Every year, all of FSL-India’s staff are rounded up and taken to one location to celebrate another year of working together. This year, as always, we waited with eager anticipation to find out what our Annual Meet had in store for us. It appeared to be a very hush-hush affair – all queries to HR (nosy or otherwise) were politely squashed, so there was no other go but to wait patiently. The only information we got was that we would be travelling to Kundapur, to our beautiful Centre for Experiential Living and of course, the dates i.e. 15th-17th April 2019.
Some of us travelled by bus, some by train, on Saturday/Sunday but all of us got to Kundapur on Monday the 15th of April, keyed up for some new experiences. We trooped into the dining hall for a delicious breakfast prepared by the bustling staff of CEL, and then went on to the conference room.
There, we met Dharmesh, a reputed business coach who was to be our trainer and business confidante for the next 2 days. We learnt that we were going to join hands and revamp our organisation to fulfil our goals. We, ‘the Group’ were going to brainstorm and help to create a Business Plan and Strategy Map that would take us through the coming year to make all our dreams come true and more, besides.
But first, we had a tougher challenge ahead. We divided into 3 teams and each team had to lower a length of pipe en masse, with only our forefingers supporting it horizontally, from below. We tried and tried and tried. The funny thing was that even though we were kept lowering our fingers, the pipe kept rising to the ceiling. We just couldn’t figure it out initially, but then we realised it was something to do with the centre of gravity. We experimented with different techniques, shifted people around, finally got the hang of it and lowered it to the ground ahead of the other teams. Yay… we did it, got the better of that darn pipe. Now, we were raring to go!
It was exciting, fun-filled, exhausting, mind-blowing, exhilarating, confusing, enlightening and most of all, fulfilling. We learnt about and discussed the Balance Score Card and its components, i.e. Finance and Impact, Processes and People, Success Factors and Timelines, Strengthening and Expansion of Partnerships, Redesigning and Capacity Building, Corporate Funding and Solidarity Funds, Group Bonding and Promotional Strategies.
We split up into groups, talked and talked until we were physically exhausted and mentally drained. At end of it all, we devised a Strategy Map and Balance Scorecard for all our programs, came up with a host of new ideas, dreams and schemes to rejuvenate FSL-India in 2019-20.We wrote them all down on charts, photographed them, pinned them up, pumped each other up and had a final round of talks.
On the 3rd day, we rose early, had breakfast, jumped into the buses and wound our way to Tin-Ton, a nearby resort, where we played badminton, table tennis, cricket, zipline, plunged into swimming pools, slid down an oversized slide into the pool, had huge barrels of water thrown over us, played water volleyball and ‘dunking the boss’, did a ‘rain dance’ and generally had a whale of a time.
All too soon, it was time to leave, so after a delicious lunch, we got into the bus again and traveled back by bus/train to our respective cities. And so ended another memorable Annual Meet of FSL-India – till we meet again next year!