Category Archives: Uncategorized

GOURMET CHOCOLATE GOOD FOR BUSINESS

chocther01Unique Program Uses Chocolate For Team Building

Team Building Company Philly Hops has blended popular interest in fine chocolate with experiential team building activities (to craft an unusual but effective series of “foodie” team development programs. These programs are not only engaging and stimulating but promote team skills such as communication, creative problem solving and collaboration.

Designed with organizations and corporate groups in mind, the flagship program, Chocolate Therapy, utilizes marketing simulations, tasting exercises and building trust through humor in the service of a unique experience that inspires desirable team dynamics. The exciting appeal of gourmet chocolate supports a positive approach to building better teams. This is one of the underlying strengths of the program. Designed by Philly Hops founder and president Betty Robinson, the Chocolate Therapy team building program is a much-requested corporate event and has recently expanded to accommodate large groups.

Philly Hops launched in 1998. Owner, Betty Robinson, is a former professional chef and event planner with many years of experience in Philadelphia’s finest restaurants. Together with its sister company, Go Team Building, Robinson’s Philly Hops develops groundbreaking team building activities and utilizes professional game designers and award winning trainers to produce a diverse catalog of innovative programs. Chocolate Therapy is now one of the company’s most popular offerings.

The company offers a variety of programs and events to achieve team development, including the philanthropic program “The Giving Tree,” an “Anything Goes Scavenger Hunt” and the “DiSC Personality Profile,” to name just a few. And after 15 years in the business, Philly Hops consistently receives rave reviews:

CS, Bristol Myers Squibb writes – “Thank you so much for your support of my recent team building event. Your assigned facilitators were extremely effective in getting the team energized and engaged from the outset. Equally important, I truly appreciated the manner in which the leader was able to translate the “fun” part of the activities to the business imperative I was seeking to emphasize.”

Concerning the effectiveness of the “Cake Wars” program, another client, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, writes, “Philly Hops was very responsive and attentive to our needs and expectations. [The program fosters] good engagement and participation, [with] the right balance of learning and fun—great delivery!”

To learn how a corporate team building event can help boost your company’s group-esTEAM, visit the Philly Hops website (http://phillyhops.com/) or contact Owner Betty Robinson at 215-426-5644 orbetty@phillyhops.com

Why Googleplex Has a Swimming Pool

1011635_10151586847756931_704891694_nAs time has changed, so have the concepts of team building, productivity, and workforce management. What are the lessons we can learn from a pioneering company like Google?

Actually, it has many; and no, Google does not just use it for team building activities. It allows its employees to use it any time of the day. These swim-in-place pools are narrow and a bit short with water that flows in one direction only. Employees literally swim against the current, of course under the watchful eyes of lifeguards.

Trust Google to reinvent the wheel: a facility that combines physical exercise, stress management, paradigm shift, and the image of a caring company.

But that is not the only perk that Googleplex offers: it has a barber shop, gym complete with equipment, a billiard table, a ping pong table, video games, massage, laundry and dry cleaning. Employees can even come on weekends and do their laundry for free.

The message is strong: Google is not your usual company. And the message is accepted well by its thousands of employees who help propel the company to be a global leader.

Team building, Google style, has many variations and there is literally one for every preference. But what are the essential components to create such a culture?

A. A clear and consistent management commitment. The driving force behind Google’s dynamic workforce is the vision and commitment of its top management, especially of its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to create a different approach to management – something that truly fits their personalities as innovators. In fact, it has assigned a Chief Culture Officer to ensure that the culture will be maintained.

B. A physical environment that supports a flat organization and a culture of fun and innovation. Apparently, the only rooms in Googleplex that have opaque walls are the bathrooms and the massage rooms, the rest are transparent if not non-existent. The whole design of a company, as Google has brilliantly demonstrated, must reflect is core values.

C. Supportive policies. In order to create a culture of innovation, Google has a 20% work time policy. It means that it allows employees to use 20 % of their work time to create anything and do something outside the official workload. That actually translates to one day a week. Most of the company’s new products are fruits of this policy.

D. Small things count. For example, above the urinals in Googleplex are tips and puzzles about codes. This is just one of the many small things that managers can do to create a culture of innovation and fun in the office.

Yes, an in-house or off-site team building activity that are fun and innovative serve as a good starting point. In our company, we use activities like cooking, treasure hunting, and video making to bring out the team spirit of each member.

The bottom line is this: as Google had illustrated, a culture of fun and innovation is more productive and beneficial to the company.

