So, I’ve decided to develop my blog around team-building activities. The majority of my career I have worked in non-profit organizations, and the team-building exercises in this sector, often were reliant on the leadership, the budget, and the staff’s enthusiasm for the cause. Nonetheless, team building activities were rather frequent, sometimes weekly. For the last seven years, I’ve been working in the public sector…wow, what a difference! Team building activities in the public sector can sometimes be frowned upon, considered a mis-use of public funds, but there’s that seldom opportunity to slip a few in here and there…
I realized, after I chose my topic that team-building activities in the private sector probably have stereotypes associated with them as well. I imagine these lavish and expensive two or three-day sessions; led by a trained facilitator (or team); and hosted at the conference room at the local name-brand chain-hotel. But, perhaps I’m mistaken…I’ll need to do some research.
Another reason I chose team building activities was to discover the reach and realm of how far organizations (e.g. non-profit; public-sector; private-sector; etc.) will go. My most interesting team-building experience by far was put on by a feminist organization that encouraged different staff members to adjust the scope of their jobs, based on where they were in their menstrual cycles. One of the activities we did over the day-long team building was a web exercise. Everyone stood in a large circle, filling the whole room; one person held the end of a ball of yarn and threw it to someone across the circle. That person pinched the yarn and threw the ball to another person across from them. We continued until everyone had a piece of yarn, and the final recipient threw it back to the first person, who held two pieces; which created a giant web. Then came the fun part…untangling the web, until we formed one large circle of yarn, again filling the room. The take-away was that we are each part of the web that molds the organization.
Here’s a path to a simple explanation of the activity:Team Building Yarn Activity | eHow