Recapping the year with your team: reflect and get insights

I bet you are all looking forward to the Xmas break. We don't blame you, 2017 was a tough year (which one isn't?). 

This time of the year is great for getting drunk at office parties, but also for recapping what happened and setting new goals for 2018. We designed a simple exercise to get your team reflecting and gaining insights for the next year.


The exercise

Step 1
Gather your team around and give everyone a copy of the following chart.


* You can download a PDF version here.

Step 2
The goal is to map out five different areas:
- Past: Things that happened this year/latest months.
- Present: The current moment.
- Positive: Good things that we can use to our benefit.
- Negative: Things to improve.
- Future: What's next.

Each person should do this exercise individually, noting down whatever s/he feels it's relevant. To help everyone get their thoughts going, you can use the following questions:

- What happened before we got here?
- What were the essential past milestones?
- What are the vital events that shaped where we are now?

- Where are we standing now?
- How do you feel about the current situation?
- Does the present meet your expectations? Why?

- What's in our favour? What are our opportunities and strengths? 
- What did we learn?

- What are our vulnerabilities?
- What should we fix?
- Is anything dragging us down? What is it?

- How do you imagine next year? Where should we head as a group?
- How would you measure success?
- How could we prepare for future challenges?

* Note: Use these questions as guidelines. You don't need to answer them word for word.

Step 3
When all the members are done, ask them to share with everyone. Do it one by one. It helps if someone notes down everything on a whiteboard or big piece of paper.

Step 4
It's time for conclusions. With the help of everyone in the room, discuss similarities in the answers, insights and surprising facts.

This exercise should cover a large area of your year in a simple way. Make sure you take the proper time for it (one hour recommended) and good luck with 2018!