26-Feb-2024 by Allison McMillan

Read Time: Approx. 3 minutes

Breaking Down Barriers: How Field Trips to Different Team Offsites Spark Cross-Team Collaboration

Do you remember the last time you went on a field trip? Or maybe you can think of your favorite field trip you had as a kid. If you have kids, maybe you've chaperoned a field trip recently. What is the goal of a field trip? The goal of a field trip is to allow people to immerse themselves into learning in a different way than they can in their day-to-day work (or school). Field trips usually provide a new perspective, a way to see something different, or a chance to reflect on something new. How could this concept of a field trip apply to our work as adults? Well, it can be particularly useful for planning offsites, especially if you work in a larger company.

If you manage multiple departments or teams, having an individual "field trip" to a different team's offsite can result in some really interesting opportunities. One of the challenges of having multiple departments or segments of engineering reporting to an individual is the silo-ing that happens between groups. Sometimes, this is unintentional, where teams aren't working together even though they should be. Other times, it doesn't make as much sense for different departments or teams to work together but is still beneficial to create some sort of connective tissue in between these areas. By having someone field trip to a different offsite, it gives individual contributors or other leaders a chance to get to know someone from a different department. Even if they are only participating in sessions as a "fly on the wall", during meals or other social time, folks can ask them about their work, what their department or area is focused on, what their current and future work looks like, and how they work. If desired, you can also organize some special sessions around this individual. Maybe they do a short presentation on the kind of work they look at, or what teams they most frequently interact with. It might be interesting to have a Q&A with them or have them talk about a particular way their team plans or organizes their work. There are lots of interesting possibilities for how to include the fieldtripper into an offsite to provide valuable information, friendship, and cross-departmental interactions.

This also has benefits for the person selected as the fieldtripper. It can be a professional development opportunity for them to see how a different team or department runs. It can give them a chance to come back and teach the rest of their team or department about something, similar to how they might come back from attending a conference. It can give them an opportunity to lead a session (even just one that is focused on social connections as opposed to business output) in front of a group of their peers that may not be as close or familiar to them.

Realistically, when you're planning an offsite or onsite, one additional person will likely not make a significant impact on your budget as a whole. The next time you're thinking through an offsite, talking with your teams about the offsites they are having, or sharing ideas with peers, consider the impact having a fieldtripper could make.

If you're eager to discover what an exceptional offsite looks like, talk about what's happening with your group right now, or have the ability to advocate for the budget to have an offsite today, Book a free consultation call with me today. With a range of pricing options and levels of involvement, I'm here to help you get to GREAT. Whether you're seeking a complete overhaul of the traditional offsite format or looking to infuse your event with fresh, impactful elements, I can help guide you through this journey.

split path and one one side cool tones that looks drab and on the other it is bright and interesting and exciting

Ready to chat?

Join my mailing list

* indicates required

Set up a free call

phone icon