Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Team Building and Business Building - The Principles are the Same

There is an article floating around about Team Building Gone Bad.

As a business owner, you've heard about Team Building - doing activities to help bring the team closer together and increase communication, cooperation, and trust. You've probably thought about doing something with your own staff.

Before you do, do me (and your staff) a favor. Write down a clear goal of what you hope to accomplish with your efforts. Then, when you go to sign up for an activity under the guise of team building, if the facilitator doesn't ask to see that goal, run away. They don't know a thing about team building.

I do. I used to be a facilitator. I used to train facilitators. When I read the article above, it got me thinking about how team building really depends on the skill of the facilitator more than the activity chosen.

I wrote this on a friend's FB page when he linked to the article...

A good facilitator knows [that there are five stages of development in a group] and would never let any group do the stuff that was talked about in this article without a lot of prep work and other activities done first.

A good facilitator would know clearly the goals of the team building and plan activities to specifically address those goals.

A good facilitator would stop an activity before it got out of control, knowing that the activity is secondary to the lesson to be learned.

A good facilitator would make safety the number one priority (and number two and number three) because without a certain level of emotional and physical safety guaranteed, no one will take any perceived risks.

A good facilitator would follow up because team dynamics are always changing. Just kick-starting a new culture does not mean that the changes will hold.


It got me to thinking that the same exact principles apply to Business Building. Let's replace facilitator with manager and team building/group with business building/business.


A good manager knows that there are five stages of development in a business (Tim Mile's First Order of Business) and would never let any business do the stuff that was talked about in this article without a lot of prep work and other activities done first.

A good manager would know clearly the goals of the business and plan activities to specifically address those goals.

A good manager would stop an activity before it got out of control, knowing that the activity is secondary to the lesson to be learned (and sales to be made).

A good manager would make safety the number one priority (and number two and number three) because without a certain level of emotional and physical safety guaranteed, no one will take any perceived risks (this applies to customers and employees).

A good manager would follow up because business dynamics are always changing. Just kick-starting a new culture does not mean that the changes will hold.

Make sure you hire a good facilitator before you embark on any Team Building. Make sure you hire a good manager before you embark on any Business Building.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS I dusted off an old paper I wrote on Team Building and am getting it ready for the Freebies section of my website. If you're interested in seeing a copy before I get the site updated, send me an email.

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