Team Building is a Dirty Word
In fact, many of you will cringe violently at the mere sight of the double-barrelled word. It’s a good-intentioned notion that’s acquired a very nasty reputation, thanks largely to out-dated trust falls and group hugs circa 1990’s.
We’ve become an industry that rests upon its laurels. There’s a demand for the obligatory ‘team building day’, so many providers feed the beast for a buck as opposed to putting innovation first, pushing boundaries and changing this widespread attitude that team-building is an unpleasant necessity.
As a professional team-builder then, what the hell am I doing? Why choose to deliver such ‘painful events’ to corporate folk across Australia’s urban jungles? Well the answer’s quite simple: we’re part of an important minority who believe it’s utterly essential. But only if done correctly.
New experiences lies at the core of everything we do; they’re the foundation for learning, friendship and fun… at the very least they create a memory; a story to share with your mates later on.
So what should our profession be called then? Experience creators? Memory makers? Relationship builders? (I like the ring of these!)
Team building maybe a filthy word that really needs a new name, but it looks like we’re probably stuck with it for the time-being!
New Creative Team Experiences
The sight of the word ‘creativity’ strikes the fear of God in me.
Well, I should say USED to strike the fear.
I always thought that creative exploits were best left to those lucky humans with the elusive ‘creative’ gene weaved into the double helix of their DNA. You know, child prodigy types who entered with big bad world with an innate ability to perfectly replicate a Van Gough painting blindfolded or recite a Mozart’s 3rd symphony using only the wooden rungs of their cot and a milk bottle.
Joining Hidden Door 3.5 years ago changed everything. They welcomed creative thought – no matter how absurd – and embraced ideas openly and without judgement. I’ve learned to love flexing my creative muscles, even if my six pack has some way to go.
Before you say anything though, I appreciate that working for an experiential agency is not the same as working in the back office of a bank, say, but my point is this: it’s absolutely essential to build a culture of creativity and innovation to survive the future no matter what the industry, and yet so many companies do nothing about it.
“Okay, so I know it’s an organisation imperative, but where do I even start?”.
I’m not saying it’s an easy fix. Far from it in fact. But whilst it’s a very complex area, it’s also incredibly simple to introduce the notion of creativity (and it’s benefits) to teams.
Over the last decade we’ve tried and tested bucketloads of experiences that show just how effective and fun imaginative thinking can be, with trained facilitators that make the events unique, collaborative and entirely painless for attendees who are willing to try.
Wartsila | Search and Rescue
We launched a surprise Search and Rescue operation from the Fairmont Resort in the Blue Mountains. Teaming up with our highly experienced adventure partner, we were able to deliver a fully realistic search patrol mission for teams of five.
The mission took four hours and saw teams orienteering, bushwalking, abseiling and canyoning through the stunning backdrop of national park in search of the ‘missing hiker’. Upon finding the seriously injured casualty, first aid was administered before working as a combined team to get him on a stretcher and to safety for removal by helicopter.
The activity was highly immersive and exciting, allowing people to build skills and relationships within the stunning surrounds of one of the most impressive canyons in the region.
Mettler Toledo | Annual Conference 2014
Having worked with MT previously we had an understanding of the team’s fun culture and up-for-it attitude. We pulled out all of the stops for this one!
Held in tropical surrounds around the Sheraton in Port Douglas, we were able to use the wild environment to steer the experience – SURVIVOR!
The event began with 10 teams each creating their own identity through flags, chants and facepaints. Once they’d erected their flags at base, teams underwent a tricky treasure hunt around the beach and resort to solve a cryptic crossword before moving into a series of high-octane beach games.
After a drinks break the group moved into the second half of the experience; raft building! Further to design, it was essential that teams trade materials during the build itself in order to construct the safest vessel possible.
Then came the racing heats. These really got the group into the spirit of the day, and capped off a successful and highly memorable day for MT!