Monday, June 8, 2009 by Dave Blum
On Friday in this blog, I was discussing last Wednesday’s Dr. Clue treasure hunt in South Beach, Miami for Wiginton Corporation.  The particular topic on my mind was: “Should Managers Take Part in Your Teambuilding Program?”  I continue to find this a very relevant question.  When managers (and team leaders) participate in a teambuilding program, the folks below them in the hierarchy most certainly behave differently.  This can be both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on 1) What you want participants to take away and 2) What you want to learn about people through observation.  In the case of last Wednesday’s office team building activity in Miami, it was clear that the players looked to the company owner, Alan, for guidance.  When he declined to provide direction, the team clearly experienced a leadership gap.   Although in retrospect Alan felt a little bad about his team’s poor performance, I think that he and his leadership staff learned some valuable lessons from the experience.  So that’s a learning point for all of us trainers and team building consultants to remember:  when a program goes wrong, you can often harvest it for meaning and turn failure to success!

On Friday, I ran the second round of scavenger hunts for Wiginton, this time in downtown Orlando.   Alan and his co-organizer, Steve Browne, opted this time to sit out the hunt, allowing the participants of the office team building game to play the the activity themselves, without management interference.  Everyone did great…and perhaps most importantly, Alan and Steve could concentrate on observing other people’s leadership potential.

Click on the image below to to hear what Steve Browne (Human Resource Director at Wiginton Corporation) had to say about the outcomes of his business team building exercise: