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Team Building and Collaboration: Keys to Success in Modern Business

Daiv Russell asked:

The Industrial Revolution significantly changed the business world. Modern workers have become more specialized, found themselves to be more isolated, and work more impersonally than before. Despite the fact that technology has dramatically increased productivity, long-term business success still requires effective human interaction and collaboration.

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the world of business has changed dramatically. The modern worker now has an increasingly specialized, isolating, and impersonal job. While technology has succeeded in making human productivity increase, effective human collaboration is most definitely needed for any long-term business success.

There are technological substitutes for having a team sit together in the same place. However, these solutions are limited in their effectiveness. The connection with someone who is just a name on an e-mail mailing list or a disembodied voice on a conference call is far weaker. These tools don’t come close to approaching the team building and cohesiveness that face-to-face contact provides. Employees feel more like a team and unite for a greater sense of shared goals if they get together in person.

In an increasingly competitive business world where successful companies must be nimble, creative, and good at collaboration in order to take advantage of rapidly changing market conditions, smart businesses should utilize internal and external team building opportunities. Until people feel comfortable working together to solve shared problems, companies will be ineffective, lethargic, and unwieldy as everyone pulls and pushes in different directions to accomplish different ends.

During the growth of a company things becomes more complex. There are many businesses that have looked to pioneering settlers, and the military throughout history for their inspiration. Seeing that people faced logistical and physical changes built quick bonds, developing problem-solving abilities that are critical to a team. Thus people become more motivated to strive for group success.

Opportunities for team building have been adapted from these models to be applicable in the business world. One very interesting and entertaining exercise involves building and driving a covered wagon. Usually you will divide people into groups of 8 to 12 people and have them complete group assignments that are based on issues in the Old West.

Every team should design and build a closed wagon as specified in the technical specification. All the teams can buy the necessary supplies required to build the wagon from the budget allotted to them. They also work together to create there own team flag and camp song. Once the teams have completed constructing there wagon they should compete in a race using it.

Throughout this event, team members must practice communicating, decision-making, exercising leadership, and working in tandem. They practice problem solving in a group setting. People get a fun opportunity to develop trust in their teammates as they define roles and responsibilities to accomplish group challenges. The accompanying adrenaline rush from this activity’s speed and novelty is also chemically conducive to feelings of group camaraderie.

The benefit of team building activities is a more cohesive group of workers. During the activities, people are pushed out of their comfort zone and helped to push past limiting fears and mental barriers. In a safe environment, coworkers work together to become a cohesive team that is innovative and highly successful. Team building exercises can bond people in a company across departments. These exercises can also build links between a business and its partners and vendors. The skills developed in team building exercises overflow to the work environment making employees feel motivated and secure in group endeavors to reach shared goals.

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