The conference was an important moment to bring the group of 150 research scientists together after such a challenging twelve-month period. Many had not seen each other in that time, and many had not even met their teams after starting at the company throughout COVID. The aim of the conference was to increase collaboration across teams, through deeper levels of connection.
Wake opened the research offsite by playing a bombardment clip – a collection of images that told the story of the past 12months, the impact of COVID, and CSL’s historical contribution to improving health outcomes in Australia and abroad. Throughout the conversation facilitated afterwards, many participants reflected that they had a renewed sense of pride in their role at CSL and CSL’s contribution to broader society.
As well as facilitating various ice-breakers and moments of reflection throughout the two days, Wake also delivered a one-hour workshop that was designed to create connection amongst the group. Beginning with a 150 person Human Bingo exercise, Wake played on the element of surprise by planting a vintage red telephone in the middle of the room, suddenly dimming the lights and playing a ringing sound effect over the loud speaker when no one was expecting it. After a while, one brave participant stood up to answer the phone, where he was asked questions by a facilitator hiding behind the scenes, speaking over the loudspeaker.
This conversation led the individual to reflect on their experience of connecting with others over the past 12months – the challenges, rewards and deeper learnings they had made about themselves throughout that time. This conversation set the tone for those that followed as people were able to reflect on the trials and tribulations of the past twelve months, ultimately bringing the group closer together through human connection.