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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.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
The Jade International District, already Portland's center of Asian life, is poised for rejuvenation. Where does that leave the westside's historic Chinatown?
Friday, January 09, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.
Thursday, January 08, 2015
BY CAMBIA HEALTH SOLUTIONS & OREGON BUSINESS COUNCIL | OP-ED
Businesses have a significant stake in the health of Oregonians. In fact, we cannot succeed without it. By committing to using our companies as levers for good health, we invest in our people, our business, our quality of life and our economy.
Friday, January 02, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.
Friday, February 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.
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Generations of students and graduates have been plagued by the question: What is my true calling in life? Four alumni from Corban University’s Hoff School of Business who graduated in different decades say the school helped them find the answer by giving them a practical, well-rounded education.
It’s happening whether anyone’s ready or not. Businesses here in Oregon and across the U.S. are already experiencing the effects of the largest generational shift in recent history, and these changing tides will impact every level of the workplace — from a company’s executive leadership to its cultural core.
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