Most of the time everyone seems to be focused on finding new things, new ideas or new ways to build or engage a team. My question is why?
Or another question - is new necessarily better?
Why is the new team building activity better than the one from last week, last month or last year? If your people enjoyed the program the first time, why wouldn't they enjoy it again, and again.
If you could be guaranteed the team would be engaged in the moment, connected amongst its people and highly energised every time you ran the same program, wouldn't you do it?
Surely, team building is about growth. If every time you get your people together with a new team building idea they are starting from scratch - how can they practice perfectly to become perfect, as a team if they are doing something new every time?
A behavioural scientist I know suggests that if you have a favourite restaurant you go there often - because you love it. You go to the same cafe because of the promise of "great coffee". We all do lots of things over and over again, because we love to do them. Why is this not the same for team building ideas?
So, what is your "go-to" team building idea or activity. What do you do over and over again with your team that gives them a chance to develop, to get stronger as a unit?
Human Rhythms drumming programs can be that team building idea. You can do it over and over again. Your team can get better each time they do it. The activity changes every time (depending on how your team turns up) yet the core is the same - they drum together an grow together as a team, as a community, as a tribe. Each time they doit, they learn, they get better, they learn even more and get event better.
Drumming has been around for 1000's years and served, and continues to serve, a real community purpose. It happens all the time, not just once, in many communities around the world. Why should business be any different. Why should your team be any different?
You don't need a new team building idea ... you need an effective and truly engaging team building idea that everyone can become part of, over time.
I was watching a movie recently and one line from it really resonated with me. It went something like this: "You need all colours working together to make a rainbow". This to me says a lot about what makes teams work. Great teams are not made up of one type of individual working in one particular fashion. Rather, great team members know they have to connect. They have to be recognised for, and play to, their strengths.
Strength of the team comes from diversity and the knowledge that if the people get it right the team wins... everyone wins. It comes down to a fundamental decision to connect as one to create a rainbow from the colours that would otherwise stand alone and just be that - a colour. Interesting, but not as spectacular as a rainbow that lights up right in front of you.
With the pressures in business today it can be easy to overlook employee's happiness. Often, even the small gestures can make a tremendous impact on company morale and, in turn, success of business overall.
Happy employees are more productive
Which means less absenteeism, burnout and stress and more focus and willingness to take on new challenges
Happy employeees are better leaders
Which means more resilience and great bounce back from mistakes
Happy employees are more creative
Which means they can dream of new possibilities
Happy employees make better team players
Which means they are more likely to help others and tackle big issues confronting them in the workplace
What can you do make an impact on your employees that lightens their work day and makes them smile?
There are lots of team building options today - just search the term team building or fun team building games or team building activity and you'll get a list too long to spend time on. Quite frankly, it's overwhelming.
But, tackling an assault course, climbing ropes, racing cars, running around a city in some sort of game, cooking up a storm, singing together and expecting the activity to turn a group of people into a great team is, to me, a nonsense. Any one game or activity won't create a great team (any one activity might start the process though) as they won't necessarily succeed in uniting the team in it's mission in the workplace.
Great teams understand the what, who, why, where, when, and how of working together. They understand why they're a team in the first place; their team roles play to their individual strengths; they've agreed where they want and need to go; they have team charter to keep them on course and they'll know when they get there. Does your team fit this model?
Sending a team on a team building program without addressing the what, why, where, when and how or working together might make everyone smile (it's some time away from work afterall) but it won't build the team in a sustainable way.
The best team development happens in the workplace, working on real time issues and opportunities. The best team development happens over time, utilises team coaching and all results can be measured (people are kept accountable) in some way - both those in your team, you and those outsiders helping you do it - it's only fair.
Corporate team building is necessary if you're going to achieve ever increasing business outcomes. It is seldom that a corporate team building product comes along that is so suited to the corporate environment whilst at the same time reflecting the achievability of a group working harmoniously. Human Rhythms corporate team building is a perfect team bonding experience that showcases a group of everyday people working (& playing) together in a very unique manner, with the final creation a team orchestra.
The individual members of the business play their roles and together the team performs but in a totally different capacity to what they are accustomed to. Within moments of the exciting discovery of drums & other instruments in the room, serious expressions turn into smiles all round, our fun team building company encourages all to join in and the musical team takes shape.
This enthused and transformed group realize that corporate team building can be fun team building without having to build a raft or scale the side of a mountain, risking life and limb over a long period of time. Rather, quickly and effectively, our corporate team building means opening up the delegates senses to the realisation that the individuals and the group have skills and ability that (for a long time) may have been covered up unnecessarily by our conservative societies.
