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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, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Floor plans embrace the great wide open.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.
Friday, May 08, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.
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