For this business case study, Gumtree's finance team came to us looking for a creative activity to bring their team together on a personal level. Their team had been going through a particularly busy period and the tech company's Chief Financial Officer had personally experienced the value of acting in a business setting, and approached City Academy looking for ideas.
After a turbulent period Gumtree’s finance team were coming to London to meet. For the team building element of the conference, Gumtree’s management wanted a creative activity outside of the regular routine that would help everyone A) connect on a personal level and B) share a creative experience.
The team comprises international offices so this was a rare opportunity to come together and share in a new creative challenge.
After consultation with City Academy, Improvisation was chosen as the team activity because of the emphasis onlistening and building on one another’s idea. This direct relevance with their roles together with the fun, adventurous style of activity convinced Gumtree’s CFO that this was the ideal route to meet her objectives.
After a team lunch we welcomed the group at one of our partner venues in Moorgate.
The group was soon split into two sub teams. With 30 people we wanted to ensure that each team member had personal attention and the opportunity to perform in front of their colleagues. Each group was nervous and completely oblivious as to what was about to happen.
A professional actor from London’s West End led each group through a physical and vocal warm-up theatre style. Once the group were more relaxed we led a series of short, sharp exercises to get the creative juices flowing and help the group share ideas without any judgement. We played word-games, physical focus and energiser exercises with increasing degrees of complexity.
The workshops concluded with short performances of improvised scenes where the groups used their newfound acting skills to create believable storylines in 2-3 minutes. The results surprised all present with much laughter and even a few touching moments (and one of two tears!).
“I lead a multinational and multilingual finance team based in Denmark, Germany and the UK. We were looking for a fun and engaging activity, something for us to bond and get to know one another on a more personal level. We approached City Academy for some creative ideas and went with the theme of Improvisation. We had a very well planned and executed workshop – it was a fantastic experience for us and one that we are still talking about.”
Agnes Aszodi, CFO, Gumtree UK at eBay