World Health Organization Country
Office (WCO) Sri Lanka
participated in Staff Retreat Program named “Wild Drift Team Challenge” which was conducted in Sigiriya
from 16th to 18th October 2009. This was a long felt need
after a period of nearly four years and conducted as a joint venture with
“Wild Drift” which is management
training Company that carries out their programmes
in a different way in the wilderness!
was more than just an outing with some outdoor activities and was filled with
full of hopes and expectations. The belief that by taking training out of the
usual workplace environment those participants may gain a unique perspective
on the challenges and issues they face on a daily basis was the thinking
behind exploring this type of adventure.
The overall objectives of the retreat program were:
Impact Assessment of Programs,
Strategizing for the Future and
Overall Staff Wellbeing.
Objectives of the Team Building
Inspiring and sharing one single dream as a bonded Team,
who could demonstrate more than perceived skills and talents including
Thinking out of the box to challenge the obstacles with
Empathetic communication and respecting differences
Balancing Results, processes and relationships
It is a team venture between the facilitators from “Wild
Drift” who have done many research and
study programmes on experiential training and adult
education together with staff of WCO who composed of persons with varying
degrees of expertise, qualifications ,experiences, knowledge, skills,
emotions ,attitudes ,believes ,norms and values. The profile of participants
included from WHO Representative (WR) to Sri Lanka, members of
Professional (P) Staff and General (G) Staff, Drivers/Messengers and Helpdesk
colleagues. The age of participants ranges from 27 to 68 years.
The team building starts on the way on
16 October 2009 to Sigiriya itself by dividing into
two groups and answering a set of quizzes built up on general knowledge of
the places passed. Once arrived at the Elephant Corridor Hotel in Kibissa ,
Sigiriya the team building session continued.
The main activity “Treasure Hunt” for
the second day started following an Ice Breaking, session. “Treasure Hunt”
was an energizing event with full of passion and fun. The pre planning, skill
identification, role allocation, task orientation, effective planning,
performing tasks beyond perceived limitations whilst facing changes in the
environment were the main focus of learning. The video debriefing session
allowed the participants to observe and learn from their own experiences.
The “Social Evening” with a truly Sri
Lankan professional dancing group and “Fancy Dress Parade” of which WCO staff
members participated on the second day evening brought essence into the
Third day was still useful with
activities for mind stretching, empathetic communication and think out of the
box games. The “Tactical Action Game –Paint Ball “ which involved shooting
with washable and biodegradable balls of paint with carbon dioxide powered
paint ball guns was one of the task
for the third day. Two teams who are armed with Paint Ball guns battled out
for supremacy in achieving predefined objectives which was subsequently
followed by a debriefing session.
Short presentations by P staff and WR
were one event specially designed for participants to assess and depict
strategic Office Specific Expected Results (OSERS) in respective work plans.
The innovative actions which will be taken up once go back were identified.
One of the deliverables out of the
staff retreat was to put into practice the “Trim Tab “of a ship (Trim tab is
the device that moves the direction of the rudder). Sri Lanka is elucidated as an
ocean with ports of call depicted as the six components of the Country
Corporation Strategy (CCS) in the framework of the National Health Services
An “Action point chart from the WHO
retreat in Sigiriya (16-18 October 2009)” was drawn
up as the other deliverable. Fire safety, prevention of non communicable
diseases and promotion of healthy life styles, promotion of “recycling” of
waste or solid waste management, WCO retreat experience ,ways to continue and
reinforce the positive experience from retreat, possible solutions to
transportation challenges, rotation of staff at reception, new PABX
system, support provided by WCO for
organization of regional workshops, follow up of on technical session on workplan, OSER and ,CCS progress on workplans
and next retreat were among the action points given much priority .
retreat program of WCO Sri Lanka was a refreshing and useful event for almost
all the staff members who participated and will be an initiation to move
forward as one team to achieve a common goal. In short during “Wild Drift
Team Challenge” participants
together with facilitators spent almost 36 hours together, engaging in various
experiential learning activities – facing new challenges, learning more about
themselves and fellow team members, and of course having fun!