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|Thursday, May 30, 2013|
BY TOM COX | BUSINESS TIPS CONTRIBUTOR
I was asked, “Some employees resent ‘forced fun’ outings. Is there a better way to help team members connect? What are some examples of innovative ideas for teams to connect?”
If you really want your team members to connect, there are few worse ways than “Mandatory Corporate Fun” that’s too obviously aimed at manipulating them.
Good bonding events share a few attributes:
Bad events will be focused on:
Why “equally uncomfortable?”
The real point of effective team bonding activities is to get the group out of their collective comfort zone, doing something they wouldn’t ordinarily do. This forces the brain to build new links, and allows team members to re-assess each other and build new mental pictures of each other.
Focus on the Goal – to Build Trust
The whole point of all this team-building is to grow team trust.
Trust is built up when people do a little extra for each other, voluntarily. (The four elements of trust are Reliability, Openness, Competence and Compassion.)
Getting people out of the office into a new space with a new activity, allows them to have new experiences of each other — and break negative stereotypes that can build up in the office.
When boring old George has a great idea, I can no longer pigeon-hole him in my head as ‘boring old George.’
When ‘lazy’ Chris shows initiative and works hard at the team goal, I start to see Chris in new ways.
The gold standard for team formation through experiences comes from my former employer, IBM, who would send small groups of middle managers on 6-week volunteer trips to impoverished African countries. Between the discomfort of camping and the novel surroundings, plus focusing on work that’s utterly different from their normal work, the groups bonded very tightly. IBM would select people from different departments and countries, and those groups stay connected for years afterward. It’s a highly effective anti-silo technique.
What You can Do
You can create team-building activities, or hire a specialty firm.
Group problem-solving is superior to independent action or team competition, though some amount of competition is good, especially if you’re playing “against the course” (i.e. fastest time through an obstacle course) and not “against each other” (football, baseball, etc.)
Tom Cox is a Portland area consultant and executive coach. He helps leaders exceed their business aspirations.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.
Friday, April 11, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
A new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER
The “polar vortex” of 2014 seems to have finally thawed and we believe this change in weather will bring more sunshine to the U.S. economy as well.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.”
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