This isn’t about team building. It is about competition as a motivator. (I guess this is slightly related to team building activities, since some competition is inherent in most.)
I swim regularly; it keeps me in shape, relaxes and refreshes my mind and attitude. But I go through stages in which I’m not too motivated to get to the pool in the early morning. I always check in on foursquare as I’m leaving the Y. Lately, I’ve been in a non-motivated, dragging myself to the gym phase so I had decided to sleep in tomorrow morning instead of working out. But when I checked in on foursquare this morning I was alerted that I was ten days away from becoming mayor of the YMCA. Ten days away from becoming mayor – suddenly I was energized and planning just how early I’d get to the pool tomorrow morning – my desire to sleep late suddenly gone, filled with renewed resolve to get to the Y every day for the next ten days.
I had to laugh at myself because the simple incentive of a prize rejuvenated and motivated me, much to my own surprise. And it’s actually a fictional prize. After all, being mayor via foursquare is not a real job.
Rewards and competition work sometimes. And think of the money I’m saving – foursquare is free and a personal trainer is not!