Learn to Team Build Event in One Hour

O.P.T.I.M.A.L. approach to organising a successful team building event

Planning a team building session but do not know how and where to start? Do not despair. This “dummy’s guide” to planning a team building session will give you important areas to consider and make you look like an expert.
The O.P.T.I.M.A.L. approach:

1. Objectives of team building

“Why are we holding this team building event, and what do we expect to achieve?”

To have an end in mind, a purpose, is crucial to planning a team building session. Having objectives mean that you can skew or tailor the activities to meet your expectations.

Having clear objectives would also help to set the tone for the team building session, and establish the expectations of participants involved, so everyone is moving in unison towards the same direction/ goal.

Having conducted team building sessions for a variety of organisations, some of the more common reasons why team building is required, are as follows:

a) To create synergy in a new team/ team with new members

b) To create an opportunity for staff from different departments/ functions to interact

c) To address certain work issues

d) To reinforce their corporate values

e) As a form of training

f) To reward their staff with a day away from the office

g) To interact and have fun

Each of the reasons listed above will result in emphasis on different aspects during the team building session. Spend some time to decide on the main focus of the team building session before deciding on the team building activities.

2. Profile of Participants

“Who will be attending the team building session?”

Another important factor in planning a successful team building session is the profile of the participants. Age range, gender mix and other background information like educational level and job scope, should be taken into consideration while sculpting the team building programme, to ensure that the programme would be suitable and relevant.

Physical conditions of the participants of the team building session should also be considered.

One other important factor to a team building session which organisers frequently overlook is FOOD. In a multi-racial country like Singapore, participants may be Chinese vegetarians or Indian vegetarians, while others only consume Halal food (food that is lawful and allowable under Muslim law) or even Kosher food (food that has been prepared so that it is fit and suitable under Jewish law). There may also be participants who are allergic to certain types of food. The best way to find out about dietary requirements is to check with the participants directly.

3. Time Frame for planning the team building event

“What is the targeted date of the team building session and its duration?”

Dates are important, especially when there is a need to secure venues and check the availability of key personnel or speakers. Typically, we would recommend a lead time of about 2 to 3 months to plan for a small to medium-sized team building event, catering for less than 80 participants. If the event is large-scale, the lead time may escalate to 6 months, or even a year before.

When conducting team building outside working hours, some organisations may wish to consider dates of school holidays or school exams, especially for organisations, which place emphasis of balanced work and family life. To encourage maximum attendance from participants, organisations may wish to leave the school examination and vacation periods untouched, for their staff to spend that extra time with their spouse and children.

Duration of the team building session should also be taken into account – is it going to be a half-day or full-day event? If there are specific issues to be tackled or other forms of planning or training involved, it may be good to consider a 2-day or even 3-day programme.

4. Inclinations of the participants

“What will the participants prefer to do during team building?”

Having information about the profile of the participants is usually sufficient. However, whenever possible, unearth the type of activities the participants are inclined towards – are they indoor-games type of people or the outdoor adventure type or do you have a good mix of both?

One can derive such preferences by having a poll or survey with the participants if you have an intimate group size, or by gathering the views of a sample group if your group size is overwhelming. Alternatively, reviewing previous team building sessions and the feedback received could also give a good indication of what is preferred (and what not to do again).

The rule of thumb is to have a good mix of indoor and outdoor activity especially if your size is big, unless you are deliberately exposing the participants to a particular type of setting, or you know their specific preferences.

5. Money Matters

“What is the indicative budget for the team building?”

The budget would have a significant influence on the venue, food and beverage, as well as duration and type of team building activity. If there are no figures to work on as yet, use the previous years’ budget as a guide. If no such information is available, then plan for something not too ambitious, and adjustments can be made from there.

Next, you have to decide if the team building portion is to be handled in-house or to be outsourced to an external vendor. Of course, if the budget permits, there are many advantages in outsourcing the team building portion.

Firstly, to run a team building event, you would need manpower and chances are, if your colleagues are running the event with you, they cannot participate. External vendors would likely be more experienced in conducting the activities and less likely to make mistakes. The vendor would also provide all the logistics involved, leaving your team and yourself free to participate with all your other colleagues.

team building vendors also bring with them sufficient experience in knowing what works and doesn’t, so you are not only paying for their services, but also their rich experience.

6. Assessment of Success

“How would you measure the success of the team building session?”

How would the success of the session be measured? Is it considered a success as long as the participants enjoyed themselves, or if the participants got to know at least 3 other colleagues better?

While the effects of team building are generally intangible and the takeaways are somewhat more subtle, measurements of success can be derived from verbal feedback from participants, surveys or observation reports. Observation reports comment on behaviors and attitudes displayed during the activities. Pre and/ or post-event surveys track the effectiveness of the team building session based on the same set of questions they organisers wish to enquire about.

7. Location for team building

“Where should we hold the team building session?”

