Monday, October 26, 2009

Brainstorming cum weekend getaway

Friday thoughts – pre event

This weekend would be the DCMS brainstorming weekend with the idea to come up ingenious business plans for 2010. So far the only plans I’ve been hearing in the office has been those on utilizing the RM1,200/pax budget! Initial ideas included getaways to Bangkok or some other cities with spas and nice dinners thrown in until Liza sent out an email prohibiting use of monies for spas and karaoke. With the majority of each team being KL-based, all the teams chose to fly in their Thai and Indonesian members (each team had one colleague from those offices) instead and opted to have sumptuous dinners (especially so with the ongoing Malaysian International Gourmet Festival).

Chin Tok headed my team – well he was the designated coordinator until the team met and appointed a leader but given the short timeframe, it looks like this tag will be cast in stone. He has been fairly meticulous – cross checking, coordinating and emailing the materials – given his background and training. Summary, Konthee (Co-Head DCM CIMBThai) and Adi (Syndicate CIMB Indonesia) will be flying in this evening and will stay at the Saujana Golf Club which will be the venue of our day-long meeting tomorrow. Lunch and dinner will be at the The Restaurant too. I’m pretty sure that everyone will be bored and fed up with the venue after being cooped up all day at Saujana and will probably not lay eyes on the place for a very long time! Then again, it’s the same arrangement with the other teams.

With the kick off starting at 9 am, it was then imperative that I did my weekly long run during the Adidas Running Community training yesterday. I didn’t want to risk showing up late or having the pressure to finish the run in super quick time or having to reduce the mileage.

Monday thoughts – post event

I was pleasantly surprised that our Saturday event went well and I enjoyed it, given the circumstances. I arrived just before 9 am after a mistaken detour to the old wing. I didn’t realize that Saujana had in the past year opened a new wing and is managed separately from the old wing. The management company – GHM – manages high-end boutique hotels and hence the rack rates starting at RM1,200 for “The Club at Saujana”. Then again, Chin Tok got the promo at RM450 and the room came with free flow of the mini bar, laundry and breakfast. Oh well, it was a definitely a weekend getaway for our Thai and Indonesian colleagues rather than those from the KL office because every team held their mini management offsite in KL. Maybe I should suggest that the budget be increased next year and that more time be provided for the teams to plan the getaway.

The RM150 per pax for the use of the boardroom included two tea breaks and a 4-course lunch. They had set up a coffee machine in the room and Tho Wei was the designated barrista for the day. Dinner was a 5-course affair at RM180 and we were free to order drinks for both meals. The meals were prepared a qwailo lady chef – pretty good. In fact they even served truffle oil butter for the bread rolls – too bad, I don’t take butter.

Recap of the set menu (the ones in [***] were the vegan meal they substituted for me)

Set menu for lunch:
Toasted ciabatta and bread rolls with olive oil
White bean soup
Choice of either roast chicken or tuna [Mushroom risotto]
Lemon tart

Set menu for dinner:
Walnut bread and baguette with truffle oil infused butter [Olive oil]
Mushroom consommé
Pan seared scallops [New potatoes]
Roast lamb shoulder [Onion tartin, asparagus, beet root]
Apple tart with vanilla bean pod ice cream

Since this post is supposed to be about the teambuilding event we had over the weekend, I should really be commenting about what we did etc rather than gush about our culinary adventure!

For a 5-minute presentation, I didn’t think we would require a day long meeting and we didn’t. We spent most of the day talking – sometimes about the markets we work in, sometimes about our lives outside the office and ended the day with a imaginative and creative building session whereby members of the two teams put their heads together to come up with a structure or idea etc.

Chin Tok was so gracious and nice to have bought each of us a present. I tied with Tho Wei for the first prize and lost out on having picked the wrong paper in the ballot. Oh well, the gift was a bonus since none of us had expected it. In fact, I came home with two presents – a notebook with a handmade woven cover from Kun Konthee and a bath towel set. Yeah, I was that close to walking away with two watches from Swatch!

I left after dinner on Saturday while the guys stayed on for drinks at the club lounge (called Ari or something along those lines). I was back by 2210 hours and safely ensconced in bed by 2300 hours – yeah, I was that tired and drained out.

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