Teams That Produce and Have Fun

team_workIn the film ‘Cocktail’, the character portrayed by Tom Cruise learned to have fun as a bartender by stepping out of the ‘usual’, the ‘expected’. Work became fun as they tossed around the bottles and danced their way through customer service. They were making money before but this new way of working increased their fun component, therefore bringing in more people and consequently more money. Their productivity and their engagement increased in direct proportion to their fun factor.

The Pike Street Fish Market in Seattle Washington started out as a small fish stand and grew to a large enterprise supplying the people of Seattle with fresh fish on a daily basis. Sure, the fish market was productive…after all, the money was flowing in. What was missing was team passion, a philosophy of fun, and openness to be extraordinary. A transformation was needed. The employees were ready.

Organizations thrive and grow with change but change can be scary. People need strong leadership, coaching and mentoring and encouragement and permission (sometimes) to let go of their fears and take the plunge into unknown waters. They need to see value and take ownership of the changes for them to be real. They need to hold hands and jump together as a team into the deep end to make significant change.

Through four key principles, the fish market transformed itself into a purposeful fun place where theatrical performances were specific, commitment was high and antics, such as the throwing of fish, were encouraged:
1. Play – is not a prescribed task. It is freedom to explore, to think creatively, to be lighthearted, to be curious, to trust the possibilities, to love people and to renew energy.
2. Make Their Day – is not just a comment from a Clint Eastwood movie. It is about the contagious ripple effect of fun, laughter, engagement and unique attention – to people, to detail, to each other – to make the world a better place and to generate great and hilarious memories at work!
3. Be There – or be square! People are the heart and soul of an organization. Teamwork is all about working together, being authentic and fully present with and for people. Leaders are cheerleaders, coaches and mentors. Followers make their day through being extraordinary.
4. Choose Your Attitude – and your legacy. How you perceive the glass as half empty or half full…how you relate to or are perceived by others…is key to the success of your team.

Try this with your team. Let them play….purposefully. Create a play-place for work. It starts with freeing people from pre-conceived notions on how to behave, throwing out the constraints of the ‘expected’, looking forward to the unexpected. Organize an impromptu contest. The “Who Am I?” contest. Task one of your free-spirited leaders (could be the receptionist!) with portraying a character. The leader dresses as that character for 2 days while colleagues on the team take photos, interview and question the leader, and discuss with each other to identify the character. They submit their guesses for a draw. Next week, a new character. Continue this until all team members have participated. Then, hold a planning session where everyone comes in their character. Lots of fun! They tell stories about the experience and identify what is important to them in a workplace. Using this new philosophy of fun, they design the play-place of their future. Fun is fundamental to productivity. Create a culture statement of who you want to be. The passion and energy that brought the individuals to the team will be re-ignit

Washington DC Team Building with the Amazing Adventure Treasure Hunt

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Washington DC is an ideal getaway for team building adventures. A city rich in history and culture. it is the seat of the federal government and a host to people of different nations and traditions. It is also the unrivaled home of the biggest collection of historical buildings in the USA. Some of the places that will excite a visitor to visit Washington DC include the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capital Building, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian Museums, the National Zoo and Old Town Alexandria. The sheer variety of places to visit alone encourages the holding of team building activities in the city.

Visiting and holding team building activities in Washington DC gives hardworking employees a chance to relax and get to know each other. The essential elements that help create a team that works well and efficiently such as trust, communication, collaboration, leadership and role clarity, are best developed through team building activities such as this.

A team building activity that people can participate in when in the Washington DC area is the very unique Adventure Treasure Hunt hosted by Philly Hops Corporate Team Building. The Amazing Adventure treasure hunt gets team members to use their imagination to the fullest – because they will be searching for the creature that lives in their most fertile imaginations. It is such a mysterious creature that it has neither been written about nor has it been photographed. It is more mysterious than the Loch Ness Monster “Nessie” or Big Foot and exists only in rumors and whispers.

Members of the team building group are then to search for this creature in the wilds, which in Washington DC would involve searching the streets next to the famous historical buildings. The creature is created from the team members’ definition. They define it by answering questions, using photography, audio recording devices and sketching.

This adventure can have 5 to 10 participating groups and lasts about 4 hours. The teams will meet at a specified place after they have been out on their search and will now attempt to outdo one another on the depth of the mystery of their creature. Each group will use all the evidence they have gathered in profiling their mystery creature. It is recommended that this adventure be done in a lively commercial area. The various teams participating in this treasure hunt also have a ball in the process of trying to outdo each other.

Philly Hops Team Building adventures put a new twist on a classic game loved by all. Nothing promotes unity like a Scavenger Hunt. These scavenger hunts also help develop skills such as never giving up by overcoming beliefs in things that limit them. Once the teams come back together, they use highly sought after presentation skills to demonstrate their findings to the group. Another added benefit of the hunts is the use of time management skills. They only have a few hours to answer the clues that will lead them to their creature. Philly Hops takes team building into a whole new direction. It is sure to be an event that your teams won’t forget.

4 Benefits of Corporate Team Building Activities

images (7)1. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your workforce

In the work place these days it’s very easy not to know everyone. Some might just be there to work on the short-term projects they are assigned, other for financial and security purposes, others are there for the work alone. How would you know that the person in the next desk is a detail oriented person, self starter or maybe a leader? Or perhaps he/she can’t work under pressure. Things like these can’t be seen by working near each other, focusing on your task or being friendly with your co workers. A team building activity can enable you and your co workers to get to know each others strengths and weaknesses by working together on a particular activity and then examining the team process of your group.

2. Breaking down boundaries between staff

High walls and boundaries often exist around the work place. Some employees tend put themselves on above their co-workers while others are just simply followers. We cannot deny this happens. In a team building activity all members are equal and what everyone aims for is to reach a common goal by supporting each other and building strategies on how to reach for the goal.

3. Improving skills and communication through the construct of common goals

Real team building activities are not just fun and games. They enhance and develops problem solving abilities, creativity, organizational skills and communication in order to attain one common goal. They also develop trust and confidence within team members and create an atmosphere of respect and rapport with workmates.

4. Both individual and group benefits can be relayed back to the office environment

After the fun activity you experienced with the whole team, application is the next step when you go back to the office. The skills you have developed during the activity help you improve the work that you do together. After all experience is always the best teacher. And it’s always nice to work in a environment where everyone is at peace.

Its also nice to get out of the office together. Especially when you can do so as a team, in order to participate in fun activities that will strengthen your bonds by building trust and improving communication; which is why so many companies choose to invest in corporate team building activities.

Team building activities allow for an even greater exploration and improvement of the potential of everyone, by giving people more varied options for working together and a greater length of time in which to do so. From a program like chocolate therapy to a movie making program or a treasure hunt, corporate team building activities take many forms – the best of which are designed to improve company cohesion whilst providing an unforgettable experience that your employees will talk about for years to come.