The location or venue would have an effect on the atmosphere of the team building session. The previous six factors mentioned above would have shaped the decision on where to hold the team building.

Other issues relating to location for consideration would be accessibility, function set-up and layout and contingencies for wet weather (if you are having an outdoor session).

With the O.P.T.I.M.A.L. approach developed by änergy, we trust that you would be able to plan for your team building event effectively. If you are running the team building event with your committee internally, be sure to draw up a detailed work plan and budget, with clear responsibilities for every task.

Next, remember that one of the key ingredients of effective team building is rehearsals. You would need to do a site-visit and rehearse the day’s activities, as it would help you trouble-shoot any potential issues, so that improvements can be made on event day and contingency plans are already in-place to tackle any glitches.

We wish you a resoundingly successful team building session!

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Real Team Building – Why Is It So Important And Valuable For You?

TEAM-BUILDING – With so many companies now doing, or considering, some kind of team-building, what’s the best route to consider? Team-building, as it’s commonly called, varies from blithe, frivolous group entertainment and motivation like; Quad-biking, soccer, cooking, shooting, mini-golf, foozeball, ballooning, etc… all the way through to what we term… TRANSFORMATIVE Team-Building – Real Team-Building that impacts people on a Head, Heart & Soul level and has long-lasting efficacy.

It’s a well know fact that stuff like motivational talks don’t last or add any real value – so why then do people waste their money paying anything up to R15,000 for a 1 hour motivational talk? Motivation is like manipulation!

And who wants to be manipulated right now? If you were to invest in your team building, would you not want to get the best value you could for your investment of time, money and people resources? Any intelligent person would want the best return (ROI) on their corporate team-building expenditure.

So, imagine for a moment a scale from 0 to 10. The zero side is “light group entertainment” or motivational stuff. On the other side – 10 is HERO a “transform-your-people-and-your-team” process that impacts Heads, Hearts and Souls, lasts a life-time – and enhances performance, productivity, resilience, relationships and your workplace. Now make an intelligent decision…What level of results would you choose if you were to embark on a team-building?

Whats the best way to blend your team cultures into a cohesive whole?

Group Entertainment – NOT Real Team Building! If we consider, what is thought to be, a typical team building event; people go on some planned outing for a day, somewhere offsite. They may get a little revved up, wear colored arm-bands or shirts, paint faces, play some games, shoot arrows, walk planks, laugh a little or a lot, have a free meal or braai, a few drinks and then go home…klaar!

On the day, what we don’t see, just under the surface, is that the office politics and people issues are still alive and well. People still fear; appearing useless, being uncomfortable or making a fool of themselves. Staff accumulate in their usual clans, and the office-clown is again, thoughtlessly, even more mordant with their jabs and jousts. Often greater barriers to real team-building and a friendlier, more productive workplace, are created.

Intollerence prevails – and never the cultures shall blend!

All in all, when Monday comes around, the old dynamics, office politics and factions remain as before. The people are as jaded as ever, if not more so now! And the “TEAM” is just a pretense. Life goes on just the same as it did before the group outing.

People know nothing new about each other or their cultures. So what was it all really about? This is treating the symptom – not the foundation or real causes. So why even do it? Why would you spend money on something that does not solve your problem or deliver real value?

Lack of; relationships, inclusion, trust, truth, engagement and inspiration is a problem – A real problem for your team-building and your improved results delivery in a diverse multi-cultural reality we call our Rainbow Nation.

Alternative – The HERO side…An Uncommon but REAL Team Build Process. Imagine a team-building process that would remove barriers and change your office energy, work environment, attitudes, trust levels and team-spirit forever.

Consider…What’s the best way to really build your team. What aspects would need to be addressed to ensure long-term impact and profoundly positive results? In a real team-building process the following core aspect must be addressed in order to build a sustainable and strong workplace foundation that fosters optimal team effectiveness.

TRUST! – #1 issue to be addressed is TRUST. True authentic trust and communication between the people, as well as the team and management is critical. If you have no trust your team could bust! Trust is the anchor-stone of success. It’s a proven fact that trust makes or breaks relationships.

Trust’s the business lubricant, just like the super lubricant Teflon I hear you think…is TRUST really more important than our great systems, policies and organisational structure? Absolutely Yes! A low trust workplace and mistrusting culture can, and will, sabotage and disrupt any system. Just look at the number of CRM (Customer Rel Mngmt) initiatives that fail – IT’s the people who make it happen from a Head, Heart and Soul level. No/low trust and engagement = no real team, not really sustainable in a human manner.

Is TRUST really more important than our great Vision & espoused Values?

Absolutely Yes! I don’t care how impressive your vision is or what your Values are, the drag of a low trust workplace will hold you back you from truly attaining that vision and walking those values – authentically and fully. Values are for everyone, all of the time, not some of the time and some of the people. TRUST is a MUST to thrive.

