Nov 13 2018
Are you wasting time on teambuilding?

Harvard business Review recently ran a leading article titled stop wasting money on teambuilding”. The article, based on research carried out over a number of years by Carlos Valdes-Dapena, suggests that companies are wasting their money on increasingly different team-building activities.

He gave an example of an organisation who had spent thousands of dollars to hire an orchestra. The orchestra were instructed to perform with a group of senior leaders for one hour, in order to help them work in harmony together, with one saying of the activity, “It was a nice metaphor but did nothing to change how that group of leaders worked as a team”.

There is nothing wrong in wanting your team to have fun, but first you need to have a team! Without the characteristics of a team in place amongst your staff, the team building activity will be totally ineffective. It’s like sitting down to a meal and only serving dessert. It may taste good but it won’t give you the nutrition your body needs.

There are three elements which differentiate between a group and a team:

1. Each person understands they are working towards a common goal.

The most important element is that each member of the team is clear of the contribution they are making to the completion of a task. Safe in the knowledge that without their input, the result will either be weaker or the task could fail. The finest example is an athletics relay team, where each athlete passes on the baton to the other. Should one athlete drop the baton, the team has failed.

2. Mutual support within the team.

When one member of the team needs assistance, another member is happy to provide it. They are working in collaboration towards a common goal and understand this will be better achieved if they support one another.

3. Mutual respect exists amongst the team members.

Opinions are valued and differences are discussed and resolved.

Management is not something you do on your own. It is through your team that you will deliver results. Now is the time to go and have some fun with it!

If you’d like to learn how to develop your Team leader skills, take a look at our one day course here.

Or check out our Moving into Management and Moving up in Management courses delivered at the Centre, which takes a comprehensive approach to your role in building a team.

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