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17 Team Building Ideas: The team building kit for managers with team building exercises, activities and games to build winning teams today!


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17 Team Building Ideas: The team building kit for managers with team building exercises, activities and games to build winning teams today!

With employees still reeling from workplace budget cuts, now’s a great time for new team building ideas. No, you don’t need an expensive round of paintball to gain the benefits of team building exercises, but you do need to squeeze the most out of them. In this new FREE Special Report from Business Management Daily — 17 Team Building Ideas — we’ll show you how to do that.

17 Team Building Ideas provides teamwork examples, exercises and tips for leading winning teams. Specifically, you’ll read tips on corporate team building, team building exercises that can help your team see the big picture, fun team building activities (like Taking the Marshmallow Challenge), teamwork examples (such as Mayo Clinic’s team collaboration secrets), steps to creative team building activities and team building training to help you create your winning team.

Let 17 Team Building Ideas take your leadership skills to the next level. Go from being a manager who oversees people to a leader who molds them into winning teams. Download your FREE Special Report now!

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 1

Corporate team building activities: Help cross-team projects succeed, step-by-step

Sometimes it’s not clear how cross-team projects should proceed. Follow these guidelines on corporate team building activities for accomplishing as a group what individuals can’t do alone.

1. Set up some basic parameters: a goal for the next meeting, everyone’s role and the type of discussion.

2. Use a series of framing questions.

3. At the next meeting, ask targeted questions on how the group should proceed.

17 Team Building Ideas — # 2

Team building training: Leadership Rx for coaching your team

Well-supported teams receive the information, training and rewards they need to keep chugging along. Get 4 leadership prescriptions for coaching your team in 17 Team Building Ideas: The team building kit for managers with team building exercises, activities and games to build winning teams today!

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 3

Team building exercises: Test your team's ability to see the big picture

Do your people “get it”?

To find out, use this team building exercise to test their ability to discuss the big picture.

For example, ask each person the same five questions about strategy to see if their answers line up with yours:
  1. Who are the customers or customer segments we serve, listed in priority order?
  2. What are the services we provide now, and which ones, if any, need to change as we implement the current strategy?
  3. What is our value proposition and how does it set us apart and give us an edge in the marketplace?
  4. Which environmental trends/issues (such as market, economic, societal, political or environmental) are important to our strategy?
  5. What are three things your division is doing (and/or doing differently) to support the strategy?
Each question gets at the intent behind the strategy. There are right answers and wrong ones. And the answers change as strategy changes.

— Adapted from The Executive Guide to High-Impact Talent Management, Steve Trautman.


17 Team Building Ideas — # 4

Team building training: Help your team get comfortable with risk

Encourage your team to take risks? The very idea is enough to make many CEOs shudder.

Because you shoulder the responsibility of keeping performance high for the entire organization, sometimes you may be risk averse. Even acknowledging the existence of risk requires you to admit that you don’t have all the answers. That doesn’t sit well with the image of you as a fearless, confident leader.

Bottom line: CEOs who hone their skills at engaging with risk—who learn to acknowledge the fear and overcome that emotion—can also help others summon their courage and unleash tremendous potential.

17 Team Building Ideas — # 5

Team building training: 10 steps to get your team’s mojo going

Need to get your team’s momentum going, so they’re invigorated and ready for their next goals? Here are 10 steps blogger Terry Starbucker recommends:
  1. Don’t dive in—yet.
  2. Analyze your blueprint.
  3. Size up your team.
  4. Express the goals.
  5. Raise the bar.
  6. Read your own fine print.
  7. Get out your “virtual Q-tip.”
  8. Set an “accountability meter.”
  9. Give frequent feedback.
  10. Remain patient, calm and open to ideas.

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 6

Fun team building activities: Taking the Marshmallow Challenge

With 18 minutes, 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of tape, a yard of string and one marshmallow, Tom Wujec believes he can tell you how innovative any team is.

Here’s how to conduct his fun team building game:

After giving a four-member team the list of supplies mentioned above, Wujec asks them to build the tallest free-standing structure they can. The only rule: The marshmallow needs to be on top.

