The possibilities are infinite… and we keep adding to the Team Building Library on allthingsmeetings.com… the general idea being, take these ideas and bring them home, modify them to fit your group… or do whatever else you need to do to be creative (and happy)…here’s the latest…
Project Runway/Dress for Success
This idea came to us by way of Accent on Arrangements, A DMC Network Co. out of New Orleans (www.accent-dmc.com)…
This takes a little pre-planning but is not only a fun, real team-building thing, it’s one of those give-back-to-the-community things that make everyone better (in some way). “A on A” arranged a partnership with the nationally known charity, Dress for Success, a provider of business clothing for women in need. DFS helps them prepare for job interviews, and supports them with clothing to wear until they get that first paycheck.
The group is told before they even leave home that they will be participating in a community event and asked to bring (and donate) gently-used business clothing. The DMC also scoured some of the local thrift stores for more “eclectic” clothing and accessories, so when the event began there were racks of clothing and tables of other “stuff” that teams could use to create a collection of unique outfits.
Each team selected selects one of their own to be a model, and then had 15 minutes to “shop” the rack and another 15 to create the look. They model their creations before a panel of judges and a Runway Winner is named. All of this creative mayhem (and laughter) was followed by an inspiring talk from one of the charity’s Board members, and there were definitely lots of photo ops afterwards.
A good time was had by all, and the clothing was then donated to the charity along with an additional financial contribution from the client company.
Want something a little more physical, with definite local flavor… how about a Rowing Regatta on the Charles River? You know… you’ve always seen pictures of those Harvard/MIT guys rowing along the Charles while some other guy yells at them to row harder? That could be you!
DPI Events, a Boston-based DMC (www.dpievents.com) partnered with Community Rowing (the first public rowing club in Boston) to create a mini-regatta for corporate team-building… and not to worry, it is for novices. Yes, there are certain physical requirements and so you have to consider your groups overall health, but this is for the general population, not Olympic athletes.
The coaching staff starts off by introducing with training session on technique and power application in their state of the art in-door rowing complex. From there, the teams launch on to the water and race strategies are planned, facilitated by coxswains and coaches. After about 45 minutes of preparation, the group lines up for the official regatta race. Depending on the group size, there can be several qualifying races, or just one winner-take-all, but whatever you choose, there’s lots of yelling, laughing, (some) sweating, and general competitive oozing (I just made up the phrase “competitive oozing” and although it sounds good, I have no real idea what it means).
The rowers return to the club where they talk about the value of what they just experienced while slowing their heart rate down to normal… and of course… photo ops!
And speaking of an increased heart-rate… how about CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil at the Club Med Punta Cana (cirquedusoleil.com/club-med-creactive) Yes, you heard me… each team-building session combines circus arts with relevant themes (broken down into “Creative Thinkers”, “Risk Takers” and “Team Players”. Aerial Arts, Flying Trapeze, Juggling, Dancing, and Stilt-Walking are just a few possibilities.
They say it teaches your group to “hone critical thinking skills, encourage ingenuity and inspire groups to take unconventional routes to accomplish goals”. Yes, I agree, a flying trapeze is definitely an unconventional route… but whenever I read “critical thinking skills” I keep thinking “critical condition”… just not sure how to put that all together in a good joke.
Oh, one last thing… in the last team building blog I mentioned a great team building idea… playing a Mayan Ball Tournament on a real Mayan Ball Court in the Guatemalan jungle with real Mayans. What I did not say was that that particular event was recommended to us (and organized by) Guatemala-based Kakaw & Sapphire, DMC (www.kakawsapphire.com)
That’s all for the moment. Stay tuned. And… send me your favorite team-building ideas.