I can remember feeling stuck. I knew that I wanted to rally our people around a common theme for the coming year, but I did not know what the theme should be! I was certain about the need to cast the vision and unify our people, but I was unsure of how to do it. Have you ever felt this way? Read on and learn what I discovered about team-building.
The first thing I did was pull our company leadership team together to ask them to help come up with a theme for the upcoming year.
We kicked around a lot of ideas. One leader remarked that the word “quality” had popped up in several of our recent leadership meetings.
As our discussion continued, someone suggested that the theme be “Quality Is Contagious.”
Well, that was better than any one of us could come up with, and we all agreed that should be the theme.
A few weeks later, I met with an owner of our graphics design firm to ask for their help with a logo that we could use for a company-wide meeting.
Little did I know that the design firm recently had their own amazing company-wide meeting that would help give shape to our meetings. .
Every leader can have a successful team-building event by following five simple steps.
The design firm shared the following about their team-building event:
- 1. Identify the problem – The graphic designers were so competitive and creative that they did not work well together as a team. In fact when working together on a project, it would often lead to arguments.
- 2. Plan the solution – The owners decided for their company to shut-down for a whole day and work with their employees to bond as a team.
- 3. Act on the solution:
— They created an off-site “Camp WOW-WOW”.
— All employees were invited to wear caps and t-shirts with the “Camp WOW-WOW” logo.
— When people arrived they all stood around with arms crossed thinking they were going to be “called on the carpet” about productivity.
— After coffee and donuts were served, the employees were asked to line-up in teams to compete in races using child-sized 3-wheelers.
— As expected people lined-up with their friends. However, the owners ask each person to shift to a different group of people they had to interact with at work but did not like working with.
— The owners gave the race winners a special prize, but everyone got a prize as well so that they all were winners.
— Now since people had begun to realize they could have fun even with people they thought they did not like to work with, the owners had those teams break into discussion groups about their work relationships and how they could work better together.
— After everyone finished their catered lunch, they competed in creating a sculpture by using ice cream, cherries, nuts, and bananas.
— Again the owners gave out special prizes to the team with the best sculpture as well as prizes to every employee because they were all winners.
— Afterwards, the teams broke into groups to continue discussing how they could work better together and how everything they did was connected.
— At the end of the day, since everyone was a winner, they got to choose a balloon with a gift certificate in them. The owners gave a $100 to the person that guessed what “WOW” stood for (Winners Only Winners).
- 4. Follow-through – Everyone was given a child’s plastic popper-gun. When they returned to the office and when they saw someone do something that benefited the company or did a kind deed toward someone, the employees were to use the plastic gun to pop someone and to give that person a “WOW” sticky note of what was seen saying or doing.
- 5. Evaluate the results – It changed their organizational culture as to “who they were”. It became a common place where you could often hear a pop-gun go off and someone would receive a “WOW” sticky note.
The owners were even surprised about the success of “Camp WOW-WOW” and the change in the behavior of every employee.
This was just the start of my learning and discovering in this important area of defining and championing a theme for my people! All it takes is some planning to identify your message and create some fun learning opportunities for your people – plus the discipline to follow-through and evaluate your results!
This is the type of leadership planning that can transform your people into a mature team.
“Stay tuned” for more on this important topic!
Have you ever had your employees rally around an organizational theme? Have you ever used fun team-building events in your organization? Please share your comments <here> and share this blog post with a friend or co-worker.