Phrases mean different things, according to who uses them. For some people, “Good fashion sense” means a Made In Chelsea blazer. For others, a T.O.W.I.E. playsuit. So what about “Team building activities”? What does that phrase mean to you?
For some, the phrase conjures up raucous, rough-and-tumble outdoor adventures mainly involving alcohol and mud. An excuse to hang out somewhere fancy with mates from work and get trashed. For others, it suggests tame, indoor team building games which reflect a company’s core values, its mission statement, its …. Sorry, started to nod off there. And then, of course, there are the many variations in between.
Initiative Unlimited runs many different kinds of team building activities. If you are a new client, the first thing we want to know from you is what you understand the phrase to mean. Only then can we start providing what you want. Or, better still, what you need. Sometimes they are the same. But not always.
When arranging a corporate day out, the advantage you have is that you already know your group. The advantage we have is that we know how our activities and team building ideas work: what goes into them, what effect they have on those taking part, which will best suit a particular group, venue, time of day, occasion.
The secret – and I hope you’re already ahead of me here – is collaboration. Often, we’ll adjust how we do things to suit a particular request or requirement you may have. Often, you may adjust what you’re asking for according to what will best suit your budget and objectives. Our Case Studies give examples of how this works in practice.
Maybe you’ve never booked an outside company to run team building games for you before. Maybe it’s something you do every year. Either way, here are the key things to consider when deciding which activities may work best for you:
• What are you really trying to achieve? Looking back on your day afterwards, what will convince you that it’s “mission accomplished”?
• Which activities will shift people away from their usual ways of thinking and behaving? A murder mystery? A “Start Your Own Business” game? Which will challenge them, build their confidence, help them communicate better and boost morale? A Film Making Day? A tv-inspired game which improves public speaking and pitching ideas?
• Which options appeal to you most? Will they really work best for your group? Or are they just “safe”? Or something you’ve always wanted to do, sod everyone else?
• Think about day to day life in your company. Which skills might need improving? Which already work well? Make sure you include activities which allow people to be at their best as well as those which set real challenges. Team building days should allow people space to try new things, experiment, progress, get support from others and feel good about what they already do well. Humiliation? No. Liberation? Yes!
• Be aware of how important “follow ups” are. A team building day can trigger some important changes in how people see themselves and how they do things. But it’s easy for old habits to return. No one gets fit by doing an exercise routine once. Repetition is the key. Repetition is the key. Repetition… Okay, point made.
• What form should these follow ups take? What kind of repetition? What kind of rep- (enough!). Some of it is stuff you can do yourselves. Some of it we can help you with. Start by thinking about anything the activities you chose have taught you. Write down any changes you want to make. Then put them away in a drawer and forget about them. Well, without any follow ups, that’s what usually happens. So find a time every month instead to discuss how you’re getting on. Ask us to check what has and hasn’t been happening. And then book some more team building activities. Whatever they are. Difficult to define, apparently…
Initiative Unlimited for team building activities, business games and other corporate events.