2 weeks ago I completed a 1 day training session, for a telco company. They requested a training program centered on team building and departmental financial targets. We spent a month looking at the needs of the team, and how the team building program can reinforce the financial targets. This curriculum that I designed utilized the use of the high elements and props based activities that I designed. The team led by the General Mangers and his team of directors were pretty concerned about what was in store for them that day. Their expectation were varied, some expected a bootcamp, whilst other thought they will do a jetty jump in the sea and build a raft to reach shore again.

Challenge by choice

I like the use of the proverbial metaphor “Challenge by Choice” that was advocated by Project Adventure. That option resonated very well with the participants. For some it was the sense of relief to take a step back and watch the others attempt the high elements. The sense of peer pressure, ego, self efficacy and not seen attempting the ropes course was enough to get every one harnessed up. Usually ego gets the better of us too when we decide to do the toughest part of the course knowing very well that we have been a couch warrior and have been tapping the key board more often then pounding the road.

The high elements for me is all about getting the learners to go out of their comfort zones. The executives had a good time struggling past the 12 different obstacles laughing and encouraging one another. 1 chap literally lost his sole on his shoe whilst another had his ego beaten and bruised as he struggled past the obstacles in the morning.

Lady highropes Organizational Financial Goals

Scary jump across the plank

My debrief for this team; their challenge was not up there but it was at work. The targets that were missed. The financial impact to them and their jobs, that was a “Challenge without a choice”, not attempting it is not an option and not achieving has an impact on their careers. Their “high elements” was at work.

Using experiential activities

Using experiential activities to get teams to commit to the organisational financial goals is what we do really well. For this team, when we were back at the seminar room we started the critical session on how the teams can re strategies their goals for the year. It was already mid August now, and December is hovering around the corner. In 3 teams, departmental leaders, were tasked to table their financial targets. We designed a props based activity that was aligned with the financial goals of each department. The discussions centred on finding solutions became pivotal and use of a business model to re look at what they can do moving forward was instrumental in getting commitment from the 3 teams. Here is the visual representation and a snapshot on how we can conduct a coherent team building program for you, taking into account your challenges and critical goals.

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Visual goals

Overall, as the facilitator for this training session it was heartening for me to get the team to chart out how they will map their months ahead. This included getting teams to share the tools and resources they needed via exercises and experiential activities. Corporate team building sessions can degenerate to running activities just for fun. We took the fun seriously and we have helped the team map out a strategy in place from now to December.

I made a courtesy call today to find out how the teams were progressing, 2 of the teams delivered and 1 may have missed the target by a whisker. If what we have shared resonates with what you need for your teams, do get in touch with us, +65 6315 2587.

Ebnu Etheris, Ma.(IDT), B.Ed &Trn and D.Hrd

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About the Author: Ebnu Etheris Ma.IDT, B.Hrd

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Ebnu Etheris, holds a Masters degree in Instructional Design and was part of the pioneering team of executives who saw through the start up of Singapore’s first Budget Airline, Valuair. He was responsible for developing the airline’s Crisis planning systems and initiating blended learning in Flight operations. He works as a Partner with Teamworkbound.

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Ebnu Etheris
MA.IDT and B. Ed & Trn
Founder Teamworkbound

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