I've been thinking a lot about team building lately, both as a philosophy and a practice. What does it mean to "build a team?" Any manager understands that it's not as simple as throwing a bunch of folks with good resumes together. But most of the time, like it or not, that's the team you end up with.
How do you build a perfect team? You find a set of folks who complement each other -- in their skillset, in their personalities, in their work style. Oh, what's that? You don't get to build a team from scratch? You have to hire the CEO's nephew? That candidate for the open position got another offer? Oh, and there's that one fella on the team who's been around for years and isn't going anywhere?
So there's option two -- you shape your team into perfection. As anyone who's done a puzzle knows, (and we've done a lot of them) brute force isn't going to make those pieces fit. But there are ways to change the shape of the pieces, at least in this metaphor.
Actual change happens at a team level, not at an individual level. In order to create and preserve the balance of an effective team, this must happen all at once. It's under the pressure of a challenge that teams are truly molded. Call it the Play-Doh philosophy, emphasis on PLAY.
Now work isn't fun. That's why they call it work. That's why play, within the right framing, is so effective. It's weird! It's different! It's a relief! The kind of play we offer at DFW Scavenger Hunt is challenging! And call it sneaky, but it's also a learning experience. Solving these challenges leads to team bonding, and team bonding leads to team building. It's only natural.
Here's a challenge that illustrates how working together can prove far more fulfilling. So grab a couple of colleagues before you try it.
Each entry in the list is represents a member famous team, but the letters -- and the teammates -- have been scrambled. Unscramble the words in each column, then reunite the teams.
Scroll wayyyyy down for the answers!
BACON, LETTUCE AND TOMATO
LARRY, MOE AND CURLY
PETER, PAUL AND MARY
ALVIN, SIMON AND THEODORE
HUEY, LOUIE AND DEWEY