Human Rhythms breaks down those barriers allowing increased and diversified communications, building a stronger corporate team and encouraging team bonding.
Is it truly correct to call everything a group of people might do together Team Building? Have you become a little cynical about "team building"? Do you ask yourself “what will it really achieve”? Do you believe that when the program is finished, the team is “built"? Will it ever be...?
Everyone has expectations from a team building course, program or session. An organisation expects the team to be "built" when the group comes back to work and those on the course or session expect to have a good time and often don’t see a relationship between the activity and the workplace– in both sets of expectations a problem lies.
This is where the end of a supposed team building session can be like the end of a footy season.
The session has finished, everyone lines up for the obligatory “team” photo, everyone gets their momento, manual, presentation (trophy) for their efforts, hands are shaken and off they toddle, proud of what they think they've accomplished. The trophies are displayed in the office on the book shelf (the trophy cabinet), alongside the sales training manual, the negotiations skills manual and all the other "how to" manuals from programs attended. And this is where they stay, gathering dust and never to be revisited by anyone.
The key to success is perfect practice, feedback, perfect practice, feedback and on the cycle goes. Create the space to refresh the skills, create the space for perfect practice … over and over and over again. Refresh the program as much as possible to keep the feeling alive.
Great events, great meetings great conferences don't just happen. What makes for a great conference anyway? Is it the budget you have (or haven't got), is it the fancy dinner, is it the keynote speaker you have? Is that how you measure it? Really?
I was thinking about this recently when I cam across an article that, for me, said it all. I'll post the shortened url below so you can read the entire thing.
In this article the author states "The real secret to the coolest events is to have people remember how they felt, rather than the specific elements. The higher the emotional influence, the greater, longer and more vivid the recall. I aspire specifically to have attendees retain the distinct sense of originality, and I am utterly content when participants associate our events with invention and ingenuity." Yes Yes and Yes again. Another point made by this author is that an "cool" event that will be remembered for all the right reasons needs to be PARTICIPATORY & CHALLENGING.
"Thinking your guests simply want comfort and to kick back passively at an event at will anesthetize the experience. They can do that anywhere, anytime. Furthermore, we don’t necessarily retain the moments when we are comfortable, but we do remember when we are stimulated and challenged. Give your attendees the chance to participate and take a stake in the event by having them create something or challenging them."
There is a large cost associated with pulling together a conference and many people think that because people have arrrived, they are ready. I know we need to rethink this. I also know I'm right here because we hear a lot people say continually "we don't have the budget" - for a real conference opening ceremony, for energising at the right time, for closing with a bang or for connecting everyone in someway.
Think about this - if people walk away from a conference and don't remember the detail and don't even talk about it in glowing terms and you've stayed within budget - has it been a successful conference. Mmmmm!
I suppose that's where drumming with Human Rhythms comes in - a very cost effective, powerful, challenging and participatory tool to make you conference cool and memorable.
Every team or corporate event would benefit from more of this, and then more again! And I reckon, the more you get the better the results, the better the outcomes - I think they would be astounding. It's simple and focuses on getting people relaxed, feeling good and connected with those around them.
... and there's a lot to be said trying to do more of this.
Read on and enjoy!
Adapted from an article by Karl T Bruhn in 1999 (no point trying to re-invent the wheel).
We are drawn to drums. They are like a magnet and few can pass a drum without touching it. And, more than that, people with no musical background can flourish, participate and interact in group drumming activities. Drumming programs bring the benefits of teamwork to a broad segment of the population and these experiences tend to be enjoyable and positive for all involved. Participation in such events promotes relaxation, communication and a sense of belonging to a community, to a team.
In her 1994 THINK DRUMS article, music therapist Barbara J Crowe, RMT-B, pointed out that drum circles are based on several principles:
Response to rhythm is basic to human functioning making percussion activities and techniques highly motivating to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Pure percussion activities are interesting and enjoyable to all people regardless of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, musical preferences or age, making these activities useful in creating groups (teams) that are fun and positive for a wide variety of people.
Participation in active group percussion experiences has physical benefits including sustained physical activity, relaxation and use of fine motor skills.
A strong sense of identity and a feeling of belonging is created because participants are actively making music together and because the sustained repetition of the steady beat acts to bring people together physically, emotionally and mentally (rhythmic entrainment)
Percussion activities can be done with little or no previous musical background or training making these experiences accessible to virtually all people.
Just imagine how all of this would transform a team, a conference, workshop or meeting. Drumming is one of the few teamwork experiences that can involve everyone (no matter what size group) at the same time with an experience that everyone will learn about the team and themselves.