all sorts of reasons, and to me this was important to be able to recognise and support this fact, and to get us all lined up for the challenges that we will collectively face in the future.  By being there to listen to our direction, provide feedback on it, and to provide many ways for this to improve into the future, that made it all worthwhile in my book.

I’m always keen to find ways to make the world a better place, starting with our own environment at Gaia Resources – and this week went a long way towards gearing us up to deliver on that.  The last 18 years have flown past… I can’t wait to see what the next 18 will bring!



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