Your Inner Brad Pitt: Team Building Nonsense

Subject: Your Inner Brad Pitt: Team Building Nonsense
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 13:13:04 -0800 (PST)

> Has anyone ever been on a corporate or project "team building" course - the
> kind where you do trust exercises, and perhaps go on an adventure? I've
> been asked to find something interesting for new project teams, to get them
> bonded in a hurry.

> Can anyone recommend something?

How about getting some real work done so your company can be profitable and
continue to hire people with whom you can bond.

> What is your opinion of such activities for bring a team together? Will it
> really help the tw's, qa people, developers, etc bond into a more effective
> team?

>>Grin<< - something new for me to beat on.

You cannot FORCE people to bond. People bond when they understand their
environment, responsibilities, and expectations. They bond when management acts
as a role model and shows the employees how to behave responsibly and
professionally. You cannot MAKE two (or more) people work well together. You
have to give them the tools, support, and leadership so they can forge their
own bonds. You also have to facilitate those bonds by introducing people and
making sure they remain in contact.

You want to make people bond - lead them. Show them what they need to do and
what you expect of them. You want a team to work well - then demonstrate by
example how two people should work together. Give people a difficult task, open
up the lines of communication, lay down expectations and goals, and then
facilitate those connections.

Team building seminars are a total waste of time and money. It is merely a
placebo to make people feel better and use meaningless phrases like "consensus
building" and "synergy centers". You want to build a team, give them a project
and then manage that project properly. Assign responsibilities, schedule
reviews, make people live up to their promises, punish the lazy, reward the
industrious. Good teams start with good management.

I find it rather irrisponsible and pathetic when managers sock off "team
building" exercises to employees. Basically, when management does this they
are saying: "We are too important and self-absorbed to waste our precious time
to dirty our hands with you little cretins." If the author's manager wants to
find a better way to make teams bond, maybe he/she should start by being a
better manager.

If that fails, then just go out into the parking lot and beat the snot out of
each other. It does not really accomplish anything, but it sure feels good.

Andrew Plato

"The first rule of TECHWR-L is you do not talk about TECHWR-L."

I Saw Fight CLub this weekend, I have released my inner Brad Pitt.




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