Cindy Crean

Preventing Teams from Burning Out

BY CINDY CREAN

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It can be helpful to take the best practices you learn at one job and apply them to another.  One thing that really stuck with me when I worked at Netflix was that my managers would highly recommend people NOT to call, email, text, etc. people from the office who were on vacation.  Instead, they recommended keeping a list of topics to discuss with them when they returned.  Their philosophy was so much of a project would be moved along by the time they got back that it wouldn’t matter anyway.  It was up to you to schedule time with the person upon their return from vacation and catch them up.  This approach was helpful from a preventing burnout perspective and allowing people to really relax when on holiday.  Here is a great article on some other helpful ways to reduce burnout.

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What ideas have worked for you to prevent team burnout?

My Inspirational Podcast On the Ice

BY CINDY CREAN

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north pole expedition

How would you respond if you saw this advertisement?

 “Applications are invited from women of any age, background, and occupation, but they will have to prove fitness and commitment. They will have to put up with real pain and discomfort. They will wonder every ten steps what they are doing but they have the opportunity in an epic endeavor.”  The classified ads of The Telegraph

I recently heard this ESPN “30 for 30” podcast about a group of women who were the first to travel to the North Pole some 20 years ago.  Their story really resonated with me because it was a disparate group of woman who came together to accomplish a goal.  The story highlights their courage, fears, intrepidness, and sense of adventure – all very admirable qualities.  Have a listen for yourself here or, if you are more of a reader, the Smithsonian also published an article about these amazing women here.  By the way, had I seen that ad, I would have jumped at the chance to go with them!

 

We’d love to hear if you would have responded to this ad!

Unlocking Creative Genius Artist Erik Wahl Tells Us How to Revive Our Passion

BY CINDY CREAN

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Unlock Your Creative Genius: 4 Steps to being provocative with a purpose

This Fast Company post by author Ekaterina Walter addresses how to maintain and apply an active imagination into your adult life. To do this, we must become provocative. Graffiti artist Erik Wahl says you can become more provocative “by constantly looking for obstacles to growth and opportunities for progress regardless of your daily duties—you can provide your company with a measure of critical preparation it doesn’t currently have.” Wahl distills the importance of the artist in the fact that the artist doesn’t wait until (s)he is directly provoked but provokes her/himself and those around her/him. This process helps bring about the improvement of vestigial ideas or processes within your company that have been reinforced by their normality. True North Team Building offers many Learning programs that can help your company to become more curious which in turn stimulates the rethinking of old ideas.

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The Beauty of Working with Cardboard

BY CINDY CREAN

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We love when groups want to work with cardboard.  It really is about “Thinking About the Box.”   The beauty of working with cardboard is it is great for experimenting, innovating, problem-solving, prototyping, collaborating, creating, inspiring, and so much more.  Check out our programs that include cardboard:  Row Your Boat Regatta , The Giant Book Project, and Shore to Shore Bridge Build.  We have many more creative cardboard programs that aren’t on our website – please call us if you would like to know more.  Let’s get your team building something incredible, out of cardboard!

shore to shore - cardboard

Asking Questions The Quest Not to Shun Others

BY CINDY CREAN

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The Power of Oprah is the Power of Question

The Forbes article “What Oprah Can Teach Us About the Power of Asking Questions” focuses on the benefits of the simple act of asking constructive questions and, how asking questions can benefit a company’s productivity. Simply asking a question encourages others to contribute and be creative. It is an inclusive approach to business. Further, asking questions along the lines of “how could our product be even more useful?” can engage one in thinking through the viewpoint of one’s client, customer or end user. This avoids excessive valuing of one’s own interests – it provides a more balanced approach to problem-solving. Asking questions helps one let go of the need to prove one’s own worth, and the need to have control. True North Team Building offers plenty of programs that allow practicing healthier communication skills, including recognizing the value of questioning. Some examples are Chain Reaction, Shore to Shore Bridge Build, Experiential Challenges, and many of our culinary programs.chain reaction

The Significance of Stress At Work And Some Ways to Circumvent It

BY CINDY CREAN

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Proof That Positive Work Cultures are More Productive 

This succinct article by Harvard Business Review provides some very telling information about the impact of stress on work life. One of the most striking among the facts revealed is a study done by The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. The article recommends the following strategies to avoid stress: foster social connections, go out of your way to help, show empathy and encourage others to talk to you. True North Team Building offers plenty of programs to combat stress and to reinforce your company’s values. Further, any of our Play team events do a great job of loosening the stress-causing psychological grip of technology over your employees.

 

stress at work

How to Leave Your Comfort Zone And Why It’s Important To

BY CINDY CREAN

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LifeHacker “Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone”

In this lifehacker blog post, author Alan Henry discusses the importance of pushing yourself beyond the limits of your ‘comfort zone’. He admonishes the complacency of neglecting to try new things and falling back on old habits. In his guide to how to leave your comfort zone and why you should, Henry brings up “Optimal Anxiety”. Optimal anxiety is the idea that you need a small amount of stress to perform at your best. Optimal anxiety can be exploited in a work environment to help create a more productive space. Research cited in the article suggests that without enough risk or unfamiliarity involved in a task, workers can easily fall into a steady and sluggish pace or even apathy. True North Team Building offers programs (like Chain Reaction) that will allow you to see how your employees flourish when confronted with new and semi-stressful challenges. These programs are designed to give your company ideas about how a more dynamic workplace is more conducive to success.

The Chalk Art by Peter Han & The Surprisingly Valuable Work Ethic Behind It

BY CINDY CREAN

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Peter Han Chalk Art

SnowGlobe Studios’ short film, “Pardon My Dust: The Chalk Art of Peter Han” speaks volumes on the creative potential behind two things: not being afraid to let go and taking the ‘biggest strokes’ first. Han teaches students to practice drawing on the impermanent medium of the chalkboard to avoid attachment/excessive self-praise. He also says that it can be limiting to fixate on the details initially; you should instead get the biggest concepts down first and work backwards from there. These ideas are easily applicable to the workplace and are endlessly fruitful for self-improvement. True North Team Building offers many programs that help instill these values.