Why We Had a Time Machine at Our Last Team Retreat

Why We Had a Time Machine at Our Last Team Retreat

As you know by now, when Melissa and I plan a retreat, things can get a little weird. We started 2018 no differently, and this time the weirdness included a Back To The Future theme and our very own time machine. Yes, I said time machine.

Here’s why a time traveling theme was the perfect team bonding experience.

We got to know each other- past, present, and future.

To start the day, we welcomed new intern Elon to the team. We wanted him to get to know us, and us to know him, so we hopped in the Delorean together, figuratively of course. Using a deck of cards with interesting and deep questions, we each took turns answering a prompt, after spinning the dials on our very own time machine.


For example, if Elon’s spin landed him on August 30, 2005, he would have to answer the question, maybe about his biggest fear, as his past self. If it landed on a future date, he had to answer what he thought he would say as his older self. 

This gave us a chance to tell stories from elementary school, talk about our current lives, and share our hopes and dreams for the future.

We were up and moving.

By using the aforementioned time machine, and continuing to set it throughout the day for each activity, we were up from our chairs. This kept the energy flowing and prevented a lull in our motivation.

After dinner, we chose bowling as our merrymaking activity, since it’s such a nostalgic activity. A little healthy competition, physical activity, and a lot of laughs later, we were feeling great at the end of the day.

We broke bread in some New York history.

We had dinner at PJ Clarke’s, a restaurant “virtually unchanged” at its original 1854 location. The food was delicious, and we had a blast literally walking into the past.

We worked out our creative muscle.

We also did some improv, but of course with a bit of a time-traveling twist. For each of our company’s core values, we had a scenario like this:

For the “Open Doors Open Hearts” core value: You have a big problem. So big, you can’t tell anyone you know. So you travel to Player 2’s time to be vulnerable and get advice.

We took turns acting our scenes in pairs – each person playing the role of someone from a vastly different time period, pulled from a hat. This led to a half-cyborg from the future conversing with a totally groovy hippy about his loss of memory issue. Yes, it was hilarious.

We mapped out our future, literally.

Each project, mapped out, week to week.

I know what you’re thinking: Did we do any actual work during our quarterly strategy retreat? OF. COURSE. WE. DID.

Throughout the bulk of the day, we set our time machine to the FUTURE and we chose all the projects we will complete this quarter. Each project fits into our Q1 theme, and each task was assigned to a week. Now that the future is now, we are happily plugging along, with a clear plan in mind every day.

Voila! Another team retreat in the books…the, ahem, history books. Marty McFly would be proud.

How could you incorporate time travel into your next big team meeting?

Happy team!

Sabina Colleran

Sabina is the Community Manager at Swift Kick, and loves that her job is dedicated to helping students be as awesome as they were meant to be. She is a graduate of Fordham University (go Rams!) and has fond memories of being an Orientation Leader and on the board of the Filipino club while in college. Her life goal is to be a perpetual ball of sunshine. Find her on twitter @sabinadeelight! To read her personal blogging adventure check out: 14tothefullest.wordpress.com