8 Essential Executive Elements for Effective Team Building
Over the years, I’ve noticed that when certain elements are missing, team building is less than effective. Definitely, an effort is made to include each and every one of these elements for every team building initiative. Unfortunately, many clients are totally resistant to including some or all of these elements. Comments that provide insight into the reasons for this resistance would be greatly appreciated. It’s puzzling. Why invest money in team building and then doom it to less than optimal results?
Essential Elements for Designing Effective Team Building
- Short conference call or meeting with CEO.
This is essential to pinpoint goals, objectives, expectations, and corporate challenges.
If this step is skipped, you risk having the CEO turn up, find the session you designed is not what s/he was looking first. At best you’ll be scrambling to make last-minute changes. At worst, s/he’ll simply cut team building short. Participants will be left with all kinds of loose ends and you will be left looking totally incompetent.
- Participant Profiles.
Without input from participants about what they know and don’t know, you risk being criticized for pitching to the wrong level or having your session dismissed as irrelevant “fluff”
Participant profiles will help you identify participants needs, issues and concerns. A well designed profile will also help you pinpoint the tools, models and strategies with which the group is already familiar.
- Full or Mini-Learning Styles SurveyWithout an understanding of the learning styles of the group you risk missing the mark by designing a team building session that is too analytical or too out of the box for participants. Learning styles surveys will help you identify the most relevant exercises and facilitation methods.
- Content outline reviewed and signed off by the CEO.
Again, you want no surprises.
- Kick things off with a CEO briefing.
This short presentation communicates how the team building session (or sales meeting) is directly relevant to the meeting.
- Checkpoint survey completed by participants at the end of the first half day and day.
End of session feedback forms provide no opportunity for improvement. You can’t “fix” a session when it’s over.
The information from checkpoint surveys will make course correction possible.
- Checkpoint meeting with CEO and corporate contact at end of first day (or half day for a full day session).
If you’re missing the mark, the sooner you know it and can undertake course correction, the better.
- Allow sufficient time for debriefing and application exercises.
Cut it short and analytical learners simply will not have enough time to process what they have learned.Debriefing requires 1 hour at minimum. Application exercises require 1 – 3 hours.
Schedule this to take place immediately after the session or it may never happen.
Identify take-aways, next steps and follow-up strategies.
Including these elements will require a total of 40 – 60 minutes from the CEO (i.e. about 20 – 30 minutes with the CEO before the session, 10 – 15 minutes during the session and 10 – 15 minutes immediately after). Any CEO who is not prepared to invest this much time to ensure to drive team building and ensure that it is effective is simply not serious about it. When this level of commitment is missing, there is a high likelihood that team building will be ineffective.