Pivot in Whistler
The road winds, the mountains are beautiful and the conversation is really, really good. This was a Pivot staff trip to Whistler and it was one of the best trips we have ever taken. Pivot doesn’t go on a lot of trips, but over the years, we have found donated cabins, sponsored ferry rides, and pooled gas money to get out of town to discuss work and the priorities of the organization.
So what made this trip so much better than all the previous trips – two words: no work. This trip to Whistler was purely social and it felt really good.
Now, I understand that no trip with colleagues is purely without work and this trip was no different. Spending a casual, fun time with co-workers goes a lot further for building connections than flimsy trust games and ice breakers. Luckily our time was spent cooking communal meals, playing party games, sharing stories, and laughing uncontrollably. Of course, our work came up from time to time – and, as always, it provided the backdrop for our connection – but, the amazing thing about this trip was how much we all enjoyed each other as people outside the office.
I can’t help but think that our new team structure provided the foundation for such a good trip. For almost a year now we have been working in four core teams that are responsible for all aspects of Pivot’s work. In order to break down work silos and provide a platform for ideas to come forward everyone in the organization is invited (and mostly attends) all of our meetings. So we have community organizers giving ideas on legal strategy and lawyers providing input into our social media strategy. Over the year, we have gotten to know each other better, learned to work with each other, and have seen fuller people emerge. The amazing time we had in Whistler was an unplanned, though thoroughly enjoyed, outcome of our collaborative team structure.
The ride back to Vancouver on Sunday flew by. When we got back into the city limits, I realized that I work with the type of people I have always wanted to know – engaged, driven, compassionate, and full of life. I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning.
Special thanks to a major donor to Pivot for allowing us to use his cabin and a big shout-out to Wild Play Elements Parks for allowing the Pivot crew to climb trees, tight rope walk, and zip through the Whistler forest. If you are in Whistler and are looking for some good, clean fun in a beautiful natural setting check out it.