About the author: Betty Robinson, entrepreneur and one of Philadelphia’s the first female chefs was known for her creative, non-conventional style of cooking. These qualities still define her and her current passion as founder and CEO of Philly Hops an innovative team building company specializing in team building activities that build trust and promote high performance teamwork.

The Value of Team Building Activities in a Corporate Setting

Team building activities can greatly enhance efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Business executives and managers can use team building activities to turn the individual strengths and abilities of employees into a cohesive team. They can also be used to celebrate achievements and successes.

There are several benefits your company can gain from team building activities. First, there’s increased cooperation and a sense of accomplishment for all team members. All tasks will become much easier when every employee knows that they are working towards a common target. Problem solving also becomes much easier due to the synergistic effect of improved cooperation. Brainstorming sessions then become highly resourceful and productive. Communication will be enhanced and corporate values will be easily imbibed.

In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the most important benefits of effective team building activities in a corporate setting.

Improved Collaboration

After well planned team building exercises, you will always notice improved collaboration between various departments in your organization. Previous barriers to cooperation will be removed and several other subtle obstacles to cohesive effort will be quickly eliminated. This happens because during most team building exercises, your workers will have a better understanding of what other individuals and departments actually need. That is why it is very important to actually practice collaboration improvement techniques during these team building exercises.

Deeper Commitment

Another major benefit of team building activities is increased commitment to corporate goals and objectives. When all team members attend a team building session, there will be a stronger bond established between all team members. This will ultimately lead to stronger commitment. Everyone will start to pull in the right direction. In addition, all participants will see the power of working towards the same goal and start to strive to towards practicing this in the actual work situation. In fact, once your team members begin to experience the joy of synergistic effort, their morale will be boosted and their results will drastically improve.

Enhanced Communication

Team building activities can also greatly improve communication between all the people in your organization. Plan your activities so that everyone will have a chance to interact and talk with each other regardless of their status in the company. In most cases, these activities offer a very significant opportunity to break the ice and let team members air their views freely. It is this type of informal relaxed atmosphere that a lot of misconceptions are easily corrected. Superior officers will see the need to spend more time listening to their subordinates. Everyone begins to see the other team member as a co-worker rather than as a stranger working behind closed doors.

Better Corporate Culture

Team building activities also offer a golden opportunity to improve corporate culture. The values of your organization can easily be re-emphasized and imbibed by every participant. Through direct participation in a carefully planned team building session, you can help all your team members to have a better understanding of your corporate culture. For instance, you can design special corporate T-shirts that have some of your corporate cultural values inscribed on them. And then use of some of the activities you have planned to actually demonstrate these values. You will create a very powerful impact through this practical experience.

Philadelphia Team Building Treasure Hunt: A Space Time Merger

Philadelphia based companies can take full advantage of corporate team building. Any Philadelphia company, whether newly opened or established a long time ago, will benefit from partaking in team building activities. Everyone from the top executives, to the middle managers, to the company staff should join in and be involved in the corporate team building experience. After all, they cannot be called a team if not everyone takes part. No matter what management level a person is in, he or she will surely learn at least a thing or two during a team building session.

One of the more popular team building activities done is Philadelphia is a game called the Innovation Treasure Hunt. In this activity, the group is divided into teams and told that their company is about to undergo a merger called the Space-Time Merger.

The group is contacted by the other merging company and they are asked to send over any present technology and products that their company might have. Anything that they can send over will be used to create new innovations and any profit that the other company makes from the new products will be shared with the group.

Here’s the catch. The company the group is merging with is a company from 50 years into the future. Further more, the executives from the future company are the future selves of the people in the group. Apparently, a technology called time-faxing has been developed and it allowed the future company to contact their past selves.

The challenge to the group is to come up with something that they can give to their future selves to help save the future company. They should be able to find these products, photograph them, and present them to the company from the future for assessment. Groups are given a time limit of only 3-4 hours, so they need to start working immediately.

A Philadelphia Innovation Team Building Treasure Hunt is great for groups with 6 to 200 members. This can be done either outdoors or indoors. This is one of the best team building activities for improving communication, team work, time management, and cooperation within a group.

Team Building Activities- The Quotes & The Benefits

Here is another article we wrote that discusses the benefits of team building activities and also talks about the use of quotes to support team building benefits.

THE PHRASE TEAM BUILDING implies individual activities and programs that are undertaken to enhance the levels of group productivity and improve cohesiveness among team members. Team building activities are important for improving the overall performance of the team. The following are some of the clear benefits of team building activities:

• Team building activities help in improving productivity and morale levels of employees.
• Team building activities enhance the creativity of team members
• Team building activities educate the group members about the techniques of handling conflict.
• Team members can improve their communication skills with the help of team building activities.

