Sunday, February 28, 2010

Community Service Garden Project: Project Green Thumb

New Green Program offering at TeamBuilding Unlimited:
Project Green Thumb: The Community Service Garden Project

TeamBuilding Unlimited will lead participants through a hands-on Green Gardening TeamBuilding event in which they work together to add trees, shrubs and flowers to public spaces, school, parks and/or median strips. Project Green Thumb will match up your participants with organizations that are in charge of these locations, and TBU will provide participants with all the tools, plants, and soil they will need to “Green the Community.”

The addition of new plants will add aesthetic as well as environmental value to the area selected. The selection of the appropriate plants will be done to insure sustainability and durability. Participants will receive basic training in planting skills, information on urban gardening and become familiar with different urban gardening and decorative projects.

A strong garden project needs strong teams. Teambuilding Unlimited will divide participants into teams to establish clear lines of communication and clear roles and responsibilities. There are many types of jobs and responsibilities in this green community service garden project, and not everyone will be suited for every type of role. People will be matched to roles according to their interests, experience, and skills.

The Goal of Project Green Thumb is to establish a community service project that builds relationships through hands-on activities to establish community gardens, provide technical assistance, and provide a valuable service to the community.

Often this is a start of community programs by laying the foundation for a more comprehensive and effective community-building project for the specific organization that benefits by the new plantings.

Through working together to accomplish tasks in the garden, teams practice and apply life skills including teamwork, communication, self-motivation, and problem solving. They will be inspired by the sense of community they gain from working with others and feeling the significance of contributing to the greening of the area. 

Consider this for your Earthday Celebration... or Any Time for your community service. Give Back. Go Green!

Variation: Teams can 'landscape' their office. Roof gardens, potted gardens and more!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Video: Professional or Not?

Everyone and anyone in social media today says that every business should have a video or YouTube on your website, blog, Facebook and other social media places. I don't have a video on TeamBuilding Unlimited yet, but I have had short videos from events here on TeamBuilding Talk. They're not the best, but then I'm not a professional. I put those up because at one of the last workshops I attended, the facilitator said it didn't matter how good they were. Just get it up there. I agree with him. I know I'm a perfectionist, and maybe that's why I was waiting.

However, I came across this video from 'professionals' who are looking to help businesses add video to their websites and blogs. This was on a discussion for Event Peeps: For Live Event Industry Professionals on LinkedIn. Thought you'd enjoy this as much as I did. My videos don't look all that bad compared to these folks!

Love to hear your comments!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

San Francisco Scavenger Hunt

30 participants weathered the storm Friday to scour the Waterfront in San Francisco in search of 'treasure' that they could possibly.. but not probably... use in a marketing campaign for their SF based company. What a Great Scavenger Hunt.

Since TeamBuilding Unlimited does a lot of Chocolate Team Building, San Francisco chocolatiers and specialty shops such as Tcho and Recchiuti found their way into the hunt. From Ghirardelli to the Ferry Building to the Metreon, the brave teams found historical markers, SF icons and so much more.

Frank Price set up the ScavengerQuest for Calypso, and even did some debriefing at the end. Each team had to make a presentation based on what they found, their own creativity and the values and mission of their company--oh yes, and San Francisco. Very animated presentations.

Bottom line: This San Francisco Scavenger Hunt was a fun way to discover and rediscover things about San Francisco, Everybody's Favorite City, and each other. Great TeamBuilding/TeamBonding event!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Meeting Must Have Apps

Sue Hatch at MeetingsNet did a great round-up of 9 Must-Have Apps for Meeting Professionals. All nine of the 'must-have' apps are built for the iPhone, but there are similar apps for the BlackBerry coming soon. These apps are very inexpensive, too which is always a good thing, especially since it's an investment in your meeting productivity.

For the full story and details on these apps, go HERE.

1. Track your boxes: Package Tracker and Delivery Status for UPS, FedEx DHL and UPS.

2. Track Your Flight: Flight Track

3. Better Photos of Big Spaces: Auto Stitch (can merge up to 20 overlapping pictures to create wide-angle camera effect)

4. Dictate, Don't Type: (I love this one!) Dragon Dictation (Free) voice-recognition app that crates voice-to-text transcriptions that can be sent email or text, or pasted into any iPhone app.

5. Web Conferencing: Cisco WebEx Meeting Center app (free) or Fuze Meeting.

6. Track Your Expenses: Xpense Tracker

7. Fina a Business: AroundMe identifies your positiionon a map, shows nearby businesses in several categories.

8. Get Some Work Done. Quickoffice Mobile Office Suite & Documents to Go

9. Get Organized. My Lists, Todo

Related Articles:
Be in Your Attendee's Pocket: Smart-Phone Apps for Meetings
Mobile Tech Tools for Meetings & Trade Shows
Apple Meeting App

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bridging the Resources: HR Team Builds Bridges

The HR department of a Silicon Valley company approached TeamBuilding Unlimited to create a team building event that would reinforce their values and mission while having fun. Previously this department had worked with Murder on the Menu, the entertainment department of our company, on an interactive customized mystery event. Rovi Corp wanted to engage their HR team through some real teambuilding/teambonding. Bridging the Resources, a customized interactive event that relied on our Dynamic Construction Project format met their goals and objectives.

40 HR specialists gathered together at the Fairmont Hotel San Jose where they were given materials to build a new "Bay Bridge" that would also bridge their team with the employees at their company. Besides specific building restraints and instructions, this bridge had to exemplify and improve the future, benefits, and lives of their employees. Balsa wood, glue guns, balloons, plastic people and animals and a lot of other special materials were available.

Rovi Corporation is focused on revolutionizing the digital entertainment landscape. Just as their technology solutions enable consumers to intuitively connect to new entertainment - from many sources and locations, the team bridges had to revolutionize their company and the Bay Area.

This team of HR professionals threw themselves into the challenge. The final test was the remote control car that had to cross over the spans in this creative, competitive and challenging activity. Even with specifications, some of the teams built too tight a causeway. And, isn't that just like the real world?

At the end of the event, the business model was debriefed, but the bottom line was that this group was challenged, had fun, and learned a lot about themselves and their co-workers. The Dynamic Construction Project, be it a bridge, a castle, a recreation center, is the perfect activity to reinforce a company's values and mission.

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.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bike Building for Kids: Community Service Philanthropy

TeamBuilding Unlimited worked with TakedaSF on a fun and philanthrophic teambuilding Bikes for Kids Team Building event last Thursday. Takeda employees from the South San Francisco office built 17 bikes of varying models. At the end of the building portion of the event, boys and girls from the local Boys and Girls Club came to claim their bikes. In addition to building the bikes, each team designed a t-shirt for the lucky recipient of their bikes. This is just one of our many Charity Challenges.

Events such as this, as well as Trikes for Tots, Bears that Care, Have Your Cake and Donate it, Too, Operation Military Giving, and Cookie Decorating and Donating (with Sugar Cookies), and Community Mural/Quilt Art Project are all great ideas to fulfill your Community Service while doing some teambuilding/teambonding. Philanthropic TeamBuilding is needed All Year Round. Contact me for more info, or go to our website.

New Charity Challenges will be up shortly on our site.