When most people think of an IT department, the words fun, exciting, and creative are not the first ones that come to mind. However, the Fayetteville State University IT department proved to be all of those things in their annual workshop.
Seeing The Big Picture™ in Fayetteville, NC
This year’s focus was on improving camaraderie, networking, and creativity to support a culture of learning. The Big Picture™ was a great way to synthesize all of these elements. They spent two days doing something a little out of the ordinary for an IT department: talking about the people side of things, not the technical side. Topics of discussion included personality types and their corresponding differences and strengths.
So on the morning of the Big Picture™ workshop, the group was ready for fun! We started out with a couple of warm-up activities just to get people laughing and comfortable with Magnifico, our specialized no spill, no mess creative process. Once participants divided into their teams of four or five, they worked to earn the items they needed using competitions like Say What I Say, Air Counting, and Wordles.
IT Department Shifts Focus from Parts to People
Each team was given a small section of the larger painting. In each of those sections, six separate panels were required, one for every participant to complete. Many were concerned that their part wasn’t good enough or wasn’t quite right. It’s a big challenge to let go of insecurity and overcome the fear of sharing creative ideas. This group rose to the challenge beautifully.
Once they saw it all come together, their responses changed dramatically, from hesitation to enthusiasm and excitement. Suddenly, people saw how their individual piece made complete sense when viewed with all of the other pieces in one large picture. It looked great, and everyone was excited to get it together and prepare it for mounting on the wall.
Fayetteville State University’s IT Team Succeeds with Flying Colors
An informal debriefing wrapped up the day. Everyone understood the idea that their part, though small, was vital and necessary for the Big Picture™ to come together. Genuine team building arose through painting, creativity, and having fun. By the end, even those most nervous about their creative ability were right in the thick of things. It was fun to see this department come together as a team, for facilitators as well as participants.