In management literature, team building is an extensively discussed topic. Management gurus place importance on working together as a team through team building quotes related to work.

The late Mr. Stephen R. Covey, a respected teacher and organizational consultant on leadership and team building, believed that teamwork was highly essential in attaining organizational objectives. In his popular book, ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ he emphasizes how important team building is and writes, Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success”. Peter Drucker was a well known American author who contributed the written constitution for performing the management functions of an organization. He believed that team building was the everyday fact and reality of an organizational set up. However, he also believed in the concept that every team is different and possesses a varied constraint within which it should perform. This fact comes to fore through his following lines:

“Teams, in other words, are tools. As such, each team design has its own uses, its own characteristics, its own requirements, its own limitations”.

The most vital aspect of team building is motivation. A number of strategies are used by team leaders to ensure that their team members remain highly enthusiastic.

Team leaders also use team building quotes in order to motivate their team members. Motivating quotes can also be pinned on pin-board in a meeting room. If the quotes are put up on glossy papers they would immediately attract attention and the quotes will be read repeatedly. Thus, pin-board strategy is effective as a motivation tool for members of a team.

Anything Goes in a Philadelphia Team Building Treasure Hunt

Imagine yourself – or your co-workers – as spies, each one working in their respective spy teams. They’ve got a mission to fulfill, other “spies” (the other teams) to outrun, and an object that they have to find and unearth before anyone else gets to it. Everyone is in Philadelphia, working against the clock. Whether it’s a devise, secret documents or corporate espionage that they’ve got to uncover, the experience – set against Philadelphia’s sights and sounds – is wild and fun!

The terms “team building” and “experiential learning” have become virtual household terms as companies discover that team building activities are effective in building team spirit and fostering cooperation and harmony. While in the past decades corporate team building activities leaned towards the lecture style, these days more and more companies, many of them among the Fortune Top 500, have discovered the value of experiential corporate team building. They have made them regular events in their employee programs.

If you or your employees ever had any James Bond fantasies when you were children, this is certainly the time to make those fantasies come true. Through team building activities, real-life situations are created to enable your employees to experience dreams. These fantasies are in turn designed to enable you to achieve goals that are team-skill related.

Themed treasure hunts, complete with maps, strategy making and cryptic clues, are perfect team building activities for allowing your employees to discover and hone strategizing and problem solving skills. In addition, the endeavor of several heads working together to achieve a common goal while forming bonds and learning to cooperate is a learning activity for every participant. It can be as seemingly serious as you want – like a popular Philadelphia based Spy Treasure Hunt, or the other end of the spectrum – crazy and hilarious – as in a Philadelphia Anything Goes Photo Treasure Hunt. You choose the activity and let a team building professional customize it to your needs.

Spy

Philadelphia is the perfect location for treasure hunts and team building activities of all kinds. There are many unique sites for the teams to visit and exciting things to see. Have you ever watched the popular television show Amazing Race? Treasure Hunts are the Amazing Race, Corporate Style.

So why not try a treasure hunt in Philadelphia, and allow everyone to discover the city’s many attractions while they unearth their hidden skills and form bonds with each other? They’ll appreciate the different venues and the chance to have fun while learning. You’ll appreciate the difference that a team building activity will make in their productivity.

Hollywood-Style Team Building in New York

In the city that never sleeps there are so many things to see and do. That is why the Fast Video Program seems to be tailor-made for team building in New York. Think James Cameron, Peter Jackson or Steven Spielberg… this team building activity will either reveal to the world (or at least to the group) some hidden talents in film making or remind the participants to stick to their day job! Either way, teams will have a ball bonding with their teammates. This is team building in New York — with a touch of Hollywood.

When you really think about it, what better possible backdrop for a film then the streets of New York? From Times Square, to Rockefeller Center, Central Park to Wall Street, the diversity of scenery and possibilities evoked are endless.

For a movie making team building activity, teams could follow the example of the many successful directors who have filmed in New York and shoot inside some of the classic NY venues. Indoors in New York can be just as exciting as outdoors with film inspirations like… a mysterious murder committed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Does this sound like a familiar scenario… a la the Da Vinci Code? Or dashing through New York’s Grand Central Station during a Hitchcock-like chase scene. Or maybe strolling through the American Museum of Natural History with the dioramas as a backdrop – Woody Allen-style.

To set the scene for the Fast Video Challenge the group is first given a scenario that gets them thinking. They must come up with and shoot a five-minute video in 40 minutes. Sound pretty challenging? What follows will definitely begin as total mayhem as team members enthusiastically share skills, talents and energy to create their video production. This team building activity not only generates excitement but also inspires cooperation. Teams must collaborate from the beginning to end and also find quick solutions to problems that arise along the way.

