We stand in front of a mighty mountain backdrop. Knee-high in snow, breathing the fresh mountain air surprisingly relaxed and marvel at the postcard views. In what is normally Switzerland's sunniest region, Ftan welcomes us in a majestic white coat.
At ten degrees below zero we enjoy the charm of the place, especially with the panoramic view of the opposite side of the valley with the historic castle Tarasp and the Lower Engadine Dolomites. The Rhaeto-Romanic spoken in the Swiss canton of Graubünden takes us away for a moment from product data onboarding, data cleansing and schema mapping; we are simply there.
It started relaxed. The train ride from Zurich to Scuol and then by post bus to Ftan was pleasant efficient, just what one expects from the very punctual and comfortable Swiss Railways. After three hours the Onedot team reached the high alpine institute Ftan, a sport oriented middle school, a boarding school for girls and boys in the Lower Engadine in the canton Graubünden. The oldest private school in the Engadine was our January 2019 Company Offsite Retreat destination and when we climbed up the very long snowy road with our suitcases and backpacks, I remembered the writer Jan Rys: "Mountaineering is made very difficult by the existence of mountains". One could add: "With a big camera, a computer and a load of office supplies, perhaps a bit more".
The Hochalpine Institut Ftan is impressively pleasant. The teachers are nice and courteous, the study rooms and bedrooms are sufficient, and the students are decent. The kitchen provided tasty food, we could find our way around quickly and were very satisfied with the choice of location for our Company Offsite.
Why a Company Offsite? The team spirit of the company can be better built up outside the office. The year gone by can be reflected upon more closely and KPIs can be better identified, both at the company level and at the individual level. 2019 is set to be a strong year and we were all ready to shape the strategy for our business together.
That's why on the first day we discussed Roadmap 2019 all day long, measured the past year achievements and held a workshop. In the evening our external consultant joined us and we relaxed in the Ftaner restaurant with drinks and pizza.
Getting up and having breakfast at 07:15 was surprisingly easy for most and then we went straight on with presentations, objectives and key results. The miracle weapon of modern leaders is democratically acted upon and helps us to keep an eye on our goals. In the evening the highlight was the visit to the mountain restaurant Prümaran Prui at 2062 meters above sea level, directly on the mountain trail to Motta Naluns at the chairlift mountain station Ftan.
One part of the Onedot team ran up the mountain on the winter hiking trail Ftan - Prui and the others chose the chairlift for fondue fun with a night sleigh ride.
After the cheese fondue there was the possibility to rattle down the sled run 4 km with a sled, which was very cheerful, humid and fast. Wet and pumped with adrenaline, we settled down at the valley station with a warm drink. What a fun team night.
The next morning, the last part of the company offsite was concluded with a session on collaboration and corporate culture. The whole team was busy delivering ideas, criticism and visions last three days and the last morning showed once again how we function together. After lunch we could walk back down to the village with our luggage and take the bus to the landmark of the Lower Engadine, Tarasp Castle.
Tarasp Castle from the 11th century comprises around 100 rooms. Among other things, an imposing pneumatic concert organ from Dresden stands in the former weapons hall, several functional rooms stretch along long corridors and works of art by the current owner, the Lower Engadine artist Not Vital, are present everywhere. After coffee and cake, the three-day excursion ended and we took the train back to Zurich.
Mountains are silent masters and make silent students, Goethe wrote out of breath when he allegedly did not come up the mountain. No, of course he didn't, but we understood the sentence better after the Company Offsite. The Onedot team could find peace in the mountains, strengthen friendships and unite our spirits. Because we don't find enough time in everyday life to just stop, stand and admire what we achieved. To form the future. The mountains have helped us do this.