Tuesday, November 11, 2008 by Dave Blum

My wife and I met with our financial planner, Jacques Bolivar, last evening to discuss the economic climate, our finances and the advisability of buying property.  I suspect this kind of conversation is pretty common these days, as people around the world look at the news in the papers, turn to “experts”, and ask, “Are we in a Depression?”, “How long will it all last?”, and “What should we do?” The problem, of course, is that the experts don’t know.  It’s all guesswork at this point.  About the only thing anyone can say for sure is, “The economy is down and it’s likely to stay that way for awhile.”

As an “expert” in corporate team building activities, all I can do is guess about what the down economy will mean to my industry.  Here are three teambuilding trends that I predict will accelerate as we move further into this economic downtown/recession/depression:

Prediction 1:  Team building budgets will be reduced.
This is a no-brainer, as all departments will be tightening their belts.

Prediction 2: More team building will be done virtually.
Along with training budget reductions, expect to see cuts in employee travel.  Look for organizations to move as much team building as they can to the internet, via web and video teleconferencing.

Prediction 3: Organizations will seek out more “edutainment”.
During the Great Depression of the 30’s, people increasingly turned to the movies for escapism.  Expect to see a rise in purely “fun” teambuilding, with an emphasis on morale and entertainment (rather that “serious”, goals-oriented team training).

In my next blog entry, I’ll discuss some new team building ideas, team building activities and team building exercises for responding to this new economic environment.