Strengthening Team Communication through Flower Arrangement
Insurance company S
Kado: The Centuries-Old Art of Japanese Flower Arrangement
We organized a kado flower arrangement experience for an all-female group of employees of a large international insurance company. With two Hong Kong-based executives visiting Japan, three employees of the Japan branch decided to seek out an opportunity for interaction and cultural exchange with their overseas colleagues.
An example of kado flower arrangement. Kado is said to have originated in the Muromachi period (14th–16th century CE).
Fostering Team Building through Individual and Group Work
The fluent English-speaking instructor for this experience explained the historical context and principles of kado. To keep guests interactively engaged, she also challenged them to a quiz. This orientation portion of the experience lasted for about 30 minutes.
The instructor explaining kado in English
After the orientation, it was time for individual work. Our guests were asked to create two ikebana flower arrangements. First, for practice, they were to create a similar arrangement to the instructor's sample creation. Then, they could create the second arrangement as they liked.
We observed our guests having lively chats with one another as they worked on their ikebana creations. They would ask the person next to them for their opinions, such as whether it was better to use this or that flower. Although everyone used the same flowers and plants, each individual work reflected the creator's personality and aesthetic preferences.
Participants deciding which flowers and other plants to use for their arrangement
Finally, as a team-building exercise, everyone was asked to work in a group to create an ikebana arrangement. Each participant added a flower, resulting in a large and elegant floral creation. Under the instructor's guidance, each of our guests would take a flower that someone else had put in and arrange it. Everyone enjoyed seeing how the flowers gradually came together to become a much-anticipated work of art.
Flower Arrangements Reflecting Each Participant’s Sense of Style
In response to our client's request for an experience that would foster team building, we had our guests arrange flowers as a group. This allowed them to communicate and come up with an ikebana flower arrangement through trial and error.
Kado is a kind of art that easily reflects the creator's sensibilities. Based on guests' comments such as "It was fun to see everyone's personality reflected in our finished creation" and "I got to see my colleague in a new light," we can say that this experience was a bonding activity that enabled our guests to know and understand one another better.
The beautiful flowers and plants used in the experience were also soothing and relaxing for our guests; they seemed to help put the international team members at ease.
We hope that the elegant ikebana creations that our guests brought home served as memories of their unique team-building experience.
An arrangement created with autumn flowers
We can suggest the best location for you based on your needs, number of people, budget, and cultural experience. Please contact us for more details.
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