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This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Team Building, What a Laugh! -- From Peter de Jager via HR Gateway...
There isn't a corporate employee anywhere in the world, who at one time or another has not suffered through the indignities of a particular type of "team building" exercise. There is this weird myth that if we can play some "fun" game together without killing each other, then this will increase our future ability to work well together on a real life project. Nice idea, but unfortunately team building isn't a game.

Time and time again I hear managers asking for a "team building exercise", usually with the strongly added condition "it must be fun."
de Jager goes on to question the utility of what probably comes to mind when one hears the phrase "team building." I agree, vigrously and vehemently. I've probably written about this somewhere else before. And if I would have checked first, I would have found that I did, more recently than I thought. But it's worth reiterating.

One of the key contributions of TOC and it's supporting body of knowledge and applications is the integration of the "human and the humane" with the "logistical" aspects of management. It isn't about silly team-building games or outward bound exercises. It isn't about building a team to accomplish things, but rather building a team and enhancing worklife by accomplishing things...

Worth repeating...It isn't about building a team to accomplish things, but rather building a team by accomplishing things.

...Between the thinking and communication tools (appositely acronymable as TACT) of the TOC Thinking Processes, the recognized necessity of the system's policies, processes, and practices to allow the people to do their best work, and the enhanced possibility of flow experience through rational project management practices, there is a lot that can be done to enhance the quality of worklife that is found embedded in this holistic approach to management...

...a lot, that is, while avoiding "the indignities" of yet another "team-building exercise."

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