In January of this year we started a new tradition. Very befitting for the month January, one might say. The new tradition? Message in a Bottle.
How did it work? Each one of the Pétanque Team wrote down their personal and career goals for 2011, and sealed these in envelopes. During a special breakfast ceremony we placed these envelopes in an official Company Bottle, as “time-capsuled messages in a bottle” to ourselves, and sealed it.
On Friday, the 25th of November, we broke the seal of The Bottle. Each team member had an opportunity to share with the rest of the team how they had fared against their given goals for the year.
The amazing thing was this: what was focused on, was achieved. Clear as daylight. Makes one think.
How to create your own Team Time Capsule:
- Ask your team to record their goals, but assure confidentiality. Do this at the start of the year.
- During a special event dedicated to this occasion, seal the team’s goals in a jar or bottle. Create a ceremony around closing and sealing the bottle to mark the occasion.
- Store the jar or bottle in a safe place during the year. Through internal e-mail communication, send a photo of the bottle with a note to keep the Message in a Bottle concept alive in everyone’s minds. Do this a few times during the year.
- At the end of the year, arrange a ceremony to break the seal with as many team members present as possible. Ask everyone (who would like to) to share their goals with the rest of the team, highlighting what the current status against those goals are. It is very important to allow enough time for each team member to share what he or she would they would like to share.
- As a team, celebrate the achievements and provide support as needed.
There is often too little time for reflection at end of the year. This is a great way to encourage such reflection on what is important. And it starts everyone thinking about their goals for next year. Never too early for that!