The lasting impact of 2023 Team Week

Reflections following the Duke Global Health Innovation Center + Innovations in Healthcare Team Week

Last week, team members from across the globe convened in Durham, North Carolina, for our annual Duke Global Health Innovation Center + Innovations in Healthcare Team Week. 

Our highly anticipated Team Week fosters camaraderie, communication, and collaboration through engaging activities, both in and outside of the office; a welcome reprieve from the oft fast-paced environment where one could easily become consumed by their deadlines, emails, and the like. 

Day 1: Setting the stage

Team Week started with a simple request: “Share a picture that shows something you are proud of from the past year.”  

This simple question garnered an array of inspirational stories, laughter, tears, and genuine joy for one another’s personal achievements. Each photo enabled us to learn something new and meaningful about each other. An open, honest, and positive tone was set for the rest of the week. 

From there, we were able to map out the agenda for the remainder of the week. 

Day 2: Overcoming challenges with effective communication   

Effective communication is the foundation of any successful team. As most team meetings do, Tuesday morning kicked off with a Skills & Thrills exercise, where teams were provided a conflict scenario which they had to navigate based on their assigned DISC style. While the activity was lighthearted and quite comical at times, these scenarios pushed us outside of our comfort zone and reinforced the importance of “treating others how they need to be treated.”  

The remainder of the day was filled with fruitful conversations to better understand and define the high priority topic areas around which our team will coalesce. The depth and breadth of expertise across our team was evident as critical observations and actionable takeaways emerged. 

That evening, memories were made as our team stood shoulder-to-shoulder learning, and laughing, throughout a pizza making class. While tossing dough in the air, rubbing flour on our face, and eventually chowing down on our culinary creations, we further strengthened our relationship as a team.

Pizza making class: a 2023 Team Week activity

Day 3: Getting to the finish line 

A typical workday may refer to employees working to meet a tight deadline as “racing to the finish line.” However, this was not a typical workday.   

Following a morning of intensive work, our team headed to the go-kart track. On this day, we were quite literally racing to the finish line!

The adrenaline ran high, and the cheers were loud as we engaged in some healthy competition. 

Go-karting. A 2023 Team Week activity.

Day 4: BIG ideas 

Together, we reviewed and discussed our current practice areas, enablers, and ideas for greater impact. These dynamic conversations, as a full team and within smaller groups, instilled a greater sense of purpose and direction.As a team, we: 

  1. Engaged formally and informally to strengthen teamwork and culture; 
  2. Collaborated intensively to transition our organizational strategy to execution; 
  3. Identified individual and organizational priorities and measures of success; and, 
  4. Had fun! 
Day 5: Reflection and next steps 

The final day of Team Week was dedicated to reflection and identifying what we must do next if we are to achieve our goals. Together, we gained a fresh perspective on how to set ourselves up for a productive and impactful year ahead.We remain steadfast in our dedication to improve health and lives globally. 

Because everyone deserves to thrive.