Team building can be a boost or a bust, a great ROI or a waste of time and money.

Most leaders publicly express that it is the right thing to do, but privately are uncertain about the benefits of their invested time and money.

In nearly every business, even those with cutting edge technology or products, their people create a distinctive and sustainable advantage. It's the 5th P of Marketing: product, place, price, promotion... and people.

To ensure you get a good return for your team building investment, incorporate these success factors:

  1. Purposeful. Team building without a business purpose is like having a map without knowing your destination.
    • What problem are you trying to address?
    • What team dynamic do you want to reveal?
    • Which strengths do you want you build upon?
    • Once you determine your primary purpose, select an activity that best facilitates learning and practice in that area.
  2. Inclusive. The nature of the activity does not restrict participation. Some more strenuous activities like climbing or running might exceed some team member's capabilities. Always give an option to participate in some capacity (e.g., time keeper, coach).
  3. Engaging. There should beno opportunity to anyone to sit on the sidelines. The activity ideally creates a memorable, shared experience for the team.
  4. Balance competition and participation. Create competition between teams that requires with cooperation within teams in order to win.
  5. Simulate real-world dynamics. The activity should require role clarity, communication, listening, goal setting, prioritization, decision making, managing changes, quality control and deadlines. These dynamics will make it easier to transfer learning and insights back on the job.
  6. Trained facilitator. The facilitator should have business and operational experience so he/she canobserve, draw out input from participants, identify patterns and connect to application back on the job.

Team Building with Taste is a team building experience that captures all six success factors. In addition, it incorporates the popular trend of cooking (but is also non-threatening for microwave guys like me).

Incorporate these six success factors to boost team relationships and performance.