Make 2020 Crystal Clear

Give your team the Christmas present of a new vision and way of working

A guest post from Buck Greenback, CFO

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The Christmas and New Year season is fast approaching. Now is the time that many organizations are doing a lot of planning. Perhaps you are planning for an end-of-year celebration for your team. Or perhaps you are starting the strategic planning process for 2020. Either way: Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders can help. People tell me I’m very direct. And you are no doubt a busy person: so I’ll get straight to the point.

New Year, new approach

You may be thinking about a Strategy Away Day, and bringing your team together to think about your vision, and to crystallize ways of working for next year.  And of course you won’t be succumbing to the cliché of calling it a “20/20 Vision”, will you?  You may know what you are planning for next year, but have you thought about the how? How are you and your team going to work in a different way to add value to your business, to deliver on your ambitious goals and agenda, and to make a difference to your organization, your colleagues, and your own career?

We can help. We can deliver a team workshop that will get you and your team thinking about ways of working, team behaviors, and how to work with a renewed purpose to deliver value. We have worked with both government and private sector organizations to help set their teams up for success. Our business simulation gives participants a chance to think about their own behaviour, have intensive discussions, and sometimes even break through performance barriers to achieve new heights. We can develop a customized workshop for you and your team to help you address the performance challenges for 2020. We can teach your team how to be real strategic advisers to your CEO and other leaders.

(Oh, as an aside, it is worth mentioning that my colleague Isobel Ching, our CEO occasionally channels her inner O-Ren Ishii when talking about strategic advisers: “Please note that, as your leader, I encourage my [strategic advisers] from time to time, and always in a respectful manner to question my logic. If you’re unconvinced that a particular plan of action I’ve decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo.” If you need advice on how to be an effective strategic adviser; get in touch.)

Celebration events

Or you may be planning a party for your team. If so, allow me to make some suggestions from a Finance perspective. In the UK, the cost of a staff party or entertainment counts as a deduction for tax purposes. However, be aware there are some circumstances when it can count as a ‘taxable benefit-in-kind’ for your employees. This can happen when the cost per employee is above £150. There are some tax rules which state that the event must have some business element, ie it can’t just be a nice meal and a few drinks. If you are looking for a fun business element to stay within the rules, then we might have the answer for you.

Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders can offer you and your team a fun, business-focused activity as a preamble to your real Christmas celebrations. We have versions of the game for different functions and can also create a cross-functional versions where teams will play different fictional characters in a real-life setting. Your team will get to think about business from a different point of view, debate with other teams, and challenge perspectives – both their own and others’. Our events can be aimed at teams from 7 people to 70, and include fun exercise, team challenges, interactive voting and even prize giving.

(Oh, my colleague Lloyd Barr, our General Counsel, has reminded me I need to say this: “Please note that the above does not constitute official tax vary. The exact rules will vary by country and your organizational status. Please contact your own Finance team or Accountant for specific advice.”)

Merry Christmas!

Let Christmas give you an edge

This morning, my assistant Marco Madeira, gave me the usual run down of things we have to deal with. It was a fun, productive meeting. At the end, he said “Oh and there’s an email in your inbox from Michael Ambrose. You need to approve his idea for the team Christmas do”. Christmas! There you go. It’s October and we are officially in closing-out-the-year mode.

I haven’t read Michael’s email yet, but I trust him and I’m sure he’s come up with something unique, fun and business worthy. After all, getting my whole team together for a full day is a big investment – of brains and money. So no sappy Christmas jumper competition for Globocorp – not this year.

Let me give you a tip, my friends and advisers, you can escape the escape rooms and the choir practice, do something a bit more productive than just hang about and drink. Instead, Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders can come to you and help your team grow through play.

Our game helps you learn to navigate the ambiguity between theory and practice as your team encounters real-life scenarios in a game environment.

We know that we learn best when we experience things, when we are having fun and when we get a chance to reflect with others: these are the three pillars of its design.

Players will take part in an immersive experience to:

  • Quickly establish a team, sharing roles, and reaching consensus
  • Reflect around key business challenges and how to work with other functions.
  • Understand how to apply “rules” and “best practice” when reality bites.

My creators have even designed two new festive scenarios for our enjoyment.

So, if you are in Michael Ambrose’s position and need to figure out Christmas in October, don’t give it another thought: get in touch and my creators will help you use this task to advance your career. After all, ‘tis the season to be savvy.

its the season to be savvy