Performance Management Company Blog

Ideas on People and Performance, Team Building, Motivation and Innovation

Tag: team building event

Annotated Abstracts of Management Team Building articles

Many of my posts are descriptive of ideas for business management team building exercises and posts on how to use training events to impact engagement and involvement for workplace improvement. This seems especially true for those focused on executive development, since the actions at the top have so many impacts as they cascade down through the organization.

One of my basic beliefs on these kinds of motivational team building exercises is that these events can be fun but that they can also be inexpensive and tightly linked to specific organizational objectives. One of the things we do is to deliver such sessions and then sell the client the simulation to run themselves through training or other kinds of developmental initiatives. They are really good when bundled into a strategy rollout kind of strategy.

What I did for this blog was simple: I searched my posts on “Motivational Team Building” and came up with about 20 different articles among the 275 in the blog. Then, I selected 5 that seemed most relevant to someone searching for that kind of information.

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1 – In Lessons from The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, a game on teamwork and collaboration, we focus on some of the key learning points in our teambuilding exercise. One is that collaboration, even when it is encouraged, is really hard to generate. People choose more often to compete even when it sub-optimizes results. It is also easy to see that the three most important resources are Time, Information and Each Other. We also then talk about the issues of My Team, My Team, My Team and how we can help organizations improve overall collaboration and engagement.

My Team My Team haiku

2 – The post, “Maximizing Team Building Impacts with Senior Managers,” addresses how to involve and engage the top managers of an organization with the goal of cascading the teamwork and alignment down. In many organizations, the phrase interdepartmental collaboration is an oxymoron, and it exists because of exclusive measurement systems and the competition between leadership – causing the silos. This article focuses on working with senior management and shares some thinking about how to implement this initiative throughout an organization.

3 – Innovation, Strategy and Motivation is focused on my thinking about the overall effectiveness of a program I did in Mumbai, India for a group of very senior managers. It was focused on my friend Robin Speculand’s approach to strategy implementation and wrapped around my Square Wheels illustrations as tools for generating alignment and engagement. I include links to Dan Pink’s materials on intrinsic motivation and also relate to other resources for impacting people and productivity.

Rat Cage More Better Faster

4 – Does Teamwork Work? Issues and Ideas for Improvement is about the basic design of team building programs and their linking to organizational improvement. There are a lot of activities out there representing themselves as team building that may or may not be truly effective in linking to real organizational improvement initiatives and business process improvement. Many might have aspects of collaboration or team thinking involved, but are they really designed to facilitate a powerful debriefing? Dutchman was designed to link to issues of optimizing performance results.

5 – In Workplace Motivation – “I Quit! Nevermind. Whatever…“, there is a solid review of the data and statistics on workplace motivation, which anchors really well to what we can do differently to better involve and engage individuals and teams for performance improvement. The data show that there are just so many people going through the motions of working, and that they could accomplish a lot more if the workplace was more situationally engaging. People can do more, and they will if you allow them. It is a lot about Intrinsic Motivation.

These are a few of almost 300 articles in my blog, ON PERFORMANCE. I hope that you find some of these ideas of use and benefit as you move things forward in your organization or for your clients.

Plus, I am just starting up a blog of poems, quips, one-liners and other illustrated cartoons with captions and slogans. You can check it out at http://poemsontheworkplace.wordpress.com/

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We believe that we have some of the most useful tools for communications and organizational development that exist. Our team building games are simple and effective and our Square Wheels toolkits easily involve and engage people to share and implement their ideas for improvements.

Have FUN out there!

Scott Simmerman

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. 
Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/scottsimmerman/

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Tripping to India to do Strategy Implementation and Team Building

The past month has been quite a journey, even before I head off to Mumbai once again. My passport expired as did my one-year, multiple-entry business visa to India. SO, I put the passport into “The System” and got it back quickly. Then came the application process for the entry visa. It was one of these “in the mud” kind of weeks:

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Scott, talking about being up to your “axles in mud,” with Spectator Sheep. This situation sure felt like that!

Online, it gave me some options so I applied for the 10-year, multiple-entry business visa, since it was the same price as the 5-year one and not too much more expensive than the 1-year, the application requirements were as before as were the timelines.

But in this case, I ran up into “the processor bureaucracy.” To make a long story short, it has taken me nearly a month, with me making 4 phone calls, repeatedly sending things, changing one or two words in the application letter (I am a one-person company but the letter from my company to the embassy has to be from someone else in my company verifying my honesty and abiilty to pay any debts occurring in India) and there was an issue with the words “training” and “contract.”

I will be going there to market my organizational development tools (Square Wheels and Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine) and to meet up with my exclusive representatives to look at new product development and marketing. I am going to present to some large conferences to model the delivery of the tools. We have a contract that protects my intellectual property, mostly. BUT, the person reading the application materials was MOST CERTAIN that I was going to India for employment, and thus, I must complete an Employment Visa. And having “a contract” proved to her that I was an employee and not the owner of my own company doing business with another company. Her ignorance was most amazing, actually, and combined with her unwillingness to listen, caused me (and probably many other businessmen) a great deal of anguish.

That employment descriptive document had things like me having to receive an annual salary of at least USD $25,000 and that my sponsoring company had to assert that I was uniquely qualified and that there was no one in India who could do my job. (I cannot imagine how that would actually be accomplished). In reading it, we would have to LIE on the application for me to qualify for one of those employment visas.

With me being totally truthful on all things, and with the processor actually losing my passport in their mailroom, I finally made that one perfect phone call to the right person who said, “I can fix this!” and she did, using the information that they already had. It proves the value of the empowered employee when it comes to customer service.

UPS now has my passport and I get it today. This is after a MONTH of them diddling around with this processor company’s people (absulute power corrupts absolutely?) and making mistakes and losing things. And, this put a great deal of pressure on all of us, given the commitments we were making to deliver large programs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. 

Anyway, it looks like things are all in order, that the trip will be a “go” and the tickets and time not wasted.

Now, I am putting a lot of materials together that will recombine the Square Wheels tools into a program on strategy implementation, something that is a critical issue for most large organizations. I am building on the work of my long-term friend and associate, Robin Speculand in Singapore, and focusing on using his Compass model and his general information, combining his approach with my tools for generating engagement and involvement and alignment, and using the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine exercise as a tool for changing behavior and generating commitment to missions and visions.

It will be a unique program for me. I have worked on implementation themes for 30+ years, but never linked these tools in this manner. We are redesigning the play of Dutchman to allow for mid-game restructuring and communications, which will improve its effectiveness around the strategy and vision themes.

And, I will get another newsletter out on this today.

Sure has been an interesting journey to India, this past month, and I have not even left the US yet!

Square Wheels are everywhere! So are the Round Ones.
  (And thanks to Jennie at Travisa for helping me out when all others failed…)

And I am really looking forward to working with the illustrations and games again in India.

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For the FUN ot It!

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Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. 
Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott atscott@squarewheels.com

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/scottsimmerman/

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