Creative team building

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Creative team building

Enquire with Creative Team Building PHONE 1300 227 215

THE NUMBER 1 THREAT TO YOUR POTENTIAL   In most situations progress and success are achieved by breaking through our comfort zones… This little critter is the reason why it’s so dam hard!” Of all the art inspired workshops and team building events we run by far my favourite is our Team Masterpiece event. It’s because of the profound shift and transformation that occurs in our participants. I get to watch the moment when someone’s mind pivots from a state of “I can’t do that!” to, “Wow, I did, and can’t believe it!”. Now within the workshop we use art to create this shift but the workshop is not necessarily about art. What do is illustrate that much of that which we believe we are incapable of, is actually very much within our reach… We simply use art as a means to get there. The reason I believe that this shift takes place so often in Art Masterpiece is that it’s an intense, at times uncomfortable creative journey. A journey that many of us have not been on since we where a child. I’ve written about this in one of my past entries, “The number one reason why your not creative!” (Yes, I do like to use a “Number one… “ title). Now before we guide participants too far down a line of progressively more and more challenging art activities, we illustrate a warning and that is…. BEWARE OF THE OGRE As we say in Team Masterpiece we all have an ogre! It’s a voice which talks to us, constantly in the background. A voice sometimes as silent as a whisper and other times as loud as thunder.  The ogre is that voice which talks to us whenever we go to do something out of our comfort zones. To do something challenging, something we believe we are not instinctively good at. It’s the voice that says, “Don’t you remember your no good at this!”,  “It’s not going to work out well!”, “I think your forgetting… You can’t draw!” We all have a version of this ogre. For me it pipes up when I e-mail or write something like this blog entry, because as long as I can remember I was told “Writing just isn’t your strong suit!”. This belief re-enforced by my peers in high school (all in bottom english) and now by my wife, who is so dam good at it (A High School english teacher… How’s that!). When I write my Ogre say’s, “You’re going to look like a dumb arse!” “You don’t even know which where to use where ???” …. “Maybe you should just do a...

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I recently had the pleasure of attending a Tantalising Tuscany program held at the Italian Village at the Rocks in Sydney. The program was run for a global investment group who wanted to “do” something different for one of their internal teams. So they called us, and ended up at the Italian Village ready to take part in VisualFunk’s Tantalising Tuscany program, creating a sumptuous three course traditional Italian meal (facilitated by traditional Italian chefs!) from scratch. They created antipasti, insalata, pane della casa, pizza and an amazing dessert of Canestrini di Arancio e Cioccotta!  The larger team was divided into three teams and then these teams were given their first challenge – to design their own name badges and chefs hats. They then took their places at their food stations and the fun really began. Coached by the Italian chefs and helped by a little vino rosso, the teams transformed their basic ingredients into a wonderful dinner. But wait, there’s more… For the teams to take home the title of “Best Chefs” and a prize donated by the client, a VisualFunk judge (who shall remain nameless), had to choose the best antipasti, pizza and dessert. It was a hard choice, and it became very clear that each team wanted THAT TITLE. As the teams tussled between each other for the best dish in each category, the judge wasn’t surprised that bribery came into the fore – even the Italian chefs were bribing her!!!! At the end of the day, the judge wouldn’t be swayed and based her decision on the best looking dishes. (Shame she didn’t get to sample any!). After a couple of hours of cooking, the teams were able to sit down together and enjoy their creation amongst much laughter and recanting of the evening. A nice way to end a busy day....

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Measuring the value of team building: It’s a matter of context I read plenty of articles about team building. Many bag out team building as an effective way to build teams or provide a positive influence in the workplace and many others are completely the opposite. The ones that bag out team building generally say something along the lines of “just by doing xxxx you won’t achieve xxxx.” And there is a great point there. In an age where you type team building into a search engine, you find everything from going ten pin bowling (activity) to a high end leadership course (lets say a development program). I have written before about the lottery with what you might expect from an activity that labels itself as team building. When I started my career in training and development with a company in the UK, if there was a team development program that didn’t link back into the work place, it wasn’t worth doing. It had to provide more ROI than just the activity alone. parajumpers Masterpiece It doesn’t mean everyone wasn’t having fun (as fun is essential to learning) but the program had to provide serious insight into the business. That was standard and our clients expected it. Now, over 10 years, our business in Australia gets so many calls where teams just want to get out of the workplace and have some fun. The clients are really adamant about this. Nothing to do with work, just fun. T-Shirts Don’t mention ANYTHING to do with the workplace. So how do you then work out the value of such a program? At the end of the day, only the team wanting to do the program can comment on the value of that program to their company. If you are to understand if a team building program is valuable, you have to understand the context for wanting your team to participate in that program. Once you know what success looks like, you can then work out post session if the team building activity helped you achieve that. You can then judge if the program was successful for you and your team. As an example, one person may bag out shaving Mohawks in each other’s heads as a team building program but if you really wanted to shave each others heads and this helped you achieve your exact aims of giving everyone funny hair do’s then the program was successful. Sounds pretty simple? If you were only looking the cheapest possible activity and say you take the team lawn bowling and everyone has a great time, then in your context the team building...

