Sunday, August 22, 2010

You're Building a What?!

The Boss’ company has decided to send them all on a team building exercise. Anybody who has known me for any length of time will know what I think about team building. Besides being an enormous waste of a day, it is also a large pile of bovine manure.

I decided to have a look at what was on offer from the place her company has tentatively chosen.

Beach Soccer... Great for the athletes, not so great for the rest of them.
Beach Volley Ball... Great if you are coordinated enough to smack a ball in mid-air, not so great if you have the grace and coordination of a baby elephant.
Beach Dodge Ball... Now you need to be coordinated enough to dodge a ball in mid-air.
Life Saver’s Flag Races, Beach Rugby and Treasure Hunts. Yeah, I can really see how this can bring a team together.

Then I decided to do a little search for team building exercise offers. I could not believe the shit I saw being passed off as “team building”.

Often, team building will have what they call a Trust Exercise. This is where you have to fall backwards into the arms of someone that can’t catch a cold without written instructions.

Then I found the gem that offered a drumming circle. You sit in a circle with your “team” and beat a drum. This supposedly brings your “team” closer together. What I know is that if we had to go on a team building like that, the only thing that would get beaten is a colleague, or two.

Then there’s the one that offers fire walking. Yes, I’m really going to get along better with my co-workers when my feet are blistered.

Basically, what I am saying is that there is only one way to build a team. You start with a good manager. A good manager knows how to pick people that will work well together, and work well with him.

At the risk of looking like a brown noser, my manager has managed to mostly get it right. He has three team members that work exceedingly well together. No matter the challenge, we rise above it. We have a few members that can’t take strain, but we manage to always step in, and help out.

So keep your beach soccer, your drum circles and fires. Give them to someone else.

There may be no “I” in team, but only because it’s being used in “Bullshit”.