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Austin Team Building

Creative Team Building to Drive Innovation

Fight mediocrity with a paint brush!

The Dirty Easel provides team building activities for corporate events in and around Austin that enable organizations to develop a creative and innovative team culture. We help transform your team and develop team identity through painting. No form of art is simpler than putting brush to canvas — we all can do it, but many adults no longer believe they are creative.

Our programs are successful because we combine years of artistic and creative experience with the latest results from the neuroscience research on creativity and play-based learning. We apply those scientific research results to our activities to make your teams work more productively. Painting is an ideal tool to open the mind to unconventional ideas and to develop the courage to realize them. Watch a video to see our creative team building in action!

Build a culture that values, nurtures, and rewards creative solutions.

Our Most Popular Team Building Programs

Discovering the Creative Process

Through a guided painting process your team explores the five different stages of the creative process and learns to switch deliberately between convergent and divergent thinking. During this experience the participants build creative confidence and then develop a strategy for creative problem solving at work.

Exploring the Power of Collaborative Creativity

In a creative team the collective results are greater than the sum of their individual efforts. In this workshop, teams learn to share ideas, pass them on, and validate ideas with a positive attitude. The collaborative process is based on mutual respect and the courage to bring in bold, novel ideas. Original ideas are always stimulated by the work, ideas, and backgrounds of other people.

Developing Trust Within Your Team

While painting together, your team gets to experience different sides of one another and learn from each other.  Conversations that derive from making art together are different and grow your team closer together. Creating together through a process that involves imperfection, detours, but ultimately mastering the challenge creates a unique team experience.

Painting Your Strengths Finder Strengths

Based on a personality assessment test like Myers Briggs or Foursight, every team member paints a visualization for their dominant trait. In a second step, the team’s overall strength is developed by bringing all individual pieces together and transforming them into a new whole. The final visualisation will show your team’s overall strength, which is more than the sum of each individual’s strengths.

Overcoming Fear of Failure

Michael Jordan says,I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed.” A team that is stifled by fearing to fail can not be innovative. In this workshop the team experiences failure as an essential part of the innovation process. They learn to see mistakes as an engine for change and practice using that engine as a source of inspiration. Dare to fail…quickly!

Getting Comfortable Outside Your Comfort Zone

Humans are biologically dispositioned to avoid leaving their comfort zone, which served us well in the hunter-gatherer stage. These days, being afraid to question routines and habits inhibits growth. Disruptive ideas and solutions develop outside the comfort zone. In this workshop participants learn strategies to adjust outside their comfort zone and to navigate the unknown. This workshop provides a safe environment that allows your team to get more comfortable with taking risks.

Navigating Change

Times of change and transition are often perceived as frightening and challenging. In this workshop the team experiences tools to manage uncertainty and ambiguity. Change is experienced as an opportunity to develop a growth mindset and resilience. Change teaches us to be flexible and it can open up lots of possibilities, and with the right strategies change is  perceived as liberating instead of destructive.

Idea Generator — Developing Divergent Thinking

Research has proven that breakthrough ideas typically arise out of a large quantity of (mostly bad) ideas. This means we must be able to generate many ideas in order to develop the one idea that will become transformative. Through visual brainstorming the team learns what it takes to come up with a lot of new and different ideas. During the painting process we explore opportunities to generate multiple possibilities, develop a process of experimentation,  and keep our brain on fire.

Finding the Off Switch — Relaxation for Overworked Teams

Some teams work so hard and are under such constant pressure that they have difficulty detaching from work. This painting workshop helps team members find the reset button. In an almost meditative way, painting loosens the mind and connects us to the moment. The participants will enter a state of flow, when the activity is perceived as effortless, and the attention is fully immersed in the exercise. This soothing way of painting is calming and relaxing, and team members will leave this workshop recharged with new energy.

Constructive Conflict — Disputing with a Paint Brush

Too little conflict leads to complacency, and too much conflict prevents the team from resolving issues. In an unusual approach using non-verbal communication, the team practices respect, awareness of their partner(s), and when to stand their own ground. Communicating through painting allows everyone to be seen, literally. It brings subconscious communication patterns to the open and  allows us to change unhealthy communication patterns.

Purposeful Dialogue and Effective Feedback in Creative Teamwork

How do you ask for feedback to get answers that are helpful and constructive?

How do you provide feedback that is helpful and moves a creative project forward?

Giving feedback on creative work can be difficult because we try not to hurt feelings. Creative teams need to be able to balance respect and candid conversation. In a safe environment, the team explores how to develop a feedback culture that honors subjectivity and how to provide appropriate evaluation strategies for each stage of the creative process.

Creating Brand Awareness — Redefining your Brand

Are you crystal clear about your brand? Many businesses make the mistake that they focus their attention mostly on the product and processes. But only with a clear vision of your brand will you be able to find the right message to reach your target customer. In this workshop  your team explores in a playful way what the experience is that you want to create for your customers. Painting allows to understand and articulate the core of your business in an intuitive way that often is not as accessible through language. Participants who have gone through this process say that afterwards it becomes easier to find the right verbiage and imagery to speak to their customers.

Painting Your Vision / Mission

Using the power of visual thinking as a first step to determine your vision or mission has multiple advantages. Speaking through colors and forms helps us to express a more intuitive understanding of who we are and who we want to be. Painting allows us to find the meaning first and in a second step determine the verbiage to express it. Exploring your vision through painting opens up new ideas and illuminates different perspectives.  And it leads to richer and deeper discussion in which everyone’s voice is heard — and seen.

More than just fun- Team Building that drives results

Imagine a team that is not afraid of new challenges and uncertainties in the daily work life because they developed tools to be creative and they learned to trust their team. This is the goal we can help your company achieve. Learn here how to sell creative team building to internal stakeholders.

Team Building Events

Praise

I really enjoyed the creative energy that flowed through the room. I would surely recommend the “The Dirty Easel” to any group interested in bringing life and inspiration to their team. My co-workers were all in agreement that this gathering was a lot of fun.”

Sandra Bouldwin

“We invited Christiane to our office at Facebook Austin for a painting/team building exercise. It was a huge success! She made it fun, useful, and memorable. I highly recommend her and Dirty Easel!”

Peter Stern, Facebook

“Christiane with The Dirty Easel hosted our annual work gathering and it was a fabulous time!! She encouraged our creativity and the uniqueness of each piece of art work created by my coworkers was amazing.  It was a great time of bonding and fun.”

Allison Zander, Starry

“We loved it, the staff loved it. I will be bragging about you!”

Steve Crawford, Leander ISD
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