PictureCorporate Team Building Activities
There are two types of team building activities.  Those that work and those that don’t.   Seldom will a company or consultant that offers team building say “nope, our event won’t work for you.” So you have to go it alone, figuring out what event will work for your particular needs.  Here is a handy check list to help you with that decision. 

Is the event barrier free?  Nothing hampers team success like excluding someone because of body size or terror issues. 

Does the event engage at least 4 senses?  Sight, sound, smell, touch and taste are powerful drivers of engagement.  The more of them an activity stimulates, the more effective the team building will be for your team.

Is there a tangible result?   Corporate team building activities should have a physical take away to be truly effective.  That tangible result allows the team to connect with the experience years after the event.

Is it fun?  While some team building events look fun from the get go, and others look tiresome all you have to do is dig into photos from the events.  Is there evidence of concentration?  Are they collaborating?  Are they smiling?  If the event is not fun the participants are not going to stay engaged.    

Will it be viewed as a shared experience?   Events have to be powerful enough to stimulate our little frog brains and ignite our need to solve the problem with the help of others.   Once that frog brain is ignited and true problem solving collaboration happens the participants will view the event as a shared experience talking about it and telling stories about it for years to come.  Think about big storms.  You want that type of community interaction, a problem, a coming together, a solution, a story to tell.  

Finding a team building event that gets a click by everything on the check list is rare, but knowing exactly what your team needs, and finding a company that will say “we can do that”  will be easier if you keep these things in mind.  


PictureEffective Team Building
Several times lately I have been asked, by people who have gone through the Canvas Creek experience, if I could go to Washington, D.C., and get our representatives to act like a team.  Sometimes the question is presented with a bit of a laugh and sometimes with a wistful, ‘how could we pull that off?’ tone.   

I generally laugh at this question and yet part of me wants to scream from the rooftops “YES! By all means lets get those fine people to stand in front of a canvas, make them create art, and see just exactly what would happen when they experience truly effective team building.”   Okay, that sentence is a bit long for roof top exclamations, but my heart still means it.  Yes!  Let’s team build in DC for America!

You see to have effective team building you need a couple of really good things,  a crazy, powerful, shock the system and make people look at things differently, experience.   An experience that is kind of like a powerful storm, things are different afterwards and participants realize that only by relying on each other could they have weathered it.   Secondly you need good people, people who are willing to try to make things better, people who want to work together for a common cause, even if at the moment they aren’t doing that very well. 

I do think that every person who goes to D.C. goes with the best of objectives, the loftiest goals.  They want to work with others to accomplish great things.    No-one says “I want to go through the life altering drama that is a campaign so I can go to Washington and make things really suck for others. “ No, on the contrary, they want to help.  They have ideas, ideals and the very best of intentions, but, and I never thought I’d do this, to quote Ozzy Osbourne,  they sometimes are “going off the wheels on a crazy train.”  

So, would I go to DC to get our elected officials to play nice, to remember that they are all on the same team, the team of keeping America great?   “YES!” 

And you know what?  I’m confident I could do it.  All I need is a blank canvas, a lot of paint brushes and the opportunity to say “hush up for a minute so you can actually hear, see and feel, what is happening, and what you can create.  Together. “   I might have to tell them twice, or maybe even three times, to be silent so they can be heard, but in the end they would get it.  They would realize that it takes every element to make a whole, and that no-one creates this thing called community alone.   And that, my friends, is the hallmark of effective teambuilding.  Creating something together that cannot be created alone.