What happens on tour, stays on tour. Isn’t that what they say?
Not so for Discovr bandcamp!
Forget cold showers and roughing it tent style. We had all the coffee, code and cookies that can be legally acquired in the fine state of Western Australia and we’re not afraid who knows it!
Last week our team crash-landed after a few days away in the southwest of Oz, around 3-hours roadtrippin’ from our Perth HQ.
Picture this – fresh salty sea air, sunshine over storm clouds, sweet-drinking rainwater and a pimping crib positioned high on the hill, overlooking picturesque surf breaks. Tough gig, huh?
Before you start crying “junket!” and hurling things at me, let me say this wasn’t a holiday or one of those annual “professional development” camps where you get a leave-pass from doing “real work”.
It was more us experimenting with new ways of living our values through our work life and trying to innovate with our own creative process.
Why did we go? Three reasons:
1. Live well, create well.
We’re advocates for the creative benefits of living a good life.
Exercise, fresh air, good food and simple living are fundamental to our idea of a good life.
In theory, by living better, we think better. We create better.
We’re a small team of 6 and have access to some of the best coastline in Australia. Given our flexibility to work remotely, it’s a no-brainer.
2. A new perspective.
I find I’m most creative when I’m somewhere new altogether. I seem to have some of my best ideas when I’m hanging about in airport lounges, on planes and taking up space in my local coffee shop.
It’s the same philosophy as the age-old adage – “Sleep on it”. Take a big step back and gain new clarity and insight from looking at your problem from a new angle.
It’s not a new or revolutionary idea, but we went on bandcamp to get outside our own heads for a little bit and throw some light back on our work from a new direction.
3. Team time.
This ties back to reason #1. You spend so much of your life at work – usually considerably more time than you get to spend with your actual family – that having respectful, honest, caring relationships with your co-workers will lead to a more meaningful existence.
The depth of your shared experiences is mirrored in the depth of your interpersonal relationships, and in my opinion, we are certainly a more closely-knit group for the whole bandcamp adventure.
Trusting relationships between teammates breeds a better environment for innovation. We can challenge, encourage or question each other’s ideas without political fallout. By trusting each other and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, we allow more room for feedback, growth and improvement, all critical in a startup environment.
As they say, the family that plays together stays together!
I’d like to be able to say that the vision was a complete success and we returned home with a bagful of brilliant new ideas but, while there were some really positive experiences, it turns out we forgot an important ingredient… constraints.
There was no clear goal or outcome for this trip, other than to “work” and see what happened, and I think we all struggled a little bit maximising the opportunity.
The vision was right, but the execution would have benefitted from some more clearly defined boundaries for both group work and individual tasks – or “wired-in” time, as we like to call it.
Hopefully we’ll have another crack at it soon and I can report back and let you know how we go.
Do you have any tips on how to optimise for both creativity and productivity? Do you have a creative place, and have you ever attempted a trip like this with your own team?
Leave a comment and share your thoughts, ideas and lessons.