Why Niswey’s First Offsite Was Magical

January 16, 2017 by Rajat Taneja

“At the beginning of the year, when you write down all goals you want to achieve and read that list regularly, you would’ve achieved all of them by the end of the year.” — Suma EP

These were Suma’s concluding lines during our final Goals Session last year.

Based on this philosophy, we went for our first offsite to share our professional plans for the new year. We stepped away from our daily work to take a look at the bigger picture. We gave ourselves 24 hours to discuss nine presentations, have intense conversations on our culture, enjoy drinks with barbeque, and get some sleep too.

By the end of the offsite, each of us was blown away. Not just by what all we did and discussed, but what we realized towards the end. We had grown, and how!

We started the offsite recalling why we’re there and what do we plan to achieve. This is bound to happen when ‘starting with why’ is deeply woven into our culture.

22-year-olds were presenting their plans to people as young as 44. Every PPT was followed by a quick Q&A session that brought clarity. Assess a team by its questions, rather than answers.

We also had a short and sweet team activity wherein we listed out the strengths of every Knowizard present. These dozen sheets of paper always make us smile, and remind us of the strengths we take for granted during challenging times.

After these sessions, lunch, and some tag football, it was time to discuss Niswey’s first book!

The idea of writing Building an Awesome, Authentic and Purposeful Workplace popped up during a entrepreneurial session at DrupalCon Asia last year. We set the context and took ideas from everyone on its writing — our target audience, what should we cover, how should we sound, etc.

Looking for a sneak peek into the book? Then read these amazing stories on how Niswey enables its people to discover themselves and evolve into better versions of themselves.

Now, back to the offsite.

By evening time, we began chatting, making drinks and cooking chicken. Suma and Abhinav went for a long walk in the lawn. They got back when everyone else was playing Pictionary, during which we discovered the ingenious and sharp-witty sides of many Knowizards!

After breakfast next morning, it was time for my favourite part of the offsite. The visualization-writing session by Suma.

We wrote down a goal we’d want to achieve in the next 365 days, and listened to an audio that helped us reach a subconscious state of mind. This technique helped us rewire our brain towards a mindset of having already achieved that goal. If well begun is half done, then well visualized is three quarters.

Towards the end, Abhinav thanked us while taking a bow! He had been truly moved. The long conversation he and Suma had the previous night was mostly about how they didn’t realise what kind of a place Niswey had grown into, and that everyone was so happy here.

This offsite proved to be a lot more purposeful and soulful than any of us had expected.

We realized that our culture accepts people as they are, and empowers us to pursue personal goals we’ve been procrastinating on since years. We’re always ready to help even if not sure how. We work for not just Niswey or its clients, but for the satisfaction we get from our work.

Most importantly, the offsite wasn’t just about discussing the positives.

We reminded ourselves to not accept mediocrity in anything we do, and the need to question everything even if it’s needed from our clients. We also realized the need to accept failure more. As Abhinav mentioned: “Without failing, we cannot experience the joy of winning. Without winning after having failed, we cannot realize the power of failing.”

Sounds like magic to you? Then get ready for another ride

And yes, here’s how the Life at Niswey looked like in 2016.