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Just as approaches to business change over time, so do approaches to team building. How teams work together, how they are formed, and what is expected of each individual team member as part of the whole is significantly different now to what it was a few years ago. Now, the goal of most leaders is to promote unity, enhance collaboration, and create a “one team” attitude within organisations. This is different to earlier organisational wisdom, that encouraged individuals to have a reasonable level of competition with their peers to drive them to greater personal productivity and results.

This shift in thinking is also affecting the kind of team building and organisational events that businesses take their teams on.

How competitive team building events have evolved

The focus with competitive team building events has seen a decided shift towards those events that require close teamwork. The most popular activities, such as The Amazing Race, Survivor, Build a Bit, and Win it in a Minute all work by asking small teams – units within the business – to work effectively with one another.

The goals of these events are to promote bonding among team mates, and to also encourage staff to appreciate the differences and strengths of their team members.

Despite the proven success of these kinds of events, a different kind of even has really seen an uptick in demand recently; the collaborative team building event.

What is a collaborative team building event?

As the name suggests, the collaborative team event is the opposite of a competitive one; there are no groups or individuals rivalling one another to be the winner. There is a winner, but the onus is on the entire team to get there; either everyone succeeds in the activity and wins, or no one does.

Collaborative team building events encourage participants to build camaraderie with their peers, and learn in a lower-pressure environment. In highlighting what the entire team can achieve when the organisation has a goal, collaborative events promote positive teamwork behaviours, where a competitive activity will often promote collaboration as a temporary convenience. The lack of competition in a collaborative event also means that domineering personalities don’t have the incentive to “take over” and all participants will be more inclined to lend their skills and contribution to the whole.

A collaborative team event will include the following elements:

1) A single goal for all team members to work towards together

2) The promise that the goal can be achieved through teamwork

3) An element of leadership and delegation, so that each team mate is contributing to the overall goal

4) Individuals, or small groups within the team, aren’t all doing the same thing.

Brought together, these elements mean that a collaborative team building event encourages networking, communication, effective role delegation, and accountability, while also building trust that each person can contribute to the whole, and enhancing the cohesiveness of a team.

Why are organisations looking at collaborative events?

The structure of modern organisations is such that the pressure is placed on teams, rather than individuals, to perform. The entire unit is ultimately held accountable for results, and the best performing teams behave as a collective, where each individual takes on tasks that positively contribute to the overall success of the team, rather than achieve success exclusively by themselves.

An organisation can look far more widely than an individual. As a collective, an organisation can form a “bigger picture” and look to achieve far more substantial results. That is, of course, if the organisation is structured in such a way that each member is contributing to the overall success and goals. With that in mind, more and more business leaders are making collaborative team building an absolute imperative, both to improve workplace culture, and the performance of the organisation itself.

For this reason, when looking to team building activities, business leaders are looking to collaborative events as a way to shift the organisation’s behaviour and way of thinking towards a collaborative, rather than competitive, mindset.

What are some examples of collaborative style events?

At Be Challenged, we offer a very wide range of collaborative activities, which are both a lot of fun, and encourage employees to start to approach their workplace and peer groups from a collaborative mindset. These events include:

The Big Picture – In the Big Picture, teams will collaborate and communicate to create an enormous interconnected multi-canvas artwork reflecting your team’s goals & values and hence revealing the “Big Picture”

BeatsWork – Using the infectious rhythms of samba, BeatsWork transforms a group of individuals into a giant percussion band.

Rat Rap – This activity tasks people with building a series of large contraptions which, when placed in the right sequence, perform an amazing collaboration of effects where each device triggers the next in an ingenious way.

Beat the Box – Teams combine their various skills to develop creative solutions to crack a code. To beat the box they must enter the code into an electronic combination lock and unlock the box before the time elapses in this collaborative escape game!

Feed the Need – It’s ‘Back to School’ for your team as they arrive at school to prepare, serve, and enjoy a meal with hungry school kids.

Flat Out Pyramids – Flat Out Pyramids gives your team the opportunity to work together to achieve great things – a large scale pyramid standing tall as a reminder of the power of working towards a common goal.

Chain Reaction – In Chain Reaction teams create a series of simple table top machines that when joined together with those from other teams become an elaborate chain reaction.

Animate – Bring business objectives and key messages to life in a fun collaborative way through the use of stop motion animation.

Bridging the Divide – An exciting collaborative construction project with teams working in unison to design and construct an impressive bridge.

How do I get started?

Setting up and executing a collaborative team event is as simple as giving the friendly team at Be Challenged a call to discuss your objectives. We’ll be happy to suggest an event, or programme events, and talk with you through outcomes and goals.

For more information contact us today on 1300 723 476.

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