Team building activities
No other TV show has successfully packaged the harshness of business life with brutal interpersonal competition to match the BBC’s The Apprentice. The long walks of doom towards the boardroom and the no-nonsense rulings from Sir Alan Sugar are dramatic to watch!
Whist we definitely recreate all the inter-team rivalry and many other elements from the TV show, the overriding factors in our own team building event version – Team Apprentice – are sheer fun and creative team thinking.
Team Apprentice starts in familiar dramatic style with participants asked to stand while our very own Sir Alan Sugar Rush enters the room, totally in character, with his stern faced assistants. From this moment on, the fun, pressure and healthy competition begin as teams try to avoid the immortal words “Your Fired”!
With a series of interactive team tasks to complete against the clock throughout this popular team building activity, together with occasional team reshuffling, participants get to put all their business acumen into practice. Teams have to think practically, financially and even aesthetically to successfully complete tasks before regrouping in the boardroom to face you know who!
Our Team Apprentice event is very flexible. It can be run as an immersive full-day experience or just for half a day. We can make use of outside locations, if required, or you can completely avoid the rain with participants completing the tasks indoors instead.
Our skilful actors really do make this unique team building activity special, as they seamlessly maintain the flow and energy throughout the day. Sir Alan Sugar Rush is hilarious and regularly pops up when participants least expect him with probing questions and a knowing smile. As each task comes to an end, the pressure mounts and final touches and last minute changes are fussed over.
Team Apprentice lets participants see whole new sides to their colleagues as they work in very new ways together. Leadership, patience and compromise all play a vital part in achieving team success.
So, if you want to have a completely entertaining team building event with all the thrills and spills of the hit TV show, then just give the office a call and tell them ”You’re Hired”! For more information about Team Apprentice, or any of our events, please contact us.
Please don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list to receive our weekly blogs directly by email.
We have recently been asked to contribute to a magazine article about shyness and engagement of participants in conferences and team building events and I thought they would good topics for today.
Companies invest thousands – sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds – in conferences and team building, often to communicate a vision or create a sense of belonging and worth among participants.
It’s no secret that, especially at work, most of us feel most comfortable in ‘normal’ surroundings doing ‘normal’ things. Within conferences and team building events, people are taken outside of their traditional environment. There is the general assumption (and perhaps pressure) that everyone should mix, network and get along with their peers and immediate employers. Potentially, there is a huge cocktail of anxiety, self-consciousness and fear.
In this challenging environment, we at Creative Team Events are typically asked to introduce an interactive activity that is physical, emotionally revealing and, above all else, new. It’s our job as facilitators to get every individual – whatever their personality – engaging with others, to get results. The world is full of many different people with different personalities who react to situations in many different ways. Furthermore, how people feel on the day will also impact on how they will engage with their colleagues on the task in hand.
We see the initial emotions of surprise, fear and anxiety every day as we observe people walking back in from coffee or lunch to find their meeting room transformed into a zombie dance class (for our Thriller event), or to find themselves facing rampaging half-naked Haka warriors!
We achieve results by getting everyone to try something unique that:
- encourages learning
- allows people to see a totally new side to themselves and their colleagues
- produces group success.
In these days of faceless communication and silo working, this has to be a positive!
Facilitation is critically important to achieve engagement of all participants. In my personal experience, humour and expertise are key ingredients for successful facilitation. Gently and intellectually teasing a group to laugh at the facilitator and themselves is the secret to winning trust and respect. However, humour alone is not enough for some. Before some people will engage in the task being asked of them, they need to fully respect the authority and expertise of the lead facilitator.
In all our events, there is space for gregarious extroverts to be in the limelight or shy introverts to be in the background supporting. Knowing instinctively how to manage this is the secret to all-round happy engagement.
As people respond to learning in different ways, successful facilitation also requires the use of a range of tools to engage everyone, including:
- aural methods (for example, the way the facilitator uses language and his or her voice)
- visual methods (for example, the facilitator’s body language)
- kinesthetic methods (for example, how the physical act is performed).
Through many years of facilitation experience, I have found that the faces of some participants can sometimes look strained or worried while they are learning new skills such as drumming, singing or dancing. However, they have later revealed that they were simply “concentrating” and that they were brimming with excitement and having a fantastic experience!
We are very fortunate to have a long client list of high-profile corporate companies. Companies in the UK currently lead the world in regularly providing conferences, team days, incentives and off-site experiences for employees. This means that a lot of corporate organisations in the UK are used to, and have come to expect, grand entertainment or elaborate team building activities at conferences and off-site meetings.
In contrast, charitable organisations all over the UK, which are working tirelessly in their relevant areas, rarely get this luxury. Whenever possible, we try to help and get involved.
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to work with an organisation that had never held a conference before. The buzz and positive energy, as everyone met up with old and new colleagues, was lovely to experience. Blenheim CDP provides help and support to alcohol and drug users, and their families. Blenheim CDP provides workable strategies to overcome these complex physical and psychological dependences, demonstrating that recovery is truly achievable.
As you can imagine, the therapists, group leaders and indeed everyone working in this vital, yet underfunded, sector rarely, if ever, get to experience corporate activities like ours. To say they relished every second might be an understatement!
As a change to how we normally work, delegates had been asked to pre-select the breakout activities that they wished to attend. Flatteringly, our first drumming session was oversubscribed. As news quickly spread about how much fun and how unique our drumming workshop was, we soon needed more chairs. This was quite strange for us as, if you have read our previous blog posts, almost everything we do is a complete surprise to everyone but the MD or organiser!
We provided three short sessions throughout the day, and we all had a ball. In just under 30 minutes, everyone taking part had created such a sense of fun and collaboration together that they didn’t want to leave! This is the effect that drumming typically has on people.
Rapidly, each group was led towards creating their own unique team drumming performance. The multitude of smiles, kind words and warm handshakes afterwards made each session totally rewarding.
I had a thoroughly fantastic time and want to thank Helen and Tony for looking after me and helping move all the drums! I wish Blenheim CDP continued success with their vital work.