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:

Team Building in Sweden #1 Team Building in Sweden #2

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:

Team Building in Sweden #3

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:
Team Building in Sweden #4

Then inside there was no doubt what season we were into – here are a couple of examples:
Team Building in Sweden #5 Team Building in Sweden #6
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:
Team Building in Sweden #7
My regular readers might recognize at least a couple of guys in the picture? :-)

Team Building in Sweden #8
Starter: Fresh caught peel and eats shrimp.
Team Building in Sweden #9 Team Building in Sweden #10
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!


  1. Pingback:Traditional Christmas decorations in Sweden « DianeCA’s Metamorphoses

  2. Thinking outside the box? I’ve not heard that phrase in years. Made me smile since so few can actually do that.

    The food looks good as always.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

  3. Oh it is getting close to Christmas. Great pictures and report, Renny! As always!

  4. The third picture (the frost) is my favorite. Great angle and light! That’s what my mornings look like now, and we are expecting the first “real” snow for Wednesday.

    I wouldn’t mind team building in this kind of setting, around this kind of table!

  5. Beautiful pictures, and yummy foods from the looks of them! Thinking outside the box is right. I just wish I could think at all ;) Just kidding!

    Hope you are having a good time in your travels. Glad to be back and read more of your blog. Have a great week :)

  6. Hey Renny, I can see Tor there… :D

    Anyway, about this task force cum group discussion is it confine to just a few of you? What kind of activities are you all looking at?

    So you see Tor and not me? :lol:

    We are 10 people in this specific task group, but there are 50 more groups for different subjects.
    We are looking for seminars, conferences, workshops and other member meetings for all members of The Norwegian Computer Society.

    • Heheheh….I can see you too Renny :D

      I’ve attended many workshops, conferences and I suppose you are looking for themes that are related to computer?

      I suppose you are all professional so not sure if other topics would be relevant though.

  7. In fact, I do think I recognize all of those wonderful people.
    We had a great planning session.
    The photo of the rime frost grass is simply great.

    Not to mention of the time from TORsday until Sunday.

    btw. I went to the Vet this day. I still weap. It’s so tragic.
    Half of the kitten siblings are now in Cat Heaven

  8. Hello Renny
    Thank you for visiting my Blog.
    I’ll come here often.
    I love Norway and I’ll return soon.
    Thank you for the wonderfull pictures.
    Winter is coming…
    In Portugal we have already snow in the mountains. The biggest is only 2000 meters high, but people does ski.

  9. My, what colourful food!

    The frozen pics are awesome! They are predicting a snowstorm for us tomorrow.

  10. I’ve always thought that getting away to another environment that includes some R&R can be very very productive! And it looks like it was fun, too! Plus, Great Food! You can’t go wrong with that…lol! And yes, I DO recogize two people in that picture….!

  11. awesome… the food looks yummy… we also have some nice cooking team building activities in Sydney…

    thanks for sharing..

  12. With all that good food, Renny, you’re bound to come up with great ideas…inside OR outside the box. :D

  13. Hey Renny,

    That is what I call an excellent strategy: to go out of the urban area to plan and design strategies.

    What a beautiful place, man! I loved the frosty grass, it looked magical.
    Indeed, Yule is almost there (time for death and re-birth): what thrill!
    Hey, that gingerbread house looks yummyyyyy!!

    Thanks, Renny for having shared this delight with us :D!

    Happy Festivities!!

  14. I didn’t know that and I live in Sweden! Then there would be no point in watching it. Oh man. What a drag. That’s just stupid. There are beauty contests for men too. They just don’t get as much attention from the media as the ones for women.

  15. Wonderful photos, Renny ~ I love the one of the frozen grass glistening in the winter sunlight!

    Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season so far. That gingerbread house is so beautiful!

  16. sounds like it was a very pleasant time. certainly some lovely things to see.

    unfortunatley, where i work, they want you to stay in the box, in your own little corner of the box. do not ever step out. it makes me crazy.

  17. I would recommend if you decide to go is to go early in the summer. Obviously Norway isn’t the greatest place to tour in the winter, but if you travel earlier in the summer, there will be more snow on top of the mountains. Not only is it pretty, but as it melts and runs off, it creates more small waterfalls along the hills.

  18. Fantastic pictures and delicious food!!
    I always get lingon berries at I*kea (son loves them with Kartoffelsalat), I will try them with ice cream :)

  19. Wonderful pictures from a beautiful place ;)
    I hope the diner was yummiee……

  20. It’s the time of the year where much of Europe is covered in white! Such a magical moment which will never be seen in Singapore.

    Would your group like to organize a trip to Singapore? :P

  21. I don’t think the pageant is degrading cause it shows the beauty of one country. but ms sweden’s act can lead to respect for her standing up to her belief.

  22. Yes, isn’t Sweden fantastic? *giggles*

    Looks like you had both a pleasant AND productive time!

  23. I want to eat that food

  24. ginger breadhouse is it made of bread really ?

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