Team Building and creative thinking in Sweden

Sometimes you need to get out of the office to be able to think outside of the box. Norwegians sometimes go even further and take a day or two to Denmark by ferry or Sweden by car. I did so together with colleagues in a workgroup at The Norwegian Computer Society last week and you’re welcome to join us. The purpose was to discuss the program our workgroup or task force will provide our members in 2010 and we went to Strømstad, 135km (84 miles) south of Oslo, just across the Swedish boarder. Then you’re out of the hectic and stressful urban life with a great view of the fjord and harbour at Laholmen Hotel:

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As you can see, we haven’t got any snow yet, but it was below freezing and it gave kind of a taste of winter at least:

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Since we’re getting closer and closer to Yule tide, the hotel was Xmas decorated both inside and out. I took this picture at the entrance around 9PM:
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Then inside there was no doubt what season we were into – here are a couple of examples:
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Left: Gingerbread House – Right: The hotel bar with a taste of Xmas :-)

Good planning requires good food as well as drinks and of course the social part of the work groups gathering is important for a good result. Then the hotels restaurant has all you need. You’re welcome to sit in with us while I show you the menu:
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My regular readers might recognize at least a couple of guys in the picture? :-)

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Starter: Fresh caught peel and eats shrimp.
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Left = Main course: Duck a l’ Orange – Right = Ice cream with wild lingon berries.

Then into the bar with more discussions and by all means creative and out of the box ideas for our program next year. It’s amazing how well a group develops ideas in surroundings and an atmosphere like this – some we agreed could be used when we started our meeting the day after and some could be a bit of a challenge to complete :-)

How does your team generate creativity and encourage thinking outside of the box? Have you had any similar or unusual experiences? I would sure like to hear about them!