Fun on the set: team building in action

How does teamwork apply to a specific situation, like making a short film?

One person writes a script. Several others review, comment, suggest improvements.

A kind soul offers up some space. Another directs, two operate cameras, one a boom mike, another tracks it all and notes which takes work better than others. Another performs the thankless, invisible but critical job of make-up and hair. One person steps up to schedule the takes, and figure out costumes, and order pizza. A handful of others rehearse and perform for the world to see. An editor puts it all together once all of the on-set work is done.

There is no one specifically assigned the task of building a set, setting props, making coffee, updating the slate, and the hundreds of other tasks involved. If the film's going to get done, the tasks need to get done.

And it does. At least, on a recent set at which I was a participant, it did - in spades.

What's the secret behind this amazing teamwork?

It's fun.

It's a simple fact:  fun begets teamwork.

Have fun with your team, soon. You'll love the results.

 

 

Take a break

It's that time of year for many schools, from kindergarten to college:  Spring Break. A time to leave the desks, papers, and teachers' dirty looks behind and recharge the batteries with something fun, and hopefully something that takes advantage of the warmer weather and sunny skies.

Why should school kids have all the fun?

The truth is, we all need breaks from the routine. Activating the long-forgotten nodes of the brain responsible for creativity, fun, and laughter has been shown to improve concentration, morale, and productivity back in the work place.

We have some terrific options for doing just that:

  • Search Party, our scavenger-hunt style game in over a dozen locations in Portland and Seattle;
  • Alias and Alibi, an intensive immersion game of spy versus spy, also in Stumptown and Starbucksland;
  • Philanthropic or "CSR" games, anywhere you want to play them;
  • and more!

So, take a spring break, have fun... and if you need some ideas, call us!

 

   

You could always herd sheep.

We've come up with some wacky ideas for team building events in the past. Fortunately, most of them have remained where they started - in our Cheetos-fed imaginations.

Not everyone is so responsible.

According to the Telegraph, a British firm has created a new "craze" in teambuilding - sheep herding.

Yes, sheep herding. Raising the Baa, based in Wiltshire, England, claims the event "helps teams bond and develop teamwork through herding sheep into pens."

Okay. Maybe so.

But wouldn't you rather not do something that sounds just like what we have to do every day while trying to corral co-workers into staff meetings?  (Complete with the risk of stepping in you-know-what.)

We won't subject you to that, ever.

In fact, we have lots of great indoor locations in Seattle and Portland that keeps your peeps away from the sheeps. Check it out. We think you'll be much happier.

 

   

Four things strong teams must understand

Buffalo, NY-based team building expert Michael Cardus asserts that in order to build an effective team, each team member needs to understand four things:

  • What is my role in this team?
  • How much control / influence will I have in this team?
  • Will my goals / needs be met by this team?
  • What will be the level of intimacy in this team?

Thus, it makes sense that a team building event should also contribute to a team member's understanding of those four factors. In other words, look for a team building event (and company) that helps each member of your team identify:

  • His/her role on the team - starting with their role on the event team. Are they the team captain, communicator, navigator, spy?
  • What sort of input will they have on the team's success? Does the game/event encourage everyone to participate?
  • What are the goals of the team? (Win, score points, create an amazing dance routine)
  • How closely will the team need to work in order to succeed? Does the event specifically include directions and incentives for working together?

When you compare team building options, ask your team building provider how they stack up on those four factors.

And of course, we'd also want you to ask:  Is it fun?

   

What if it rains?

Often we get asked, "What if I book a game with you, and it rains?"

Rain? In the Pacific Northwest? Are you kidding? When has THAT ever happened?

Seriously, we plan ahead for weather, and we urge you to do the same.

The most sure-fired strategy is to book an indoor game. We conduct indoor events at a number of cool places, like the Art Museum and the Central Library – or at your way-cool company’s campus.

For our outdoor events, three observations.

First off, even when it rains out here, it doesn't usually rain that hard. You might get a few drops on that perfect 'do of yours, but then again, a lot of people think that's sort of sexy.

Second, we plan strategically so you can find cover as often as possible. Many games only require a quick dash from dry place to dry place.

Third, it's not hard to repel those little droplets of sunshine with a little advance planning. Hats, raincoats, even the dreaded umbrella can keep you dry between stops.

 

   

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