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A NEW company retreat

This past Tuesday, the newly joined companies of GMB A+E and Visbeen Architects had a retreat, held at the Frederik Meijer Gardens.  It was a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of introduction, a little bit of rejuvenation, a little bit of team building and a lot of fun!  Here is a recap of our day....

Held at the always beautiful Frederik Meijer Gardens, it was an exceptionally beautiful summer day!

 Harm Perdok, GMB's president, gave a little "state of the union" address.  2012 has been a great year and with all of the new and exciting changes / additions to the company, the year ahead is lookin' good!

 Wayne Visbeen gave an introduction to our little sector of the organization, Visbeen Architects.

GMB has been generous enough to support an organization called VOX United over the last year.  They are a non-profit Christian organization that works to bring accessible clean water sources to remote areas of Southern Africa by repairing existing and installing new water wells.  They also work to train the residents of those areas how to repair the wells so that they can maintain them even after VOX leaves.  VOX's goal is to never touch the wells they install more than once. We received a little demonstration on how the wells work and what goes into the installation.

We had a few team-building exercises throughout the day.  This was exercise #1.  Relating to the presentation we had just seen from VOX, we had to filter some dirty water and try to remove as much of the contaminants from it as possible, using only the supplies given to each of the eight teams.  Supplies included larger stones, smaller stones, two types of sand, three pop bottles, string, cotton balls, a bag of carbon, coffee filters, a razor blade, plastic bags, electrical tape, a straw and a plastic cup.
The final filtered products - some looked a little more filtered than others!

The judging included a taste test?  Yikes, glad I wasn't the judge!

This was my team (team 7) and we just happened to win 2nd place, the silver medal!

Team-building challenge #2: This little lego number sat in the hallway outside of the room where we met and was called "the client."  Each team had to divide into communicators and designers.  The communicators had to go to the client and study it, then go back to the designers of their team and just verbally communicate how to rebuilt it with the legos we were given.  Trust me, it's harder than it looks!

Team-building challenge #3: One communicator of each group had a picture in front of them.  They had to describe only verbally how the designers needed to recreate it on the paper in front of them, only the communicator was not allowed to see what the designers were drawing.

It turned out that each of the images the nine teams drew made up a larger picture....the London Olympics 2012 logo!

A few lessons learned...
1.  Communicating is key to success
2.  A team with a clear vision on how to accomplish their goals is a stronger team
3.  We have to know WHY we are doing what we do
4.  Most importantly, GO TEAM GMB + VISBEEN ARCHITECTS!!

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