May 01, 2023  •  Insights  •  Education & Development

Where Ducks fight wolves | PRISMA Offsite April 2023

woman in orange dress smiling
Constanze Hertel

Content & Relations Manager

people standing around a board playing a game

Where do ducks fight wolves with arrows and footballs? At the PRISMA Offsite! We engaged in thrilling games in different teams. But that's not all. We delved into a diverse array of workshop sessions, from brainstorming to meditation, uncovering valuable insights along the way. If you're curious to learn more, read on!

Game on! The Offsite has begun

Sometimes you need a break from the regular work and find a way to connect with your teammates on a different level - and that’s what we did at our company offsite! We all were part of different animal teams, from fish to gorilla to bird to lion to frog to crocodile. Our goal: Working together, assessing, supporting and balancing the strengths and weaknesses of our members and ultimately, of course, getting the points for victory!

a woman and a man with bows

From shooting arrows and footballs with skill to testing our memory with details on a board, we engaged in intriguing tasks that kept us engaged. A quiz about car brands and identifying geographical borders of countries sparked friendly competition and encouraged us to showcase our knowledge. Moreover, we played a game of guessing whether a closed cup contained screws or shards of Christmas decorations. 

group of people playing a game

While the highlight of the event was undoubtedly the award ceremony, the experience itself left us with valuable insights that extend far beyond the celebration. Throughout the activities, we discovered the essence of successful teamwork, recognizing that a shared purpose, mutual reliance, and enjoying the journey together are essential elements.

The lessons we learned during the games hold great relevance in our daily work as well. Collaborating towards a common goal, supporting one another, and finding joy in the process are fundamental principles that enhance our effectiveness and strengthen our bonds as a team.

The trophies awarded to the winners serve as a poignant reminder of the potential within us when we work together, reinforcing our commitment to fostering a supportive and harmonious work environment.

Insights & Learnings

As a hybrid company, we hold a special appreciation for events that bring us all together in person. The PRISMA Offsite was no exception, providing us with a delightful blend of fun, learning, and meaningful interactions. During this gathering, we were introduced to various methods that enriched our ability to discuss, brainstorm, listen, tap into our creativity, and practice mindfulness. Here, we share a brief overview of the valuable lessons we learned.

The Fishbowl

When has it ever helped a company when employees act like fish? Whenever they have used the Fishbowl method! It can be used to discuss even complex and theoretical topics on which there are many questions or opinions in a short time.  At PRISMA our Agile Coach Christian Wanger introduced us to this method on our company offsite. Let's wrap up, how to Fishbowl. 

illustration people sitting in a circle

A small group of people (typically 3-5) sit in the centre of a circle and have a discussion or debate on a particular topic. The rest of the participants sit around the circle and listen to the conversation. The inner group is the "fishbowl" group, and they are the only ones who are allowed to speak during the discussion. However, any participant from the outer group can take the place of someone in the inner group. 

This approach encourages active listening and focused attention, allowing for a more intentional and inclusive conversation. It also encourages diverse perspectives as more participants can have the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. Even an otherwise quiet fish can really revive here. The fishbowl method can be particularly useful when discussing complex or controversial topics, as it allows for a more respectful and open exchange of ideas.

During our discussions, we gained fascinating insights into the future development of PRISMA. We delved into essential questions about the pace and extent of our company's growth, the prospects for new projects, and where our focus should lie as an organization.

The diverse points of view shared during these discussions provided valuable perspectives, offering a well-rounded understanding of the possibilities ahead. We appreciated the richness of ideas that emerged from this approach.

Otto Scharmer's 4 Levels of Listening

Do you think you're a good listener? It's not as easy as it seems. In fact, it can be quite challenging to truly listen to someone without interrupting or jumping in with our own thoughts and opinions. That's why a group of PRISMAtes took on the task of practising their listening skills for two whole minutes - without saying a word. The exercise was led by Franziska Gerlow from Gerlow & Kuehl, a trainer specializing in teamwork, culture, and innovation. 

illustration explains a listening method

She explained, that Otto Scharmer established the model of 4 Levels of Listening.

Level 1 is "downloading," where we only listen to confirm our existing beliefs and assumptions. This can limit our ability to learn new things and consider different perspectives. 

Level 2 is "factual listening," where we listen with an open mind to gather new information. This level is essential for gaining knowledge and understanding. 

Level 3 is "empathic listening," where we listen to truly understand another person's perspective. This level requires us to set aside our biases and assumptions and fully immerse ourselves in the other person's experience.

Finally, level 4 is "generative listening," where we listen to connect with a deeper source of wisdom and creativity. This level involves tapping into our intuition and imagination to explore new ideas and possibilities. 

By learning to recognize and engage with these different levels of listening, we can become better communicators, build stronger relationships, and cultivate empathy and creativity in all aspects of our lives. So, next time you find yourself in a conversation, try to identify which level of listening you're engaging in - and challenge yourself to go deeper. Who knows what you might discover?


7 Tip for better Brainstorming

Did you ever consider having a company Offsite in a bat cave? We did.

This was one idea we came up with at our PRISMA Offsite – that actually happened in a historical manor in Leipzig. Why such a wild idea? Because of Jonas Kuehl. He is a design thinking coach and facilitated the most unusual brainstorming session we had ever had.

portrait Jonas Kühl
© Jonas Kühl

No more tedious brainstorming sessions with sticky notes confined to a board. We broke free from convention, placing them everywhere — chairs, walls, even the unsuspecting backs of our colleagues were an option. Traditional discussions were replaced by dynamic movement, as we walked, allowing ideas to flow effortlessly and spontaneously.

Gone were the moments of self-doubt, where we questioned the worthiness of our ideas. Instead, we embraced a sequential approach, where each participant courageously vocalized their thoughts without hesitation. The chain of voices continued, uninterrupted, until every mind was heard.

Were all ideas pure gold? Not quite. But we learned: Our ideas go as far as our imagination can. While not every idea may fit every occasion, our session left us with some key takeaways we wanted to share with you. The basis was the brainstorming tips that you can see at IDEO U.


brainstorming illustration

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