Thursday, February 4, 2010

Change Management in Team Building Events

Over the years different corporate groups have asked TeamBuilding Unlimited to incorporate Change Management into our Team Building activities. We've actually always included change as an important component in our events; however, we can stress this in the debriefing or in the selection of the type of event. Team Building Unlimited always consults with our clients, so we can address and meet client needs, goals and objectives.

TeamBuilding Unlimited handles the idea of change in our activities in various ways. One way is to divide groups into teams and give them an assignment or task, maybe building a bridge out of balsa wood, creating a unique 'new green' product or building a sandcastle. Half-way through the activity, the facilitator might change various portions of the deliverables to cause this activity to have a totally different outcome. How individuals, teams and groups handle this change is observed and commented on by the facilitator, as well as by the teams, themselves.

Many people are task-oriented. When a team makes a plan to complete an activity it consciously or unconsciously decides on a plan of action to reach the final destination or goal. If each team is given enough time to complete the activity and then the facilitator changes the course of the activity, the team has a new challenge in order to meet the new goal in a race against the clock.

Building Bridges: A concrete example would be any type of team building activity that involves “construction” which is the contract. A team, call it the building team, gets some input as to the overall structure from a competing team, call it the boss team, and agrees to build and include specific things in the final project. More than half way through the construction, each team is surprised when the boss team asks the first team to make at least one change, either a deletion or addition to the original plans that the building team must fulfill.

Another form of Change is to exchange players half-way through the event. Each team would send one player to one team and another to a different team. For example Team B sends one player to Team A and One to Team C. Who gets sent is part of the change. Who stays? How is this dealt with by the new teams.

A top down form of change can be added to a construction event when the TeamBuilding Unlimited facilitator announces a major change in the rules or the goal or removes certain materials. Example: Prior to completing the construction participants are not given the how and the who that will determine the best construction. Another form of change is that after the competition is complete, each participant is give a specially marked ballot and told to vote for the best team’s construction other than his/her own team. The ballot has his/her team’s number on it.

In some of the TeamBuilding Unlimited Wacky Games, a handicap can be added to the leading team on a random basis, such as time for the next activity or “immunity” from participating in the next activity so that the team automatically gets certain points without playing. The order of participation in an activity can be adjusted to favor the last place team so they have an advantage in the next event.

TeamBuilding Unlimited has included change management as an important aspect of many of our team building activities. Ask us about other activities.

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