“I believe the Marshmallow Challenge is among the fastest and most powerful techniques for improving a team’s capacity to generate fresh ideas, build rapport and incorporate prototyping—all of which lie at the heart of effective innovation,” says Wujec, who is a Fellow at Autodesk, the leading 2D and 3D technology firm.

Ultimately, says Wujec, the Marshmallow Challenge helps people find hidden assumptions, build a common language and learn how to manage the marshmallow.

— Adapted from MarshmallowChallenge.com.

17 Team Building Ideas — # 7

Team building training: Revisit team’s size and tasks

Nothing right is going to happen with your team if the basic structure isn’t right. Here are some guidelines:

1. Look for signs that it’s too big.
The larger the team, the slower it moves. Consider a smaller team or a tiny executive committee.

2. Dispense with tactical trivia. Toss everything except important work that requires collaboration.

3. Enforce healthy norms. Four universal ones: everybody is as committed as the leader; every issue is on the table; everybody’s voice is heard; and what you say and do when you’re with the team is the same thing you say and do outside the team.

4. Have your team review its structure. Revisit size and tasks.

— Adapted from Senior Leadership Teams, Ruth Wageman, Debra Nunes, James Burruss, J. Richard Hackman, Harvard Business School Press.


17 Team Building Ideas — # 8

Team building training: Consistent contributors = good team

Whether a group is planning a conference or working on a shared budget, the more cooperative the group is, the more likely it can rise above a challenge. It helps a leader to understand, then, why some groups cooperate more than others.

Learn how to foster cooperation through consistent contributors when you download 17 Team Building Ideas: The team building kit for managers with team building exercises, activities and games to build winning teams today!

Claim your FREE copy of 17 Team Building Ideas: The team building kit for managers with team building exercises, activities and games to build winning teams today!

 

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 9

Teamwork examples: ‘FedEx Days’ – Mayo Clinic’s secret – teamwork after 9/11

Teamwork examples #1: Forget carrot-and-stick motivators, go for ‘FedEx Days’

Atlassian, an Australian software company, holds something called “FedEx Days” once a quarter, on a Thursday afternoon.

On that day, leadership says to software developers — Go work on whatever you want, with whomever you want. On Friday afternoon, show the rest of the company what you’ve done.

The initiative is called “FedEx Days” because team members have to deliver something overnight.

Teamwork examples #2: Mayo Clinic’s success secret = team collaboration

After a diagnosis, patients at the Mayo Clinic meet with a team of specialists who help them understand what’s happening so they can decide about treatment together, says president and CEO Denis Cortese.

This kind of teamwork is the stock-in-trade of Cortese, who won last year’s top leadership award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership.

Can you mimic the Mayo teams on behalf of your customers? A conference call up front to plan out services? A whole team descending on your customer’s problem like pit-stop mechanics rushing up to refresh a racecar?

Teamwork examples #3: Teamwork after 9/11

The day after friends, colleagues and family members died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Mark Loehr asked his people to come to the office. Not to work, but to share their thoughts and feelings about what had happened and what they should do about it.

In the ensuing days, the CEO of SoundView Technology encouraged his team to find meaning in the horror by deciding on a project they all could participate in. Instead of making a group donation to victim relief, they decided to contribute one day of the technology brokerage’s profits. In the past, that figure had reached as high as $1 million, a remarkable contribution. But as word spread about what SoundView employees were doing, enthusiasm grew and the company ended up donating $6 million.

—Adapted from Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review Press.

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 10

Encourage teams to share what they know

Keep information flowing in your corridors and among your teams with these tactics:
  • Increase staff members’ perceptions of their colleagues’ trustworthiness. You can do it by emphasizing a shared identity, or highlight an example of an employee who followed through on a promise.
  • Encourage face-to-face contact and discourage a reliance on email communication.
  • Remove incentives for employees to “betray” one another.
Building a culture of trust is key in encouraging employees to share what they know.

— Adapted from “When Knowledge Sharing Turns to Knowledge Hiding,” strategy+business.

