So much has changed since I first wrote this guide to Nashville team building activities back in 2011. So I’m updating it now in order to share what’s new (fall 2017).
Nashville, a/k/a Music City, has grown by leaps and bounds. While music based programs will always be cornerstone for Music City, we now have options for almost any time of team program you can think of.
But that being said, I think it’s valuable to try and match a city’s personality with the type of program you choose. For example, if you’re in Los Angeles you might want a movie making team experience. In Colorado you might lean toward white water rafting. So it’s apropos to consider exercising your creative powers when you’re trying to decide which Nashville team building activities will be most impactful for your group. After all, when you’re here, you’re in the land of singers, story tellers, performers and artists.
By matching the personality of the location you’re in with the focus of your program you’ll gain an intangible, yet very real energy from your participants.
Creative Team Building
While every group has a few specific goals in mind for their team building program, most groups share a couple of general foundational goals. You want to have fun with your colleagues; to bond outside of your normal office setting. And you want to increase communication; most simply put – get to know one another better. This helps build trust.
Here are some programs that will meet your team building needs while allowing you to harness the energy of that which is uniquely Nashville.
- Music team building – There’s an old saying in Music City, ‘It all begins with a song.’ Before a recording artist first makes an album or ever sets foot on a stage, he or she spends time finding or writing songs that they can relate to. Songs powerfully communicate what an artist feels, who they are and who they aspire to be. Songwriting is a team building activity too. You can create your own songs that communicate your organization’s story, your differentiators, your mission, goals or all of the above. Both songwriting and performing are highly collaborative. Through the process you’ll learn more about your colleagues and tap into each other’s strengths. Most importantly, you’ll have genuine fun as you become a team of songwriters and performers. You’ll collectively tap into the power and emotion of music while you create and record your original songs.
- Juggle this – How many times have you used or heard the expression, ‘you’re juggling too many things at once’. With this unique Nashville offering you can actually learn a bit about juggling and try your hand(s) at it! I like this program because it combines physical activity with the challenge of learning something new while collaborating during the process. A big reason I like this Nashville based program is because the founder Jacob Weiss does a great job. He communicates his passion and enthusiasm with every program he facilitates. Jacob’s company is called Playing By Air.
- Tap into your childlike creativity – When a child plays with a Lego® set they’re hard at work using their creative and analytical powers. It’s no big deal for a kid to create something from nothing while designing structures or weird figures. But for adults it’s a bit more challenging. My friend Jody Lentz leads a program using Lego® bricks. You get to tap into your creative child like side while doing some very adult thinking and team building. Everyone works individually with their own bricks at first. Then working in small groups, participants share the best pieces (ideas) of each person’s model to create an ideal model of what you’re all visioning. Through this activity you’ll share conversation and concern about where everyone is and where they’d like to go. While this activity is not unique to Nashville, it’s creative and intellectual and thus a great fit for a Music City event.
- A wild experience – I’m torn as to if I should include this…but since I’m typing these words, I guess I’m including line dancing at the famed Wildhorse Saloon. Is line dancing team building? That depends on your goals. If you want to get out and bond, laugh, share drinks and simply have a good time this fits the bill. There’s a team building aspect to this in that your colleagues will face a challenge and overcome it. You’ll move from abject fear of having to line dance to proud bragging rights of having accomplished this simple and accessible good time. Once you dip your toe in the water it’s easy and not at all embarrassing. I’ve seen this event several times and I always get a kick out of watching people unwind and get into it; never fails.
Other Nashville Team Building Activities
I’m so enthusiastic about the music based programs my company facilitates that it still surprises me when potential clients choose more traditional programs. But deep down I understand that there are lots of factors you have to consider when you’re shopping for Nashville team building activities.
With this in mind, here are some less creative but still fun and interactive choices in Nashville.
- Airsoft and more – I just lost a potential gig because most of the people on this client’s team were twenty something guys who’s dream it was to get some gear on and shoot each other. I get it. So if this is within your team’s aspirations you should most definitely check out Nashville Airsoft. Laser tag is a similar option.
- Zip lines and trust falls – One of the oldest team building companies in Nashville is Adventureworks. They’re an oldie but a goodie. Led by facilitators who understand team dynamics, these outdoor experiences are great for building trust through different levels of challenges.
- Your great escape – Escape rooms or escape games are popping up in and around the city now. There’s actually a few options for this type of team building. For small teams it’s a good option. You’ll experience challenge, collaborative problem solving to overcame that challenge and you’ll enjoy the success of succeeding as a team.
I still think it makes most sense to make music in music city. And I do hope you’ll consider songwriting or some other creative team endeavor!
But when that’s not the best fit for you, the good news is that Nashville now has a plethora of quality team building options.