We had our annual OpenView holiday party last night. We had a lot of fun and had a great opportunity to get to know significant others and generally have fun as a firm. Our approach to fun has been to have at least one fun event each quarter and invite the entire firm to the event (things like paint ball, bowling, mini F1 car racing, overnight in Maine during the summer).
In a tough year like 2009 has been for most companies, one of the first things that seems to get cut is the fun events for staff. I actually think that these events should be one of the last things to go, as the events let people that don’t see each other day to day or see each other in a different light get to know each other while blowing off some steam and having some fun.
We talk a lot with our portfolio companies about the importance of having and executing against great aspirations (mission, vision, values) and invariably high performing teams or some variant (trust, open communications, commitment, accountability, results) is incorporated into them. One of the great ways to promote high performing teams is to have people that truly enjoy what they are doing and enjoy working with the people around them. One of the ways to help facilitate this is making sure that you take the time to celebrate your accomplishments and have some fun!