Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Kannanmv
Hr & Administration
Arunrao1
Team Building & Sales Training
Shabana Begum
Business Unit Manager
Rachgera
Recruitment
+1 Other

Hi Guys, An article on team building, read it, you might find it interesting. Siddharth
28th December 2010 From India, Delhi

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File Type: pdf Why do team building activities usually involve games_.pdf (214.7 KB, 2844 views)

Dear Siddharth
A well drafted document and thanks for sharing.
To further, I wish to comment on 'Why do team building activities usually involve games', the answer simply lies on the factor of 'Thought' & 'Action'.
Learning is always cultivated when their is insight. Learning could come from any form of process or procedure. For example, if I say you to pour water on your friends head. This is a thought, but on the action level its something dejection from your side. Even though the thought is good but action is not imperative or feasible.
Activities involved in team building, cultivates a learning experience and thus leads to interpretation of actions done in the activities.
I request members to post their valuable comments for this thread.
29th December 2010 From India, Mumbai
Hi Siddharth,
It is the proven fact, that we memorise only those lessons and facts which either we have seen or performed. If we remember our school days, we have been asked by our teachers to read the lesson and write for the practice so that its impression can embark properly on our mind and we can remind it for the long time.
& Finally, thanks siddharth for posting the same.
Regards,
Rachna
29th December 2010 From India, Delhi
Dear Siddharth Chaudhary,

I am yet to come across with any evidence or research that showed team building games built the team spirit and and this team spirit resulted in higher ROI on the team building programme.

Sometime games in team building are taken to a non-sensical level. Sometimes I wonder all these adult participants, why trainers treat them as children? To learn some concept why they need to play a game and then understand?

However, not all games are bad. Some games really challenge participants' creativity or intellect. Those games are really fine.

Mumbai Dabbawalla: - Most of the training programmes on team building have reference to tiffin carriers of Mumbai (at least the programmes that are conducted in India). About 2 lakh tiffin boxes are picked up, delivered to the workplaces so that the working professionals can enjoy home food, tiffin boxes are again picked up from the workplace and delivered back to the homes.

The efficiency of this pick up and delivery is measured on six sigma and many times these dabbawalahs have earned not only attention but accolades from international media.

Now my questions is, these dabbawalahs never took any training on team building or any training for that matter. Neither they are literate completely nor do they use any technology to speak of. Then how could they achieve this unique feat? They achieved this feat or they have been achieving it day in and day out because (to put in the words of Mr Medke, President of Mumbai Dabbawalah Association) of the sincerity and devotion towards their duty.

I firmly believe that the we Indian know very well how to copy the concepts of western countries. This is yet another concept we follow without applying our mind whether it works or not, whether it gives ROI to the organisation who pays for these programmes or not!

But then this is how the world is. Many times the selection of trainers is based on the kind of games that he/she has and trainers like me fall in line for the fear of loosing business.

For Simmy: - "Pouring water on someone's head" is a good thought but not action. How can it be a good thought (unless one is in bathroom)?

Thanks,

Dinesh V Divekar
30th December 2010 From India, Bangalore
Mr. Dinesh
The purpose was my quote 'Pouring Water on someone's head', refers a activity related to the learning from a simple act. Somethings are always good in the thought, but implementation aka action may be opposite or non-fruitful.
In this case, if somebody tells to pour water on my head, it could be good in thought but on action level it may embarrass you.
Kindly correct me if I'm wrong in mentioning this reply.
30th December 2010 From India, Mumbai
dear Dinesh,
I agree with your ciews...especially the highlighted one below... :-)
[QUOTE=Dinesh Divekar
Sometime games in team building are taken to a non-sensical level. [COLOR=blue]Sometimes I wonder all these adult participants, why trainers treat them as children?[/COLOR] To learn some concept why they need to play a game and then understand?
However, not all games are bad. Some games really challenge participants' creativity or intellect. Those games are really fine.
30th December 2010 From India, Madras
Dear Shabana
I appreciate your reply.
I just wanted to comment on the thread, Learning could be cultivated from any form of activity. It could be a lesson or stimulation.
Learning bicycle is a parallel example and other action abased activity where we need to apply certain action points, strategy and need to work in a stimulation to generate a fruitful outcomes. Any activity generates a output factor which can be applied as input to some other experience.
Adult learning is based on the experience occurs around him and the thus he try's to encapsulate it into a result based judgment.
Taking games is a medium just to stimulate the actual situation, where strategies or lateral thinking and team work is involved. It determines what factors contribute to maximum retention in adult learners.
Revert me your views.
30th December 2010 From India, Mumbai
Dear Shabana
I appreciate your reply.
I just wanted to comment on the thread, Learning could be cultivated from any form of activity. It could be a lesson or stimulation.
Learning bicycle is a parallel example and other action abased activity where we need to apply certain action points, strategy and need to work in a stimulation to generate a fruitful outcomes. Any activity generates a output factor which can be applied as input to some other experience.
Adult learning is based on the experience occurs around him and the thus he try's to encapsulate it into a result based judgment.
Taking games is a medium just to stimulate the actual situation, where strategies or lateral thinking and team work is involved. It determines what factors contribute to maximum retention in adult learners.
Revert me your views.
30th December 2010 From India, Mumbai
Hi Dinesh,

I appreciate your views on team-building games and agree that some games are not so relevant to the work we do and does not bring team spirit or bonding. But not applicable to all the activities, a facilitator or a trainer can choose an activity based on the developmental needs of the teams and watch the team members when the perform the activity and later debrief on how they performed and how they could have done better. Also, when you relate this to work it truly leaves an impression and people learn a lot from their experience. As they say, "how you play decides how you work"
I firmly believe that Mumbai dabbawallas have superb system which depends on teamwork and meticulous timing. And that too without any "team-building" trainings and without using any technology as such. But if you notice mostly the dabbawallas belong to a same community, mainly malva caste. some where i read a dabbawala said "We believe in employing people from our own community. So whenever there is a vacancy, elders recommend a relative from their village," probably this could be one of the reasons they don't need a team building. Like family members don't need a team building training. Wherein, an organization where people come from different cultures, communities or backgrounds might need some bonding to work as a team.

