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IOL National Conference 12 October 2012. 21 st Century Team Building Master Class. Objectives. To share examples of best practice in corporate management team development To identify the key elements for a “state of the art” approach to management team development

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iol national conference 12 october 2012

IOL National Conference12 October 2012

21st Century Team Building

Master Class

21st Century Team Building - Bob Larcher

  • To share examples of best practice in corporate management team development
  • To identify the key elements for a “state of the art” approach to management team development
  • To examine current issues participants are facing in terms of corporate management team development

21st Century Team Building - Bob Larcher


A collection of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.

Team members

operate with a high degree of interdependence

share authority and responsibility for self-management

are accountable for the collective performance

work toward a common goal and shared rewards

team building
Team Building

Refers to a wide range of activities, presented to businesses, schools, sports teams, religious or non-profit organizations designed for improving team performance.

Is pursued via a variety of practices, and can range from simple bonding exercises to complex simulations, multi-day team building retreats, group and individual profiling, etc.

team building1
Team building
  • Team building is a process and is more than the “event” itself
    • Diagnostic
      • Objective: to fully understand the team and their issues
    • Design
      • Objective: to ensure that the programme will enable the team to resolve the issues identified during the diagnostic
    • Delivery
      • Objective: to be able to resolve identified issues and respond to emerging needs
    • Follow-up
      • Objective: ensure effective team performance “back at work”

21st Century Team Building - Bob Larcher

a general conclusion
A general conclusion

There was a general feeling that a degree of “repositioning” is required to change the perception from activity provider to team building proving.

In “real” team building the overriding objective is to help improve team performance, the objective is not to go canoeing, climbing or caving and we need to help clients separate the means from the end.

Activity suppliers wanting to develop “real” teambuilding will need to develop consultancy skills and not just hard skills.

  • Ideas & suggestions
    • Ensure we are talking “team building” and not simply activities or an end of year fun day
    • Don’t just listen to the team leader or the HR manager
    • Individual face-to-face interviews with team members (if not, by phone or questionnaire)
    • Personal profile (Insights, MBTI, Belbin…..)
    • Team development profile (ATPI, GDA, TOBI….)
    • Talk to other groups that the team interacts with
    • Avoid talking about “programme & activities” at this stage, focus on issues and needs
    • Value added comes from selecting the most appropriate activities to respond to the issues

21st Century Team Building - Bob Larcher

  • Ideas & suggestions
    • Take into account the level of team development, forming teams will need more “getting to know the others” type exercises and working on how to deal with future issues, norming teams need to be faced with exercises that reflect clearly the issues they are facing, etc
    • Don’t over complicate exercises; building a raft or making a blindfolded rope square can generate as much (if not more) learning than running around the hills with walkie-talkies, maps, etc
    • Use collective activities such as canoeing, gorge walking, caving, raft building, etc to work on team issues such as setting objectives, organisation communication, problem solving
    • Use individual activities such as kayaking, cycling, climbing to allow individuals to shine
    • Plan for more reviewing time than doing time – resist client demands to simply “do” activities
    • Build “informal” time into the programme, both for the participants between themselves and for staff with the participants
    • Incorporate their language into the exercises and the scenarios
    • Try to recycle activities – many can be used to “zoom” on a variety of issues

21st Century Team Building - Bob Larcher

  • Ideas/suggestions
    • Respect programme design but keep a degree of flexibility
    • Use a learning cycle to help participants understand where they are and why they are “simply talking” and not doing something
    • Work in the hear and now with what you have seen
    • Use questions (based on your observations) to assemble facts and observations
      • “When that first task failed, what happened then?”
      • “How did you react on that?”
      • “Was at that stage, the objective clear for you?”
    • Frontload learning into exercises
      • “Remember what happened at the start of the previous exercise”
      • “What would you like to do differently during this next exercise?”
    • Use an “everything that happens” approach to identifying learning, i.e. team interactions and potential for learning do not only occur during exercises
    • If the team has a team meeting scheduled, build it into the programme, observe it and review it as an exercise
    • Value added is identifying learning
    • On a personal note I prefer the term “learning scenarios” to exercises or activities

21st Century Team Building - Bob Larcher

follow up
  • Ideas & suggestions
    • Issues based action plans with due dates and action owners
    • Individual coaching to help each person identify how they can better contribute to the teams effectiveness
    • Collective coaching to continue the team building process (Rome wasn’t built in a day)
    • Propose sessions “in-house” at the workplace
    • Provide a “hot line” (phone, email, blog……)
    • Offer team “maintenance” – a yearly team MOT to check progress, work on new issues, etc.

21st Century Team Building - Bob Larcher