Retreat as a Means of Victory

By August 26, 2015About Us, Food, We Recommend

If there’s one thing that really makes TDW+Co shine, it’s our team. Nothing helps keep a community strong like a little bonding, a little sharing, and a nice break from the agency routine. Getting away from it all is the best way to get refreshed so we can finish the year even stronger. So how did TDW+Co_mrades bring everyone closer this time? Here are a handful of our fun moments:

Heart of the Community

This is the year we moved into our new offices, so we wanted to make sure we really jumped into the center of our community in Seattle’s International District (AKA Chinatown) for our retreat. At Hing Hay Coworks, we held the bulk of our internal presentations and announcements, including skits about each team’s role and accomplishments in the agency (there may have been hobbits involved).

This coworking space is located in the historic Hing Hay Park, a centerpiece of the community where you can find locals practicing tai chi, playing ping pong, feeding birds, or moving a giant chess set around. It was great to spend some time in the community we co-built before we said goodbye.

Getting Knotty

What involves holding hands, complex communication, and ends with breaking apart? No, it’s not relationships – it’s the human knot! Everyone stands in a circle, holds hands with nonconsecutive people across the circle, and then attempts to untangle the knot till all are facing the same direction in a simple hand-holding circle.

Our various teams gave it their best, and at first it seemed like creatives fared better with this kind of problem solving…until the rules changed, and they were no longer allowed to speak while untangling, and had to add more people to the knot. The lesson? The bigger the team, the harder communication is, and the more important it was for leaders to step up and for others to be willing to follow them.

Riding the Ducks

Most tourists in Seattle know about “Ride the Ducks,” and think of it as a fun, family-friendly way to tour Seattle in an amphibious vehicle. Most Seattleites know it as that loud tourist boat thing that passes like every 15 minutes. During our retreat, our hardened Seattle natives and our bright-eyed transplants alike experienced The Ducks for the first time, led by the sure hand and endless antics of Captain Ed Venture. Some of our team learned to like the squeaky duck horns a little…too much.

L.A. Art Show

Meanwhile, during the LA team retreat, we brought out our artistic side by creating a “map” of the journey that led each of us to a career at TDW+Co. Everything from the town we each grew up in to our educational backgrounds to dead-end jobs and odysseys to The West was put on display, helping us learn about these crazy people we sit next to every day. It was part memoir, and part show and tell – the perfect combo of data and creativity that makes our agency what it is.

Crunch Time in Seattle

They say the way to an employee’s heart is through their stomach. Well, maybe not they, but we’re saying it. To prove our point, we bonded over some of Seattle’s favorite restaurants, like:

Serious Pie: Pizza wasn’t meant to be put in a mold, pressed in a factory. It was meant to be tossed with love, care and a bit of experimentation. The unique flavors here, like arugula, chicken and BBQ sauce, are serious business.

Barolo: A classy number near our new offices and with a happy hour both that your gut and your wallet can smile about, the well-crafted French and Italian dishes here sent our taste buds Barolling.

X Games Meets Trust Fall

We put our LA team to a serious physical test – rock climbing while other team members belay for them (hold the rope in place). Flexibility, strength, and most importantly, trust were put front and center. Though some team members like Kenyon could handle any canyon, the rest of us were panting and taking a Gatorade shower after only a few hours on the walls. What we learned: your team mates will work hard to see you through, and you r body can get sore in places you didn’t know existed.

On the Highway to Hill

At the end of a hard day, there are really only two things anyone in advertising needs to unwind. Beer and something to throw. We headed to Reinhaus in Seattle’s young and lively Capitol Hill district for a little of both. Fine German steins, and the satisfaction of smashing loud clacking bocce balls down the court – any frustration from a workday or barriers to teamwork were easily bowled away.

And in LA, we ended festivities by taking the only bar exam that matters, at The Federal Bar in Long Beach. A few hours of stone columns, leather couches and specialty cocktails, and we can safely say we passed.

That’s just a little taste of the fun we had over our mid-year retreat last month that helped us unwind and connect with our coworkers. Want to find out every gritty detail? You’ll have to join the team!

Learn more about TDW+Co’s culture and discoveries today!