Teambuilding events => The secret of great teamwork

Before we come to the secret of great teamwork we should have a closer look at the term `team´ itself. What defines and composes a team?
According to the `businessdictionary.com´ a team is: `A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.´ The definition of `humanresources.about.com´ even goes a little bit further than that. They describe a team as a`…group of people organized to work together interdependently and cooperatively…´ Thereby they are not only looking at the skills of the team members and their common goal but also at the interactions within a team.

So far so good but the question is: What really entails good teamwork?
In his blogpost `The hard science of teamwork´, Prof. Alex Sandy Pentland (director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory) claims that `how we communicate turns out to be the most important predictor of team success.´ This is stated in a similar way by the leadership development speaker Mark Sanborn, who said: `In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.´
Thus a great lively communication really seems to be the key to effective teamwork.

What to do when the communication went wrong? Plus: How to break remaining silence?
We might find an answer in sports. Let us take football as an example. Here the players necessarily have to play together to achieve success, as they just going to shoot the ball in the goal of the opponent team if they are good in passing it on to another team member. By doing this they need to have great communication skills. Therefore football players not only need to be great players but even more important excellent TEAM-players.
This is actually essential for any kind of team sports. Just as Casey Stengel (a famous baseball player) enunciated: ` It’s easy to get good players. Getting them to play together, that’s the hard part.´
This can be carried over one to one to the situation at the workforce. Hence employees will just achieve great work if they are working together and not only for themselves.

If communication is equally important for team sports than for group work at the office – the question is: How could sportive activities sustain the bond between employees?
Due to Robert H. Moorman (from the Creighton University) outdoor team activities can `improve team process- and effectiveness.´ It is even seen as a better training technique than the traditional team building training with the use of `classroom lectures and case studies.´ Thus it is important that team members play an active role by themselves and due to outdoor activities they are not only active but even interactive. This strengthens the structures of a team and supports them to achieve `problem-solving and team decision-making skills.´
Managers recognized the great impact outdoor activities and sportive challenges can have on their staff. Therefore they are willing to send their employees to such kind of events to let them bring back the skills they have been thought to the office.
Thus a great market of so called `teambuilding events´ has been created.

If you would you like to take a closer look at some aspects – here you go…

– To the article `The hard science of teamwork´:
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/03/the_new_science_of_building_gr.html

– To the study of Robert H. Moorman on how outdoor activities can improve the performance of employees:
http://cobacourses.creighton.edu/rmoorman/pdf/Temporary%20OCB%20paper.pdf

– To the negative aspects of `teambuilding events´:
http://positivesharing.com/2007/10/the-top-5-problems-with-corporate-team-building/

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5 responses to “Teambuilding events => The secret of great teamwork

  1. Hey Korinna,

    Thanks for you nice intro to team building. Your football team example is perfect. Just take a look at Barcelona, Chelsea or Real Madrid. No doubt, those are amazing teams! What do they all have in common though? They were all put together with tons of money but still didn’t win the championships in their countries. Hence, even if you have the very best players doesn’t mean that you will be the best team. Just take a look at Borussia Dortmund. They don’t have the absolutely best skilled players, but they are a real team! They have great communication skills and fight for each other. Hence, teamwork is very important!

    Tizian just wrote a great article about team building. You can find it here.

    I would have liked if you just didn’t stop there but wrote a little more about the “team building events” market. Are there agencies or organizations which promote team building events? Is there a lot of money in the market?

    I can also recommend our article Employee Motivation – Happier Employees In 6 Steps!, because a great team and motivation goes hand in hand.

    Cheers.

  2. Hey Korinna,
    It is nice that you introduced your blog with a competent definition about teams, this makes it easier for the reader to get in the topic. Actually I am not a person who is interested in sports, but you write your blogs in a way that they are interesting for non-sporty persons like me. And I think you made a really big point in your blog. I am sure that many teams would do better if they would do more of this teambuilding events connected with sports.
    The only suggestion which I have for you is that you could bring in more of your personal opinion in this topic because I am sure that you could tell something as you are a person who is very interested in sports! 😉

  3. Korinna, you’ve got a really nice post there!

    You went from the definition of the term “team” to effective team work, the importance of communication and how to build up strong ties in a business team.
    I think it would be helpful, if you had included links to sources (e.g. businessdictionary.com, other blog posts) directly in your blog post and not at the end. Nevertheless, in some cases, it is not urgently necessary as the sources already contain the name of the links. The link is just helpful for lazy people like me to avoid additional research on the web 😉
    Anyhow, I think you touched an extremely important topic strongly related to the content of our “Business Applications” course in university as well as to our future workplace in a company.
    Keep doing that great work!

  4. Pingback: The importance of seeing team members as individuals | BLOG OR DIE TRYIN'·

  5. Teamwork is always great part in any organization. It provide lots of strategy, knowledge as well as the valuable experience that really helps any kind of team. I like your post specially the examples that you described here so nicely and accurately. It’s too encouraging and helpful for any organization. Anyway thanks for this great post and share.

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