17 Team Building Ideas — # 11

Corporate team building: For the sake of your team, fire the prima donna

If you’re a leader who has a prima donna on your team (one who produces great results but alienates everyone), what should you do? It’s simple. Bite the bullet and fire that person.

Find out why and what your justifications should be in 17 Team Building Ideas: The team building kit for managers with team building exercises, activities and games to build winning teams today!

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 12

Foster teamwork to cut costs by sharing financials

One thing that binds the Zappos team together is an openness with numbers. It shares vital signs not just on the team level, but across the entire company.

What are the tenets of a team culture that values such broadcasts? Speak to the masses. Craft and communicate metrics in a language everyone can understand. Make deadlines and accountability visible.

At the online shoe company, for example, a finance class teaches every employee to read a balance sheet.

Lesson:
Broadcast deadlines, goals, responsibilities and progress for everyone to see. Help team members be more aware of each group’s objectives.

— Adapted from “The Orange Revolution,” Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.

17 Team Building Ideas — # 13

Team building training: Teach your team how to respond to change

You’ve laid out how you’re going to hold the team accountable, and they all understand what’s expected of them. You’ve planted responsibility squarely in their laps. But you’re not totally home free.

There’s one more piece of the puzzle left: responding to change.

Get 17 Team Building Ideas: The team building kit for managers with team building exercises, activities and games to build winning teams today! and learn how to manage your team through change. You’ll discover how to effectively respond to your team’s deflated performance, complaining and overall disenchantment by learning not to overfacilitate, using targeted communication tactics and changing the team’s objectives.

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 14

Team building activities: Tie ‘bonding’ activities to core values

Next time you're tasked with coming up with a good “bonding” activity for your team, take a cue from today’s event planners. In the past five years, more companies have veered away from outdoor team building—organized sports and ropes courses—and are trying nontraditional events.

The best events tie in somehow to a company’s core values and have a philanthropic element.

17 Team Building Ideas — # 15

Creative team building activities: Diversify your team by job, age, gender

Your team needs diversity in three areas:

1. Job function: “You need people who can see things differently and not get trapped in their own disciplinary assumptions,” says Robert I. Sutton, a Stanford University engineering professor. “People from different disciplines will have different points of view.”

2. Age: Younger employees, or “millennials,” for example, come to the workplace with “a whole different life experience, especially with regard to technology in their personal lives,” says Gary Curtis, a managing director at Accenture.

3. Gender: “A team of all men is generally going to work in a hierarchical way. If it’s a big team, men are more comfortable taking their part of the problem and going off and solving it,” Curtis says. In comparison, a team of women tend to work in a more communal way.

— Adapted from “Building a new-age workforce,” Julia King, Computerworld.

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17 Team Building Ideas — # 16

Fun team building activities: Pet pageants, cook-offs, ugliest earrings contest

Liven up your workplace with one of these morale-boosting team events:
  • Pet pageant. Employees post photos of their pets on a bulletin board. Make up categories, and then have everyone vote on their favorites. Examples: cutest, funniest picture, best pet/owner look-alike, best pet story.
  • Chili cook-off. Each department cooks up its favorite chili recipe and enters it into the contest. A panel of “chili experts” selects the champion, or everyone votes on their favorite.
  • Awful tie/ugly earrings. Everyone comes to work wearing his or her entries. Place a voting box in the office, and then tally up ballots at the end of the day. Bring a camera and post photos of the winners.

17 Team Building Ideas — # 17

Team building exercises: 3 ways to ward off groupthink

Make sure your team is working more like the Manhattan Project and less like Enron. Three ideas:

1. Model constructive dissent. Play devil’s advocate and disagree with a unanimous decision. Benefit: You’ll encourage a reluctant but wise person to speak up.

2. Have a brainstorming group write ideas on unattributed Post-it notes. Why? No one knows whether an idea came from top brass or a low-level player, so people back ideas with merit regardless of source.

3. Encourage team members to do self-affirmations. Research by behavioral scientist Tanya Menon shows that simply listing one’s own personal skills and accomplishments before meeting with a group enhances one’s ability to let colleagues shine.

— Adapted from “When Groups Don’t Think,” Jake Mohan, Utne Reader.

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