15 May 2011

Team building

Frankly, those words scare the crap out of me. 
I've been around the block several times.  Been down that road before.  This ain't my first rodeo.  Been there done that (got the shirt).

After 26+ years in business and 5 years in the Army, I've been to more than a few "team building exercises".  The Army called them leadership skills training.  TI called them "Interactive Group Dynamics".  Intermedics didn't have a name for them.  More than a few were an event where you gather together with your co-workers and form ad-hoc teams to accomplish some made up goal all under the guidance of an overpaid, bubly, cheerful consultant who works to inspire and encourage team dynamics.  Some folk might like the touchy-feely approach of encouraging others to excel, but me, I prefer the old Drill Sergeant approach:  
  • Get your lazy a%%es together and across that log!!!
  • My 87 year-old mother moves faster than you dirtbags!!!
Anyway, we were invited by the operations VP to attend a team building day out at a local sports facility.  The invite was optional.  You could decline if you choose, but we figured it wouldn't be an career enhancing move to not attend, so we went.  The facility was actually very nice.  It a baseball themed facility called Big League Dreams.  6 full sized ball fields, batting cages, covered soccer field, track, playground, restaurant, the works.  This place opened several years ago to draw in teams/leagues to play ball.  The layout looks like various professional stadiums, so you get a kinda big league feeling (ergo the name).  We had the run of the place.  Took over the dining room for our annual progress meeting (we just finished up our fiscal year).  Afterwards, we broke up into teams to compete in various events/challenges.  Frisbee toss, sack races, land ski races, three legged races, dodgeball, tug of war and a water balloon toss.  I had low expectations going in, but was quite surprised at the outcome.  I gotta admit, it was a nice gig.        

Harder than it looks

3 legged race

Water baloon toss (from 25 yards apart)

Dug in


Going for the kill shot


Rock Chef said...

You could offer to take groups on hikes - see how these teams hang together in the wilderness... :-)

meleah rebeccah said...

Hey, that actually looks like a lot of fun! My old job NEVER did stuff like this!

Kate said...

Wow great to see that it engaged you despite your less than enthusiastic initial response to the idea. What do you think it was which made it fun rather than just another team building exercise?

tz said...

did you ever once want to yell "my 87 year old mother moves faster" to any of your co-workers?
saw your comments on rock chef's site thought I'd visit, nice blog