Thursday, February 5, 2009 by Dave Blum

I’m delighted to say that Monday’s Dr. Clue “Team Efficiency” program in Sacramento was a knockout!  The team, a group of 12 business analysts from Wells Fargo, was at a critical juncture in its development.  Their old business model consisted primarily of taking phone orders; by contrast, their new model was asking people to be more pro-active and consultative: not only taking information from their clients but analyzing the data and offering possible solutions.  The situation was compounded by a recent corporate merger which has the team coordinating their efforts with new, unfamiliar people — with everyone vying for the right to decide what processes and procedures are the “right” way of doing things.

Clearly this group would benefit from some new team building ideas and working on their communication, their decision making, and their efficiency…which is exactly what our program is designed to do.

The first activity was a series of our signature, tricky puzzles.  Although no one solved them all,  people certainly profited from the debrief which focused on the questions:  “How do you assess skills and delegate effectively?” and “What do you do for group morale when your team fails to complete a project?”

The second activity was a simulation about surviving on the moon, with participants ranking a variety of items, both individually and collectively, for their survival utility.   The focus of the activity was team decision process — “How do you gain consensus and mediate disagreement?”

The final activity was one of my favorite team building exercises:  a terrific boardgame called, “Break The Safe” — one of the very few commercially-produced collaborative games on the market.  People really love this game — it’s simple, it’s colorful, it’s fast-paced and you really have to work together to refine and re-engineer your efficient processes.

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