Is TRUST really more important than a good strategy? Absolutely Yes! All strategies have to be executed. Efficient and optimal execution is built on high trust and high levels of certainty. High trust cannot transform poor strategy, but it can make it better. Give me a team of fools on fire vs a group of indifferent, mistrusting, disengaged rocket-scientists, any day!

Is TRUST really more important than COMPETENCIES and skills?

Again absolutely Yes! Skills and competencies are a head-based issue. No matter how skilled a person or team/group, the “drag” or friction of a low-trust workplace will ensure that those skills are not optimally, if ever, fully applied. Trust is a heart AND head based issue. And let’s be real here…nothing will deter real talent like a dictatorial-high-control, low-trust, low-engagement workplace.

If you consider what is impacted in a team-building event, it behooves us to make optimal use of the time, efforts, expense and team-building opportunity by really growing your people. That’s why our Life Masters team-building is designed as a powerful, unique, transformational process…and not just a light event. Our Team building is designed to change lives and workplaces on a long-term basis. You can do the light fun, group entertainment stuff, but we’d favor adding real value and results to your business and your team-building / blending efforts. Trust is the “must” of the 21st century.

Aspects Vital to a True Team Building Process

In order to truly build a strong team and foundation, the following core areas offer valuable results when addressed…trust levels, truth, attitudes, anger, limiting beliefs, misunderstandings, disappointments, judgments, personal politics, unresolved issues, honesty, constructive feedback, interpersonal relationships, satisfaction levels, self-awareness, self-esteem, confidence and confidentiality, resilience / Adversity Intelligence (AQ), engagement levels, caring, Emotional Intelligence, hidden agendas, outdated

management-styles, transgressions kept secret, blockages, cultural intolerance, conflict, consciousness & energy levels.

REAL Team Building Is Predicated Upon These Perspectives

” …that all people are precious, valuable and can be your greatest assets if developed effectively;

” …that work is a platform for people to enjoy, grow, love; and to experience higher levels of self-worth, self-esteem, value and happiness;

” …that work is an opportunity for people to make a positive contribution whilst making a profit for the shareholders;

” …that you spend more time awake with co-workers than the ones you apparently love – why not also love your co-workers? Keep your mind clean here please!

” …that people bring their Heads, Hearts and Souls to work – So for optimal engagement grow and build your people on a Head, Heart & Soul level. Discover and support their CAUSES to gain maximum commitment and participation.

Whilst it’s true that profit is the “lifeblood” of your business, consider that it shouldn’t be the only purpose and aim of your business. You don’t get too much engagement from people when the only reason for them working is survival, and to make the shareholders and bosses wealthier – That’s GREEDERship, not LEADERship! No Soul in that goal!

REAL Team-Building Follows A Clear & Systematic Process.

” Research the environment, the people, the issues and the desired outcomes and intentions of the team build. We use: EQ, Resilience, Higher Ground Leadership, C.A.S.T.L.E. workplace scan, Human Energy Levels Project, team fitness, stress & JQ20 Engagement

” Build Trust and truth between the facilitators and the participants.

” Explore what people would really love to have in their workplace and what’s currently working well.

” Reveal what their current workplace really has in existence right now – The good, the bad and the ugly!

” Examine the GAP between desire/ ideal and current reality

” Design an encounter that is confidential, powerful, fun, engaging, transformational and life long last in results.

” Deliver the processes designed to build trust, address the issues, resolves the conflicts, opens communications remove barriers, builds and renews relationships based upon a “clean slate” with a joint vision and destiny.

” Follow-up with coaching, feedback, email tips and gatherings to celebrate and strengthen relationships, trust, truth, engagement and results.

Imagine the difference in your workplace on Monday after a real team-building

encounter where people actually like, respect, understand, trust and care for

each other. Work becomes enjoyable, and your workplace can become a WowPlace.

It’s hard to not have a great team after that.

Some comments we’ve heard from people after our special custom created team-transformation encounters…

” “Awesome!!… improved my self-confidence and my commitment to clear goals” – Helen
” “life changing. …was mind and life changing”- Bosman
” “My expectations were totally surpassed” – Jenny
” “ABSOLUTELY AWESOME are the only 2 words I can use to describe the feelings, thoughts and energy experiences that I experienced today” – Darryl
” “In every possible way it touched every point in my life. 0 out of 10.
Workshop leader was awesome” – Zelda
” “I never expected to get out what I did. EVERYBODY in business should do this. I call it Lifeline!!! Tony is amazing. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for what he taught me – Thuli
” “Thanks for your workshop, support and input which have changed my life at home and work. No problem or challenge is to big to overcome in my life. Nothing will get me down!!!!” Regards Chris
” “There is only one word to describe the team building session at Bakabung – “POSITIVE”. My team and I are committed and honest. What I said at Bakabung I will do – I am doing, and so are my team members. My exper

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