Among the main principles behind team-building activities, it’s basic that everyone involved should find themselves in a situation they’re unaccustomed to, and which ideally they can’t master individually, or at any rate by brute strength alone.
So it’s great to try genuinely unusual and interesting activities, preferably picturesque; and who can predict whether an instinct for something like falconry will best suit hawkish executives?
Orienteering is a nice simple blend of physical and mental exercise, but it does tend to enhance the existing characteristics of leaders and followers within teams, rather than enabling development…
…while clay-shooting and paint-balling may be fun, but they don’t encourage collective effort towards a single specific target…unless the boss is particularly unpopular that week.
Inside or outdoors, effective team-building challenges shouldn’t cause competitive conflict in the team, and aren’t meant to prompt a coup-d’état for departmental leadership…
…because by levelling and broadening the talents needed to accomplish an apparently simple task, it’s often possible to draw out dormant reserves of initiative and give each team-member a clear sense of the others’ perspectives.
But making a ‘crew’ think in a co-ordinated way isn’t always best managed by getting physical. A bit like Brussels sprouts, few people in the UK actually enjoy the tradition of “group-hugs”. So announcing that there won’t be any, is a great way to bond colleagues who were happier in the office!
Slightly different rules apply at Head4heights; a degree of contact is essential to completing our challenges. In total safety, our climbing, balancing and descent activities really necessitate combined effort for a shared sense of reward.
The team-building benefit is kick-starting thinking processes, which may be deep in unproductive habits.
Even a simple puzzle encourages collective analysis.