Teams that Play Together Stay Together

What does your company do for fun? Perhaps it’s not the first thing you think about when you picture your job, however there are many reasons why dedicating time with your colleagues outside of actual work is good for the company’s overall success.


Getting to know each other better is crucial for workplace harmony. Sure, you don’t need to be best friends with your coworkers, but when you feel comfortable around someone or at least understand how they tick, you are better equipped to solve the everyday workplace issues without things escalating into problems.

When you collaborate with people you are comfortable with, you are likely to share ideas more freely and openly – allowing for more creativity which translates to more successful and innovative ideas.

Improving communication among colleagues is one of the most important things team building accomplishes.

Normally wages are the biggest expense of a company so keeping your employees happy is a critical investment to make as it is much more cost efficient to retain quality people than continuing to source, hire and train new ones. Besides strengthening the bonds between the team, employees are often motivated and refreshed after a team building activity resulting in higher productivity and better results.

Many times, company sponsored events are viewed as a waste of time. Make sure to add value to these events with well thought out activities or a quality guest speaker. Another option to consider is to take out the corporate stuff altogether. Find the balance between fun and productive. You want to create a memorable event that doesn’t feel like time at the office or time wasted.

To give you an example, peak 1 has done a few activities over the last few months. As you might have seen in our previous post, we volunteered together. Volunteering not only serves a purpose for the greater good, it provides an opportunity to work together in new and unique ways separate from how you might work together in the office.


When the fiscal year began, we held a kickoff event. We rotated teams a few times throughout the day, sharing ideas on how we can be more productive, more creative and more efficient. Although this particular event was more company focused, it was organized in a way that concentrated on personal growth rather than the bottom line. At the end of the day, we had dinner and drinks at a restaurant near by. Being able to relax, talk openly and reflect on the day made it even more effective.

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One other event I’d like to share with you is a barbecue party our CEO hosted at his house in the mountains. Although this event was optional, on a Saturday and over 2 hours away, almost every employee attended, some with their families. This has become an annual event and something everyone looks forward to. It is an opportunity to interact in a different environment, cook for each other, get to know new people (spouses, children) and new things about the people we spend a significant amount of time with during the week.

Investing time into the people that make up your company or organization is invaluable. Make the time to create memorable events throughout the year that your employees can look forward to. Create annual events and balance them with new and unexpected activities.


Innovation and Graphic Facilitation

Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization – we value innovation at peak 1 and strive to work with clients and partners who believe this as well. A few months ago we had the opportunity to learn about graphic facilitation and how we might be able to use it for our creative projects in the future.

Graphic facilitation is the use of large scale imagery to lead groups and individuals towards a goal or conceptual understanding. The method is used in various processes such as meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences. This visual process is conducted by a graphic facilitator/ recorder.

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An example of Graphic Facilitation using graphic facilitation 


We first had the opportunity to use graphic facilitation with our client DAL and their new product, ACMS Apex which is a product for Enterprise Data Integration Solutions  (エンタープライズ・データ連携基盤) that was released last year. Our creative team’s role was to find a creative solution to make the idea of data integration easy to understand to the consumer.

Our Event and Creative Manager, Sachiko Koyama proposed graphic facilitation as an innovative way to do this. Although this method is becoming more and more popular around the world, in Japan it is still a very new concept. As with all new things, it can be difficult to explain the value in doing something that hasn’t been done before. This is especially true in conservative Japanese business culture. With Sachiko’s confidence in this method however, she was able to show the client that this was a great direction to take the project.

We recommend using this type of marketing when

– Concepts or products that are new or difficult to explain or understand

– When you make an advertisement movie, it is difficult to expect the customers will watch it to the end. This method draws the message on paper and it grows and grows, telling a story, so we can get and keep the attention of the customer.

– You want to tell a story about your vision, concept, value or company. Also a solution or product which has story.

You can do this in real time at a seminar as mentioned above, or make a movie to market the product or idea.

How does it benefit the client?

– Clearly explains what they want to say or show with their product’s value.

How long does it take to complete a graphic facilitation video?

In this case it took about 2 months. This is including the time it took to agree on this method, create the concept for the movie, shoot, and edit the art, then record and edit the narration including background music.

For this project we met with the artist (went through the concept and any questions) and shot the graphic recording in one day, which took 6 hours. The pre-meeting with the artist and client together was crucial as it was an opportunity for them to confirm their product and concept is correctly expressed through graphics and removed any concern they may have had.

It took effort to arrange a block of time to execute the shooting, narration and editing, however this could be done in separate sessions as well.


Who is the artist?  We worked with Natsuko Yamada, who is a creative on many projects, one of them is graphic recording for NHK (Japan’s national broadcast station). 

If you want to get in touch with her, please contact her at her company, Sigoto Soken! 

Here is the final product for DAL ACMS Apex:

Graphic Facilitation/ Recording is a creative way to explain a new concept or product to capture your audience’s attention. Do you have experience with this method? We would love to hear your feedback! Continue reading