Building team culture and tackling strategy at a remote retreat

The Ask

Late in 2021, World Wildlife Fund’s Freshwater and Food (F&F) team approached Territory for help running a hybrid retreat in January 2022. At the time, the Delta wave of COVID was fading, and Omicron had not yet emerged.

The Solution

We began planning in October 2021, hoping to host a retreat in both Washington, DC, and Missoula, Montana, that would create an “intense experience” that will continue to energize the F&F team, have fun and build relationships, engage and elevate strategic components of programmatic work, and flex team culture—values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors shared by the team.

In December, with Omicron surging and with clear concern expressed by retreat participants, we decided to take the retreat to full remote in January 2022. Territory’s consultant—Jeremy Varo-Haub—met with each session’s leaders and presenters to ensure that the session’s goals and agenda made sense for the unique context, and Territory built a series of MURAL boards designed to focus and capture the work of breakout teams during each session.

The outcome? An inspired, “intense positive experience” that energized the F&F team. The event focused on team building, camaraderie, and culture.

The Freshwater & Food Team and Territory worked collaboratively to:
  • Revisit current strategic initiatives to ensure they are “fit for purpose” in the current social, environmental, and economic environment—and tie into the WWF vision
  • Align on goals and objectives for 2022
  • Gain clarity on roles and responsibilities for planned activities
  • Hold team and culture-building activities and enjoy shared experiences that are memorable and fun, and build team alignment and commitment
  • Continue to refine and build the work culture environment—particularly following the impact of COVID-19

More than 50 MURAL boards created visual, collaborative spaces that drove and focused each part of the retreat.

Participants loved our time together:

“This was honestly one of the best retreats I’ve participated in. Amazing that it was virtual.”

“I didn’t get Zoom fatigue and felt energized, even late at night. I think that speaks volumes!”


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