Hmm…a few days ago a client asked me for some creative team building tips. After the fun of our facilitated team building program, they wanted follow up activities to continue the energy we helped this corporate team experience. To my way of thinking, creative team building means two things: The first is to think about the team building environment you create, rather than to just think about creativity. The second is to then think about creativity as the basis for team building.
Create the Best Setting for Team Building
You need to set the stage for success. To create an environment that makes it comfortable for people to step outside their comfort zones. You need to allow participants time to relate to one another and thus gain appreciation for each other. Then it’s great to offer programming that will take your team through an out-of-the-box experience. There’s a great guide of these steps here.
Do Something Outside the Box!
Assuming you’ve done the prep work and created a great creative team building environment, it’s time to think of the actual exercises you’ll do with your team. Here are three ideas to get you started. But almost any creative pursuit can be modified to promote team work and unity. Painting, dancing, movie making…I’ve seen them all work successfully.
Mix It Up!
Let’s talk about comfort zone. Here’s my pitch – get out of it! We recently facilitated our team building through song program with a group comprised of company executives, middle management and also administrators. My client really wanted to keep the three groups on separate teams and then have them compete for awards, ‘best song’, ‘best idea’, etc. I strongly argued that we needed to create a cross hierarchical program. We needed to let the CEO work with the administrative folks, to share in a creative process with them and to learn from them. Mixing it up creates fantastic energy and bonds team members across hierarchical job descriptions. It encourages empathy and big picture problem solving. This, in and of itself, strikes some people as creative – to simply mix groups in new ways.
Creative Team Building Tips
- Before you think about Creative team building, think about the environment you create
- Find activities that are inherently creative and find ways to team build with them
- Mix it up and find a comfortable way to get out of your comfort zone