Regards,

Siddharth
30th December 2010 From India, Delhi
On Mumbai Dabbawalla:
I think, a new comer's job there is just to follow the seniors while a good procedure already in place is hard to revive.
However, a training will work as a catalyst among the existing staff to ignite their innovativeness.
30th December 2010 From Qatar, Doha
Dear Siddharth,

I beg to differ with you when you say that since dabbawalahs come from one region or community, they have this phenomenal success.

In India most of the businesses are family run business. In India there was caste system based on the activities that persons did. One caste did only the business. They have been doing businesses for thousands of years. Then why we do not have examples where their work could be measured on not only six but seven sigma? With thousands of years of experience India supposed to have largest number of MNCs in the world but then facts are otherwise. Please remember, sooner the death of Ambani Sr, his two sons started fighting and the fights are going on for natural gas ownership for the last couple of years.

Just look around and you will find that Marwaris prefer to employ marwaris, Gujratis prefer Gujratis, Muslims prefer Muslims and so on. Why none of them could replicate example of Mumbai Dabbawalah?

I had quoted my example of Mumbai dabbawalah only to prove the point that where there is sincerity and devotion, you do not need training on teamwork or games in the training.

Another example like dabbawalah let me give you of Indian Army personnel. Ask average group of jawans and the group members will not be able to tell anything on teamwork. They won't be able to explain it. Give them some work and they will start working in team automatically. Teamwork is in DNA of army personnel. I am ex-Air Force person. Let me put humbly that air force personnel show lesser teamwork compared with Army personnel. I say this with my 20 years of service in Air Force. Let me reiterate that no army personnel is ever trained on teamwork.

My last 10 years of experience in training shows that in most of the companies, participants show that they are doing a great favour by attending the training programme. By making participants to play games, we just cajole the participants.

After my posts there were several posts but nobody has answered one simple question. If games add value in team building training programmes then why these do not add value in ROI or business performance? Why no training organisation or training professional worth his/her salt coming forward and showing ROI on the training is higher if we include games in the training on team building?

The worst thing I found is outbound games. Many trainers privately admitted with me that it is nothing but just time-pass. They do it because "clients want it". Few inventive trainers have gone a step further and make the participants to walk on fire!

Thanks,

Dinesh V Divekar
30th December 2010 From India, Bangalore
Dear Siddharth,

Many a times we have been asked to assess the effectiveness of the training programme conducted especially when the budget raises eyebrows while sanction is being accorded for such programmes.

When we talk about team building, in my opinion the success of team ultimately depends on the person who leads the team and to honestly tell you an outbound training programme such as trekking, group drumming etc does not bring about any drastic change. It is just the attitude. It is great fun when all these games are organised but when they return back we do not find much difference.

In many companies we find Quality circles function wherein a team of members discuss and analyse various problems faced by the organisation and arrive at solutions. No games are conducted for them to work as teams but they are given classroom training to analyse the problem using the QC story approach. The team members then toil and make presentations that wins them laurels.

In my opinion strong teams are built wherein the members make personal sacrifices for the success of the team, the attitude of the members more importantly the leader. He can't merely delegate but has to take ownership.

I wish to reiterate, games are for fun and does not have any real value addition to the actual training. Of course I am not against ice breakers during a training programme but it can form a small percent of the training programme.

M.V.KANNAN
30th December 2010 From India, Madras
Hi Guys,

Was following this interesting discussion - and I really think there is a clear middle path available to the diverging opinions that this post has attracted. Let me share my two bits.

As a Facilitator having conducted hundreds of such team workshops involving play (i use the word play instead of games - since "games" sometimes has negative connotations in corporates. We dont like people who play "games", do we?), I think there is a truth when some people ask - "Why did we do this?", "How will we become a better team, just because we had these few games?". Outbound activities while exciting and fun - by themselves do not make a team come closer.

At the same time, the concept of using these fun activities in team outings to pull teams together is a time tested one. So, where is the discrepancy?

The discrepancy becomes clear when you get an understanding of Kolbs experiential learning cycle. As adults, the best way to learn is by doing. This is something everybody agrees with. However, if the cycle where to stop there - there is no learning that comes through. In team building events, after an activity is done, it is critical - rather imperative for the facilitator to get the team talking about the experience. The idea is to extract a few individual and personal "truths" from the experience. The next step is to extend the discussion to whether the same truths apply in the workplace. Done right, very often this can bring in a paradigm shift in thinking. The final step is to challenge the team with, "Now what?"... i.e now that we know this happens at work, how will we act differently? When this whole process is handled sensitively, encouraging participants to open up - this can be a very powerful experience.

To put things in perspective, its important for team leaders and HR professionals to recognise that team building is always a long term process. Its never achieved from one break through session, however good it be. However, when the session is done right it can be a very powerful catalyst in getting the team thinking about how it can be a better team indeed - and start moving in that direction. Whether it does achieve the goal depends on the leadership shown and the commitment of individual members.

Do let me know what you think.
1st January 2011 From India, New Delhi
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