Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Passionate about teambuilding

We are passionate about encouraging teamworking and developing teambuilding skills.

We have undertaken team building assignments for many clients over the last fifteen years but one of our regrets is that the phrase 'teambuilding' has been hijacked and, to many, means a day away from the office with a spot of go-karting!

Teambuilding is much more than a day behind the wheel of a vehicle - and a good job too, with the prices of these corporate days now making a serious dent in budgets. We much prefer to concentrate on helping our clients achieve a positive and more beneficial relationship between staff, particularly those from the geographically disparate parts of the organisation - without the need to spend thousands. But that's not to say our teambuilding exercises are not fun!

For any business unit, particularly those working to tight deadlines or seeking to achieve targets, the ability to work effectively as part of a team is an essential skill. The successful development and adoption of team skills will also enhance the knowledge base of the organisation and will encourage individual professional development.

The key to the success of any teamworking exercises is that staff are made aware of the positive benefits of certain practices, agree to adopt them and are then made to assume responsibility for maintaining and advancing these practices within their respective teams.

The aim of our teambuilding programmes is to convince staff of the need for team skills and of their own personal responsibility in applying them within their own team environments by:

1. Motivating staff and demonstrating the importance of effective teamworking

2. Providing practical examples of how teams should work together

3. Imposing responsibility for maintaining good team practices

4. Providing a reward structure to demonstrate the value of good team practices

5. Helping staff develop examples of good practice and tricks-of-the-trade

The heart of a teamworking initiative is an attempt to encourage staff to take pride in what they do by focusing not just on their own individual performance but, primarily, on the needs of their customers and others who may be affected by their work performance – such as colleagues in other sections/departments.

We have developed a series of unique teambuilding exercises that focus on performance - by incorporating drama and theatre. Teams are set an assignment to produce a short ‘corporate’ film to show to prospective new business clients - a film that reflects not just the needs of the organisation – but also its strengths and its ethos.

Few parameters are set for teams – but those that are set are vital components and are crucial both to the delivery of the finished film and to how the film is judged. these include:

1. A strict limit on the length of the film – no more than ten minutes

2. A theme. Each team is allocated a theme or genre and the finished product must reflect this. The genre could be generational so that films would reflect changing values and habits. One team could therefore look to produce a Silent Movie; a second team look at producing a film in the style of the 1950’s; a third look at producing a film reflecting modern day attitudes; and a fourth team look to produce a film set in the future. An alternative would be for films to be produced in the style of particular genres – so we could, for instance, have a Spaghetti Western, a James Bond, a Simpsons, a West End Musical or a Humphrey Bogart theme! A third alternative would be to encourage teams to reflect the theatrical nature of their surroundings and look to produce from a particular theatrical style such as Shakespeare or Pantomime.

3. A need to incorporate certain core messages in the film.

The exercise should have as its core objective a desire to promote the values of the organisation underpinned with a need to consider the overall business objectives. The initial – and probably most important – part of the exercise is the planning, with teams encouraged to fully document the content of their film, the objectives and the logistics (scripting etc) of the production. We encourage a formal approach using techniques such as storyboards to allow all team members input into the creative process.

Teams are encouraged to be as creative as possible and include traditional cinema or theatrical techniques such as props, location, music and scripts to produce an entertaining end-product.

We acknowledge that not everybody is comfortable 'performing' which is why there are key roles to play in these exercises for the 'behind camera' crew - direction, production, props, scripting and so on. So there really is a role to play for all team members.

Feedback and comment on the finished product is by way of an Oscar ceremony with all team members present - preferably in a social environment - with a screening of the videos and awards being presented not just for Best Film but for Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Music, Best Costume etc.

We supply some props and all the necessary Oscar paraphernalia – including a red carpet for that photo opportunity – with delegates encouraged to dress for the Oscars!We've used these exercises with great success with a large number of clients - and the feedback has always been excellent.Effective, fun and rewarding team-building - and team building that fits all budgets!

Get in touch if you'd like to know more!

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