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I have been lucky enough to share my passion of art and creativity with some fantastic companies over the last 14 years. I love seeing people tapping back into that wonderful creativity that we all have and the wonderful energy that comes from being expressive, imaginative and creative. So I was delighted when we had the opportunity to run a creative session at this years Sydney Fringe Festival for members of the public.  Whilst not a team building session, many elements were the same as the creative team building programs we run. Everyone getting out of their comfort zone. Everyone really scared about how to start and what it will look like! The first few steps are always very, very tentative.  It’s as if the paper may ignite when the pen first hits it and makes a mark. Great things start to happen when everyone feels more comfortable. It was a sold out program and we had an absolute blast.   The venue was a great space. Always a fan of a great environment to drive creativity, Fringe HQ was buzzing with stimulus. It was great to have a room full of people ready to get out of their comfort zone and to do something creative. There was plenty of fun and energy in the room. Most importantly, everyone left with something that they were proud of! The Fringe Festival gave a nice review as well  There is a tipping point when you do anything new and out of our comfort zones. There is often a voice inside  you have to deal with, telling you a bunch of crap about how unsuccessful your are going to be. The inner voice/ego/doubt we have holds us back from doing so many things. This is especially true with anything creative. Once you suck it up and go for it, the inner voice starts to quieten down then disappear completely. That’s when great things happen. I love seeing everyone leave with something they were proud of and the great smile that comes from reconnecting with your creativity. All things start with a small step, even opening up your creative potential. So, what step are you going to take to reconnect with your creativity and...

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What makes a great conference? I have had the opportunity over the last 15 years to be part of some great conferences and also have seen some pretty average ones. Over the last year, I have been involved with some great ones that still stick in my mind. I have sat through some real clangers as well. What made the great ones great? I thought I would share some recent examples of conferences that stood out. Conference 1 This was where delegates had won the right to be there from outstanding performance but was also an important avenue to drive key business messages to the delegates from across Australia. There was a large number of presentations and keynotes, (which can often be a conference downfall) but this was not the case. What made these presentations and keynotes great? The biggest thing was that the presentations were designed to give the delegates tools, tips and the right behaviours to grow their business. Everything was about the delegates and what the company could do to help them.  Because of this, everyone was tuned in and scribbling down as much information as possible. This made the Q and A great because there was real interest, not awkward silence. What’s more, the presentations were short and punchy. Everyone was able to stay tuned in and engaged, thus enabling the conference to have a nice finishing time.  PowerPoint slides were powerful points – pictures and videos only. What’s more, every presenter and senior leader was mixing and connecting with all of the delegates and available to chat. How often do you see that? Key Learns Make the content useful for your delegates Make the conference about them not you Make your PowerPoint slides “Powerful Points!” not bulleted lists and spreadsheets no one can see Delegates have a short attention span. Short and punchy works. Do you need 60 minutes to say what you could in 30? Conference 2: This was for a large team within a very large organisation. The team was made up of 10 – 12 smaller teams that made up a team of 120 people. Some of the teams were small, others around 25 people and they were spread far and wide with various roles, functions and locations. The key aim of the conference was to connect the teams on both a professional and personal level and to ensure that every team knew what the other teams were doing and how they contributed to that success of the larger team and organisation. This would enable all of the teams to work together better and to also enable greater sharing of information...

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What Is Your Teams Energy Like? What’s your energy like? What is the energy like in your team? What was the energy like at your last conference? When I say energy, I mean the pulse, the vibe, the buzz? What does it feel like when you walk into your office? Personal energy and team energy is a funny thing in many ways. It’s not something that is easily measured but we all know when it is not there. We cant always see it but we can always feel it. We all make a contribution to it every day and a negative energy has a huge impact on all aspects of our home and work life. When someone asks you what the vibe was like at a party, what do you say? Do you have an answer? We generally would. It may have had a great vibe at the beginning of the night but got worse as the evening went on. It may have had a terrible vibe early on, but once some friends arrived, the vibe was better. What is the energy like in your workplace or your team? What does it feel like when you walk into a meeting?  How does it feel when you leave the meeting? What’s the level of conversation like in the workplace? Is there a buzz? What is your own energy like? What type of energy do you take with you? What type of energy do you bring with you? Are you an energy vampire? What type of feeling do you leave behind after you interact with colleagues? Is it a great one? As you can probably gather from the questions, energy is everywhere. Every personal interaction has it, every group of people has it, every event, conference or meeting has it. Austin Powers had plenty of it, he called it his Mojo and was spent a whole movie looking for it. I visit a lot of work places around Australia and the one thing that always jumps out is the energy in the office. Sometimes it feels like a sad camp and other times it’s buzzing. We have a Media Client and every time we are in their offices it’s alive. The offices are full of colour, vibrancy and energy. You can feel it the energy. It’s a nice place to visit. What I do know, is that a great vibe is a positive thing. It makes everyone feel good. It’s infectious, it’s catching. It’s motivating, empowering and makes people smile. People enjoy coming to work where there is a great energy. You enjoy going to work when there is a great...

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