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Building Teams-Ketan Deshpande Ambit Inc

Ketan Deshpande Ambit Inc Minnesota MN

Building Team Is Important

High performance teams are the backbone of any successful company and are critically important to executing the strategy, driving Change Management, and Conflict Resolutions

The perfect team feels so good. Everyone is having fun, working hard and supporting each other to perform at their best.

It can be tough to create a truly perfect team. Try these 6 ways to get started:

Get the right skills at the table

The #1 need for a perfect team is to have the ideal balance of skills. Each person strengths should overcome everyone else’s weaknesses. For example, an early stage software company typically needs 3 people: a designer, a programmer and a salesman.

Hire people who make you laugh

The perfect team doesn’t just run on productivity. Truly great teams have fun in whatever they do. This keeps people motivated, energized and eager to support each other. Never underestimate the power of laughter to break tension and bring everyone closer together.

Create simple processes for communication

High performing teams over-communicate and ensure that nobody is left in the dark. This helps to keep everyone as productive as possible. This means having weekly team meetings, sharing status updates with a tool like Weekly Update, and never hesitating to walk over to someone’s desk or give them a call to clarify a question or concern.

Be radically transparent

The best teams have no time for ambiguity. If something is broken, you need to talk about it in the open and figure out a way to fix it. If someone isn’t doing their job correctly, they need genuine feedback so they can improve. The perfect team consists of people who say what they mean, and mean what they say.

Never tolerate failure to pull your weight

Imagine the perfect team as a human pyramid, where people are standing on top of each other, the people at the bottom supporting those above. Each person must do their part, or else the entire pyramid falls down. We are all relying on each other to deliver.

Set the bar high and realistic

Perfect teams set ambitious goals, and are also realistic in what is achievable. You must avoid demoralizing the team by setting goals that they always miss. I’ve found that the best teams consistently analyze data to understand what is realistic, and then identify ways they can push themselves to beat the odds and achieve big goals.

Successful large companies invest in team building

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Fortune 500 companies will probably have thousands of employees but at the end of the day it’s broken up to smaller regional companies, smaller offices, smaller departments and even smaller teams. Team building exercises probably won’t be effective if there are too many people there. But that doesn’t mean you can’t break it into small teams with people that actually work together.

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A barbecue for everyone to eat together and get to know each other a little more. A cooking experience (/competition) could be an interesting idea. A cruise on a ship will get the employees to hang out for a couple of days and create awesome memories together.

At the end of the day, the purpose is to do something different but simple, that everyone can enjoy and feel included.

Smaller organization…no problem there are simple activities to build teams

Team building activities are a great way to boost the morale of team members and a sure technique of bringing out the creativity of the team. For a small company, following team building activities are best suited:

1- Sneak a peak

What you’ll need:

  • Lego’s or any kind of building blocks.

Instructions:

  • Divide everyone into 2 teams with an equal number of members on each side
  • Choose a facilitator, who’s not a part of any team (could be anyone: no special skills required)
  • Ask the facilitator to build a random structure, that can be replicated, using the building blocks
  • Make sure to keep the structure away from teams, preferably in a separate room
  • Now, one player from each team is allowed to come and look at the structure for 10 seconds, go back, and instruct the team on how to build the exact replica for 25 seconds
  • As per the defined time frame, another player goes and takes a sneak peak of the structure, comes back, and guide
  • The process is repeated until each member of the team has had a sneak peek at the structure
  • The team that builds it first, wins!

Objective: For this activity, team members get to explore their true problem-solving skills, PLUS play with LEGO’S! Who doesn’t love Lego’s?

2- Build a bridge

What you’ll need:

  • Materials for bridge building. Could be anything ranging from straws, pieces of wood, paper, pipes, or even random toy bricks
  • Measuring tapes
  • Notepads for drawing

Instructions:

  • Divide the individuals into teams (ideally two)
  • Allocate spaces to them in a way that one team cannot see another team’s work
  • Supply them the bridge building materials and clock the time
  • Now, the catch here is that both the teams are supposed to build each half of the bridge and are supposed to communicate verbally with each other the way they’re building their half
  • At the end of the allocated time, both the teams are to join their halves to complete the bridge
  • The trick here is to build the bridge as close to your opponent’s as possible

A common issue:

When the teams are building bridges and communicating with each other, they can get into conflict and disturbance can erupt. To avoid such a catastrophe, try to appoint a leader for each team responsible for all communication and conflict management.

Objective: This team building activity helps in strengthening the communication skills of individuals because teams have to brainstorm and come up with ideas to build the perfect bridge.

3- Team Jigsaw

What you’ll need:

  • Boxes of a jigsaw puzzle

Instructions:

  • Make two teams and hand each team a box of puzzle
  • A trick here is to mix just a few pieces of one box with the other (Shh, don’t tell the teams)
  • Give the teams a time limit and ask them to start solving it
  • Once they begin working, they’ll realize there are some missing and some extra pieces in their puzzle
  • Eventually, they’ll figure out that they need to work together to solve their respective puzzles
  • Ask the teams to work together until the puzzles are solved within the specified time limit

Objective: In this process of solving puzzles, teams will learn how to work together and communicate effectively.

4- Shipwrecked

What you’ll need:

  • Just a few printouts with pictures of some survival items (and lots of patience) 😉

Instructions:

  • Divide the participants into 2 teams (or as many as you want- you decide!)
  • Set up a small area, representing a wreckage, with pictures of some survival items in case of a shipwreck. Some of these could be different kinds of food, ropes, flares, torch, weapons, and sextant
  • Make sure the items are limited so that the teams are forced to communicate and barter
  • Now ask the teams to take 25 minutes to get all the survival items, that they think are essential, and rank them in order of their importance
  • Team members must collaborate and mutually decide the items they think they cannot survive without. They can negotiate with the opposing team to get the desired items, according to their needs

Objective: There is no winner or loser in this game (not everything is about winning now). This team building activity tests the individual problem-solving skills of a person and shows how they handle clash of views while ranking the survival items.

Successful strategic leaders invest heavily in building strong and high performance teams to realize their strategic vision. 

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ketandeshpande_maplegrove_MNThe author, Ketan Deshpande, principal consultant at Ambit Inc., lives in Minnesota and writes about a variety of topics in his blog such as global economy, market and industry trends, successful strategies for businesses, and others. Leveraging his global strategic leadership experience from the manufacturing industry to offer insights in to how businesses can meet the sustainable growth and profitability goals.

KetanDeshpande_MapleGrove_Minnesota_MNKetan Deshpande is also passionate about sustainability and renewable energy; he curates and shares latest updates in his blog posts. Recently the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency(SMMPA) of Litchfield, Minnesota, endorsed Ketan Deshpande for an energy conservation project.

This blog also features memorable events, travel experiences and his favorite places to visit in the great state of Minnesota.

One thought on “Building Teams-Ketan Deshpande Ambit Inc

  1. This hit the spot for me. As a small business owner I see this as the biggest issue for me focus on. I only employ 2 part timers and sometimes I wonder if we are all on the same page or not. I really liked the activities small business like mine could review doing together

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