Adventures In Team Building

Having trouble getting your team to collaborate? Do they spend more time backstabbing and gossiping than they do working together to solve business problems? Is your team’s motto “Every one for themselves”?

If so, it’s high time for an exciting and value-laden Team Building Session! And what could be more worthwhile than an activity that is guaranteed to bring out whatever is lurking inside your employees?

Here are three new and exciting experiential initiatives that can be adopted and used to great effect with your team. Enjoy!

OH DOCTOR!

Materials:

  • 1 razor blade per team
  • 1 2″x8″ piece of gauze bandage per team
  • 1 bottle of Scotch per team

Instructions:

  1. Divide participants into teams of 5-7.
  2. Have each team decide who will be the “Surgeon” (leader), the “Patient” (customer), the Anesthesiologist, Scrub Nurse, etc. Make sure everyone has a role to play.
  3. Instruct each team that the goal is to remove the Patient’s appendix using only the materials provided.
  4. Give teams 15 minutes for this exercise.
  5. OPTION: Stop teams after 10 minutes and inspect their work before allowing them to suture.

Debrief Questions:

  • What did your team do well?
  • What could your team improve?
  • How did your “customer” rate your quality?
  • How much of your time was spent planning, and how much was spent hacking away at the “customer”?
  • How did profuse bleeding affect your ability to work together as a team?
  • Was communication enhanced or blocked by all the screaming?

MUSIC HATH CHARMS

Materials:

  • Toy pianos (1 per participant)
  • Assorted banjos, flutes, bongo drums
  • Blank music paper

Instructions:

  1. Divide participants into teams of 3-5.
  2. Instruct participants that their goal is to write a piano concerto (place piano under each participant’s chair).
  3. The concerto should be orchestrated and performed with flutes, drums and banjos.
  4. Give teams 5-7 minutes for this exercise.

Debrief Questions:

  • What did your team do well?
  • What could your team improve?
  • How did tonal discordance figure into your planning process?
  • To what extent was your music “just noise”?
  • How did you negotiate with other teams to share resources, such as bongo drums, banjos, controlled substances, etc.?
  • Did the “Team Tone Deafness” syndrome affect your outcome?

CLEARED FOR LANDING

Materials:

  • 1 Dead Bee per team
  • 25 Toothpicks per team
  • 75 cubic yards of Cement per team
  • 15 3-foot lengths of Industrial Rebar per team

Instructions:

  1. Divide participants into teams of 6-10.
  2. Instruct each team that the goal is to build a functioning commercial airport using only the materials provided.
  3. Have each team select an “Architect” (leader), a “General Contractor”, a “Crooked Developer”, 3-5 “Teamsters” and a “Mobbed-Up Union Boss”. Make sure everyone has a role to play.
  4. Give teams 20 minutes for this exercise.
  5. OPTION: After 15 minutes, instruct teams that there are rumors of a wildcat strike.

Debrief Questions:

  • What did your team do well?
  • What could your team improve?
  • Would your airport support a major airline’s hub operations?
  • Did you experience “open and frank exchange of ideas” or “violent confrontation” during labor negotiations?
  • Were kickbacks a key strategic initiative?
  • Was the end product recognizable to the “architect?”

Today’s Fact-Cetera

Orchids release a chemical that makes bees drunk.

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