Let's be clear. I am talking about real team building that has an impact on the business, not a corporate play day or recreational event. They have their place but that is not what we are discussing today. How would you feel if someone invited you for dinner and instead of providing a full meal served an amuse-bouche and dessert and rushed you out the door before you could finish your coffee? Yet, this is the approach to "team building" that is becoming more and more common.
I was sure that, in the aftermath of the economic downturn and the "AIG Effect", we could finally say good riddance to companies using extreme activities as a substitute for real team building. Based on recent CNN report, this is not the case. I hope that some executives will come by and share their perspective.
What a week! First the debt ceiling crisis kept the world at the edge of its seat. Then, financial woes in Europe and concerns about the Euro and the Yen. Now stock markets around the globe are spiraling downward. In the midst of this, I uncovered more incidents of wasteful spending on playtime for executives and employees by companies with declining performance. Have some executives learned nothing from the events of the past 3 years? No amount of playtime, golf, jamming in a rock band, or other placebos can substitute for good old fashioned brainstorming to tap into the collective wisdom of your team.
.....with apologies to Jonathan Swift. The recent release of Pac Man on Google fired off a lot of brainwaves. With some of the trends we've seen in recent years, don't be surprised if some companies use the free flash version of Pac Man to reduce their "team building" budget to 0. Now there's a cost saving measure. Read the rest of this blog entry for more tongue in cheek approaches to shrinking "team building" budgets.