Thursday, April 30, 2009

Corporate Team Building Building: Recreation vs. Team Development

My friends at the Corporate Team Building Blog wrote a great post about The Steps in Planning a Team Building Retreat

Below are some of the ideas:

Clarify your objectives.
Sometimes the terms “team recreation” and “team building” are used interchangeably. They are not the same thing.

Team recreation is intended to get your team involved in an activity or experience just for the fun of it. There are no business objectives or outcomes.

Team building seeks to enhance team cohesiveness and performance to improve business results. Often team building does involve some recreation but recreation is a means to an end, not the end. Team building can be delivered on-site, off-site as a day session or at a hotel or resort involving overnight stays, locally or at a foreign destination

The phases of needed for effective team building are:
- executive briefing to identify key business issues, communicate your support, and clarify how team building is relevant the key business issues (1 hour)
- context setting and team briefing by facilitator ( 1 1/2 - 2 hours)
- recreation (flexible & optional)
- simulation (3 - 8 hours)
- debriefing (1 hour)
- business application exercises (1 - 1 /2 hours for prep., 5 to 15 minutes per group for presentations)
- business agenda items (flexible)

To read entire post...

The great part of the post is the breakdown of effective Team Development programs. Anne Thornly-Brown and I have discussed debated and agreed over the discrepancies of these terms many times.
The most important part of any team building program is the facilitator. For successful programs to take place the majority of the investment should not be the location, the food, and the company give aways (those are all recreation programs).
For effective team building programs the focus must be on the facilitators and the program development.
As a consumer of Team Building an organization must take their time and ensure that the facilitator and the team are in-line and together on the outcomes.

-Michael Cardus is the founder of Create-Learning-Team Building, an experiential based training and development consulting organization, as well as a blogger for TeamBuilding NY. Mike specializes in team development and leadership development consulting and training, creating team-building programs that retain talented staff members, increase production and effectiveness of your team. He lives in Buffalo, NY, and travels to you to serve your team-building and leadership training needs, wherever and whenever fits your schedule.