Adventures in Team Building

teambuildingHave you ever been to a “team building” event that felt like work?  You’re there because you have to be, but you’re dying to leave?  By the end, had the Esprit de Corps improved at all?

Team building certainly is important, but can be tricky to get right.  Events need to suit the character of the group and the culture of the company.  Working together on a project is the most natural way to build a team bond, but it can also be rewarding to “get away from it all” together.

Here are a few memorable team-building events, from extravagant to shoe-string budget.  The one thing they all have in common is they gave us something shared besides work to do together (and to talk about later!)

Dinner in a Yurt

Our manager brought our far-flung team together at a ski resort in Utah (for meetings, yes, but culminating with a sleigh ride up the mountain and a gourmet Norwegian dinner in a traditional Yurt on the mountain top.)  The event was fun and unusual, and we still talked about it years later.

Sand Sculpture

My husband’s company headed out to Santa Cruz for a session with an award-winning sand sculptor.  They learned techniques to make really cool sculptures, and had a lot of fun doing them together.

Cheesy TV lunch

Here’s a low budget team building event I enjoy: I’m currently working in a small Real Estate technology firm.  Roughly once a week, someone from our group makes or buys lunch for the team, and we watch Million Dollar Listings, a cheesy reality TV show.  We all enjoy commenting on the show, and we sometimes even learn something about real estate.  It’s an optional event that generates an easy camaraderie among participants.

Have you been part of a successful team building event?  Please share, so as a community, we can leverage each others’ successes.

Mia Whitfield


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