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Team building

 
 
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aaron
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:46 am    Post subject: Team building Reply with quote

Do you feel teamwork and team building centres have a place in business? You know, the kinds of places where the staff go away for a weekend, and build themselves a raft or bridge to get across a river...

Are these courses modern day rubbish, or do they really help build a rapport between staff? Or does it just depend on the quality of the course?

I know the events on some of these courses are getting more and more... shall we say... bizarre.

For exampe:

Quote:
Imagine casting, producing, directing, staging, and selling tickets for your unique corporate production of an abridged musical, in only two days. West End producers take from two months to three years to put on a musical, you have only two days.

The objective is to stage a public performance of a chosen musical; to raise as much local awareness for the event as possible; and to raise money for charity.


and:

Quote:
Imagine competing against your colleagues to become the best team of Chocolateers. You will be set the objective of designing, making and packaging a box of chocolates for a specific client or event.

Each team will spend time designing and making their own chocolates. For ten minutes before they start groups will be given pens and paper to design the chocolates. Once that is agreed, signed off by the chef, the real work with the melted chocolate begins.


As we move into a time where a job is no longer for life, and people change their place of work with relative frequency, is there really a place for these kinds of team building events do you think?

Aaron
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our company used to do many of these team building and "trust building" events but it seems like they (the company) follows the trends of the time and team building seems to be out. Too many people were providing unfavorable feedback on "forced" situations and instead are relying on other means to enhance the teams connectivity (meetings that invite family members and provide some "fun" group time...but not structured into any pressure).

Lisa
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trev
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaron, don't even think about it! Very Happy

I must admit I've never seen the point in most of these events - how is getting soaking wet, running around an obsticle course and probably catching a cold supposed to build team spirit?

Its probably great for those people who are on a permanent drive to get higher up the company ladder and stuff everyone else in the process, but for the rest of the office doesn't it just build resentment against them and quite possibly result in less productivity (or that person mysteriously falling out of the 11th floor window? Twisted Evil ).

Actually reminds me of those "motivational speakers" who'll charge you 5000 to tell you that you can all do better by having a positive outlook. Yeah, I have an equally evil plan to deal with them also.


Can anyone actually say after coming back from one of these things that they were more motivated to make the shareholders more money or they suddenly jumped out of bed early each morning eager to go to work...?

I do have one alternative to all this stuff and it's probably cheaper than paying 10K for an adventure team building excercise - just treat your staff well... Smile

Trev
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Hub-UK
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Team building still goes on.

It has just become more subtle. The old team building methods were very transparent and just allowed a lot of piss taking. To successfully team build the team must be unaware that they are been motivated and manipulated.

What makes for a good team? Loyal players, who will support and help each other and have reason to ensure the team is successful. If the team is successful then so are they.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hub-UK wrote:
Team building still goes on.

It has just become more subtle. The old team building methods were very transparent and just allowed a lot of piss taking. To successfully team build the team must be unaware that they are been motivated and manipulated.
.


Just out of curiosity, what kinds of methods might this include?

Personally I believe that traditional team-building exercises are a bit of a waste of time - old alliances are strengthened by the social aspect, sure, but old enmities can also be reinforced! Happy staff are the key to a strong, productive team, as can be the promise of reward. If the money that goes into financing a weekend away building rafts from ice-lolly sticks is promised as an incentive (i.e. team day at Alton Towers!) results will be tangible.

Lu
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that Bill Gates did a lot of this stuff at MS. Games, races, picnics, etc. This philosophy seemed to work for him.

Organizing charity events is a very subtle way of team building without it being blatant. People have work together on various committees in order to bring it all together for a good cause. It creates relationships and strengthens (or weakens if things don't go well) and unifies people that work together on a day to day basis.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good deal of the team building now goes on quietly because there is a better general understanding of team dynamics. Now I'm an engineer not a psychologist but with careful monitoring and a push in the right direction it quite easy to get teams to form and progress to give better performance than they did as a group of individuals, and it doesn't need a wet boggy field to do it, that just speeds up the process of group forming.
A good (subversive) book for this is Scouting for Boys. The explanation of the Patrol system and how to use outside influence on a team to make them work better is quite revealing. If you want some information have a word with your local Scout District Commissioner, they will have completed a training course that includes the dynamics of teams, and how to influence them.
A useful trick for a manager to use when introducing a new member is to give the team a difficult task or something outside the group to focus on rather than the newcomer. Subtly is the word nowadays.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Team Building Reply with quote

Thanks for the good tips, Ian. I wil pick up a scout guide.

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trev
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In reality probably the best team building system is the one Google uses where they provide a stimulating and flexible way for people to work - at least thats what the PR on their web site says - and that'll do much more than putting on stage productions longterm.

Perhaps we need to redesign the office although I'm not sure about having those balls lying around, sounds like a health & safety nightmare oh and pie & chips sounds a little better than some of the stuff on their menu, but the rest of the setup doesn't look too bad from what I've seen.

Trev - not exactly sitting in Googleplex. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google also insist that their staff spend 20% of their time doing personal projects that are outside the scope of Google, Froogle, & Orkut are but two of these projects, although Google has now included froogle into Google, and the same is going to happen soon to Orkut according to Google.

Personally I think this making a double deck bus out of paperclips in half an hour crap to be just that, crap. You build a team by motivation, and getting that team to focus on a common goal. A team only becomes a team when they work together, you can not 'force' team building, it has to be nurtured, and you have to have someone overseeing what is going on within that team, to ensure nothing derails its focus.
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I worked for a training company here in Leeds, we went out on "away days" it was good fun, especially when your firing paint balls at the directors and management team it gets rid of the frustration. Twisted Evil

The next day though it's just back to normal.. it wasn't very motivational.. but it was good for team building, working as a team
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2004 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that really motivates and builds teams is having involvement in some charity fundraising. Nothing daft like a marathon or anything, as this can end up dividing rather than forming.

Encourage charity fundraising, and offer to match fund up to a ceiling (this could be what you would have spent on the teambuilding jolly). Allow the team to chose the charity, and the event, but give them a choice of things that they can ALL be involved in. Case in point, you enjoyed paintballing, imagine if you had been competing for charity fundraising, the next day it would not have been back to normal, the feeling of having acheived AND more importantly acheived as a team for a common goal) would be there for a long time to come.

OWG
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We did the high ropes stuff back in 98, eg, a whole new team of people, and this was the ice breaker. It was interesting, but not that useful IMHO. Plus, we had some folk freak out being 40 feet in the air, not a pleasant thing for anyone.

A good vision of the leader is more important than any exercise.... and a fun atmosphere to boot.

Ron
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