Bump Set Teamwork

Every week for over 15 years now, I’ve spent my Sunday afternoons playing pick-up volleyball in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The group’s official name is the San Francisco International Volleyball Club, but it’s not as organized as all that. There are no league tournaments to compete in, no trophies awarded at the end of a successful season. Our interest lies simply in laughing and joking with friends, and playing the game that we all love.

Every session of Sunday volleyball plays out like a Homeric epic, a Shakespearean tragedy. There’s laughter and tears; emergent heroes; flaring tempers; and occasionally, some truly superior volleyball.

If ever there was a spot to observe teams and team dynamics in action – in all their glorious successes and ignominious failures – this is the place!

Birth of a Clue

Over the years, a lot of people have been curious to know about how I got into the teambuilding/clue business. To which I answer, “What, being a Treasure Hunt Master is not a normal career!” As I’ve related my story, however, people have frequently told me that they found it inspiring and worth sharing.

So here, then, is my story, alternately titled: The Reluctant Entrepreneur

Getting a Clue with Teambuilding Treasure Hunts

Racing down the street on a cool Colorado morning, the treasure hunt team converges on Denver’s retro baseball stadium, Coors Field. One team member clutches a map and a list of street names; another bears a digital camera; a third has her eyes glued to a wristwatch; the fourth wields a reference book; and the fifth holds a full-color clue sheet. The group’s instructions for this clue are as follows: “Split the distance between three baseball statues, then look down for a 5-letter name beginning with ‘P‘”. As two teammates pace off the instructions, a third player shrieks “Eureka!” There at her feet — equidistant to all — is a dedication brick siting Rockies’ benefactor Julian Ponce. The team earns itself 10,000 points! But wait: they have nine more clues to go…

Whether the venue is Denver’s LoDo district, New Orleans’ French Quarter, San Francisco’s Chinatown, a tropical island or somewhere under the sea, treasure hunting has an almost irresistible attraction—as old, perhaps, as civilization itself.

7 Steps for Choosing the Right Teambuilding Company

Run a Google search under “team building” and behold the dizzying array of entries scrolling down your screen: drumming circles, fire walks, laser tag, paint ball, team cuisine, murder mysteries, treasure hunts, ropes courses, improvisational theater – the list goes on and on. Choosing the right team building company from the myriad options can be like picking a cereal from your average supermarket breakfast row – all the boxes are pretty and well-packaged, but what is really the best-tasting and most nutritious meal for the price?

Whether it’s cereal for your family or team building for your corporate meeting, the key to making informed choices is knowing your group and understanding your expectations. Following the seven steps below can start you on the right track to selecting that one right team building company for your organization.

Because I Said I Would…

While on my way to North Carolina this past week, I discovered a fascinating article in Southwest Airlines’ Spirit Magazine, entitled “The Everyday Action Hero”.  It tells the story of 28-year-old Alex Sheen, founder of Because I Said it Would, a nonprofit dedicated to “bettering humanity through the power of…

Choosing Clients the Old-Fashioned Way: Interview Them!

Scan the Web and you’ll find countless articles providing tips for fool-proof employee interviews, guaranteed to separate the wheat from the chaff, the gold nuggets from the pail of sand.   Although fine for companies and organizations looking to bring on new staff (or new vendors), these articles fail to serve…

The Power of Choice

There once was a knight of the Round Table who met a beautiful woman — fair of skin with long, raven hair — and took her to court to marry her.   Little did the knight know that his bride-to-be was bewitched by a terrible spell, cast upon her by an…

A Face in the Crowd

The other day while looking up something on Wikipedia, I was greeted by a prominent note at the top of the page asking me for a mere $3.00 donation to fund the website’s ongoing efforts.    Wikipedia is an amazing, volunteer service, right  – the modern equivalent of the Oxford English…

Going, Going… Lagaan

When thinking about fun ways to spend an evening, I’m guessing very few people say to themselves, “You know, tonight I’d sure like to watch a 4-hour historical epic about cricket—with lots of Bollywood dancing.”   And yet, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting, especially if we’re talking about Aamir Khan’s lavish…

What is Success?

  If you’ve ever watched “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (and who hasn’t?), you know that Indiana Jones doesn’t really have a choice; he must find the Ark of the Covenant (with all its mysterious power) before the bad guys or leave the entire world at dire risk.  For Indy,…