The Fast Video New York package comes with the most important tool that the teams will need for the adventure, other than their own ideas: a video camera for each team. The participants are then free to create a storyline based on an assigned film genre. It may be drama, musical, even sci-fi or horror, but more often than not, comedy is a big part of the team’s choice, in keeping with the playful atmosphere of the team building program. The complete program typically lasts a half-day. It could launch from any conference room or meeting space with teams also venturing outdoors to include local scenes and attractions. This is, after all, New York.

Team Building and Washington National Treasures

Hi! We wrote a bunch of articles about team building in the east coast concentrating on three popular areas … New York, Washington and Philadelphia. I’d like to post some of them here to give you a chance to see them. Please enjoy!
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Companies are realizing that in order to be at the top of the heap and ahead of the race, employees must share in the company’s vision and be willing to go that extra mile to make the company great. Team building activities are one of the best ways to bring out that fervor and “can-do” attitude in employees. And what better place to do this then Washington DC?

Washington, with its captivating sites and historic ambiance, makes a great venue for team building activities aimed at bringing out the best in people. Corporate team building companies in Washington design unique, out-of-the-ordinary corporate team building activities that are effective and fun at the same time. Each of the various treasure hunts and mystery games are customized for the client company to ensure that objectives are fulfilled. Participants may not feel they’re working on something serious because they’re having so much fun, but at the end of each session it is evident that there were valuable lessons learned.

One reason why the Fortune 500 companies are so successful is because they realize the value of their people and how they affect and influence the product. These companies know that in order to be the best, they have to bring out the best in their people. They also realize that corporate team building is one of the most effective ways to do this. Team building activities are designed to help achieve objectives, and find the treasures that are hidden in each of your staff.

All of us like a good old-fashioned treasure hunt. That’s why movies like the recent one located in Washington, National Treasures, the De Vinci Code, and Indiana Jones were such blockbusters at the box office. Movies like these never go out of style, because in every person there is that treasure hunter wanting to find the bounty.

It’s the same for companies: everyone wants to be the best in the market. With the advent of globalization, companies are now feeling the pressure as they race to outdo each other in uniqueness and quality. The competition is not just local; every company in the same field, including those from across the globe, is a force to be reckoned with.

Your employees are your treasures. They are the ones who make the company great because of their ideas and their work. Your great product wouldn’t exist if not for somebody’s brains, and that excellent quality wouldn’t be there if not for your people’s work in making it world-class. Most employees are rough diamonds until their talents and skills are uncovered. How do you uncover that gem and discover the talent inside – through team building activities.

This is why corporate team building has become big business. Team building activities take participants out of their comfort zone – just for a while – and help them discover skills and talents they never knew they had, and enable them to build harmonious working relationships with their co-employees. It’s amazing to see how several minds working together can create a thing of uniqueness and beauty, and how the challenges participants face become bonding experiences. The great thing is, that sense of well being and achievement carries over to the workplace and helps improve productivity. Try one of these in Washington sometime soon and see the difference it will make.

Team Building: The Importance of Sharing Knowledge

When you are a part of the management team at your place of employment it is vital to make sure that you are making use of all of the team building skills that you have learned. Whether this means working as a team with your fellow managers or getting your staff to work together, there is a lot to be done. Not everyone works well in a team and that is generally because they are not used to it. Those who have not had such training or experience may find working in teams difficult. This is where your expertise comes into play.

Think back to everything you learned in school when you learned about team building. You will want to apply what you know to your current situation so that you are able to get the most out of your team. Even if you are not the superior to other managers you may be working with, you may need to help lead them into becoming a successful team. Not everyone may have received the proper education and training that you have so you may need to lead without being too obvious. You do not want to offend but you want to be successful.

Team Work

If you feel though that your team building skills are not up to par as they should be then you need to take action. There are many online courses that you can take to earn a certificate in various subjects. Team building is something that you can relearn if you feel that you need a refresher course. Before dishing out your own hard earned money you may want to check with your employer. Many companies offer free classes that you can take advantage of. These classes will provide you with many benefits.

Not only could you learn more about team building from these classes but you could check into the other things offered as well. Upon completion you will have the knowledge and the confidence you need to move forward. You will also have something on your employee record that will brightly stand out. Many employers take a look at how much an employee strives to improve and will take such things into consideration when it is time for a raise. So get started putting your current skills into place and even learning some new ones. You and those around you will benefit from it.