12 October 2009

Team Work & Team Building

When I choose my team, experience and qualifications are important. More importantly however are team qualities and communication skills.

A team without team work; I often imagine as a football team who's members run at break-neck speed towards their opponent's goal, sometimes breaking through the opposition to score, due to their own strengths and individual skills; but many times failing and wasting opportunities.

Take those same members and inspire them to support and encourage each other, communicate with each other and pass the ball between each other. Take each player's individual strengths and skills; blend them and focus them, not on scoring goals, but on performing as a highly tuned team and the results will follow.

This year I think businesses and companies battened down their hatches, payed their bills and dealt with daily work. I can identify with that myself, even though this year has been our busiest year over the past four.

2010 will be a tougher year, with less money in our pockets, according to some. Others say the worst is over. Who knows?

What I do know is that for a company or team to develop and thrive 2010 will be a year when everyone needs to Stop, Look and Listen.
Team Work and Clear Communication are going to be two of the keys to a company, not only surviving, but also thriving.
This applies to every organisation from an I.T. company of two hundred to a contractor with three part-time staff.

Stop your ceaseless hard work, phone calls, emails and meetings for a day.

Look outside your organisation, at the opportunities that are available and the chances that should be taken. To some extent look at what your industry leaders are doing, but better still look at what you can do to become your industry leader.

Look inside your organisation and ask yourself the following:
What do we want to achieve?
How are we going to achieve it?
What are we doing well?
What needs improving?
How can we improve it?
What are we doing badly?
What's no longer worth doing?
Are the best people in the best roles in the best teams?
How can we empower people within teams to perform at their best?
How can we empower teams to perform at their best?

Listen to your customers and team.
My best ideas come from my customers. My best plans are made with my team. Team Work and Communication are such vital and powerful building blocks that with a good team around me I feel anything is possible!

Team Building programmes come in many different forms, from a one-day course to a five-day course, designed around each specific team's objectives. They're geared for all abilities and set in an outdoor environment, involving projects designed to raise learning points, bring simmering conflicts and issues to the surface or empower a team to perform to their maximum.
Regular open discussions and debriefs happen in an informal way, with the team very much bringing up their own learning points and issues.

Some of the learning points usually raised are:
Encourage Opinions within Team
Planning & Preparation
Understanding Tasks
Time Management
Cooperation & Inclusion

Commitment by all Team Members
Dependability & Trust
Goals & Objectives
Enjoy Problem Solving
More Face To Face Interaction
Identify Team Strengths & Weaknesses
Understand Everyone's Role

For me, the enjoyment of running team building courses, comes from working with a group of people who's priority is working as a team. We focus on working as a team, we become a team, we produce results, our customers are happy.

It's hard to explain the satisfaction and enjoyment of working within a team for a greater objective...

If you're interested in more team building details, or would like to discuss options contact Nathan on info@outdoorsireland.com or +353 (0) 86 860 45 63.

Feel free to leave your own thoughts and comments.


  1. Here in the US, in the 80s and 90s, we used to have the Quality Management process which most companies followed and included team-building exercises and working as an effective team in the workplace. Good employees where respected and valued and bad employees were quickly weeded out. It is much like what you describe.

    Then in the late 90s and early 21st century, companies switched to the Change Mangement process which meant they could treat you any way they wanted, change your job any way they wanted, etc., and if you resisted, you were told to leave and take a job in retail. You had to learn to adapt quickly to everchanging managers, rules, and expectations. Bad employees were valued over good ones because managers did not want you to make them look bad by coming up with a good idea or a more efficient way of doing things.

    Now, there is a MisManagement or a No Management process (my terms) which means that if there are rules, the rules apply differently to everyone. Many employees do little or no work while a few people get paid the same or less to do all the work. Managers always seem absent or unaware. Basically as a worker, you have to follow the rules of Survivor and outwit, outlast, and outplay everyone else -- develop an alliance, have ammunition ready to defend yourself, and be prepared to throw someone else under a bus if necessary. This management process has taken hold in almost every field I am aware of in the US so it is nice to know that somewhere in the world companies still have integrity and care about the quality of the work environment.

  2. Management/Staff/Customers,
    Management want results.
    Staff want to feel valued in their work.
    Customers want a good service.

    The basis of Customer care come from on the ground Team work. The best basis for promoting the best customer care is your staff care. A manager is also part of the staff. Staff care is all about Team work. Staff care is feeling valued as an employee no matter what your so called title. Job satisfaction promotes good customer care, promotes easier team work and team spirit. The day that ends with a smile on everyones face is a good day, and a day to aim towards. Its easier to do a good job if you feel comfortable and confident in what you are doing and where you are doing it. I've done a number of these courses both running them and as a member of a large companies involved in the activity and total beleive they work better than any other team building activities. If you are brought outside of the office and outside your norm, there is instantly a team bond because the only things you know are those coleagues around you. Everyone there will remember that day and will have something in common. Build on that.