Team Building: Set a Realistic Timeframe (Part 2)

One more time, it’s important to set a realistic timeframe for team building.  What do all of these scenarios have in common?

Scenario 1

An Asian seminar company insisted on marketing a 3 day simulation as a 2 day event as they felt they would have difficulty convincing companies to release potential delegates from work.

The result?

The delegates were really stressed and felt frustrated that too much was being asked of them in too little time.

Scenario 2

A health care products firm organized a retreat that required a full 3 days to complete. In spite of this, the organizer ignored the advice of the facilitator and event planner and insisted on cramming the programme into 2 1/2 days and by ending extra early on the last day.

Unfortunately, there was a severe snow storm resulting in a major accident that blocked the highway for hours. The group arrived at their destination 4 hours late.  In spite of this, the CEO took 2 hours for the opening presentation when 1 hour had been allocated.

The result?

Massive frustration, huge pressure on the participants and the facilitator and less than optimal results. The organizer, who didn’t help the situation by requesting constant changes throughout the retreat, complained that the facilitator was stressed. Participants complained that enough “wiggle room” had not been built into the retreat.

Scenario 3

A manufacturing company wanted to do a team building session to help two groups that had to work closely together get to know each other better. Despite the fact that the company was advised that a minimum of 4 1/2 hours was required plus time for scoring the results, the company insisted on doing it in 3 hours.

The result?

The participants were frustrated as the time pressure was incredible and some individuals reacted with hostility towards the facilitator for rushing and pushing them.

Team Building Tip: Set a Realistic Timeframe

There is no point in investing time and money for a team building session or retreat if from the outset you don’t allow an appropriate amount of time to achieve your objectives. Sufficient time has to be allocated and a buffer also  should be built in for unexpected delays, accidents, etc.

It would be better to pass on team building altogether than to handcuff the facilitator and place the participants under undue stress as the result of an unrealistic timeframe.

Important Question

It would be interesting to hear comments from organizations about why professional advice is so often ignored regarding the appropriate amount of time required for team building.

See Also:

Team Building Tips: Set a Realistic Timeframe

4 thoughts on “Team Building: Set a Realistic Timeframe (Part 2)

  1. michael cardus says:

    Why is profesional advice ignored when it comes the teambuilding?
    Because organizations are accustomed to team building being recreation. The market that is developed is one that “why do we need 3 days of team building?, we have work to do.”
    The leadership does not have a true buy-in to the process so then the staff, seeing their leadership as a behvioral and organizational model agree that team builidng is fun although work is work.

    A cognitive shift to an understanding and companies experienceing quality team building programs (that is another post :)) then they may see the value.
    Although as of now the rugged individualism of the worker sees the idea of learning how to be effective as a team, when all the incentives are focused on the individual as a waste of time.

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