What are some of the very best team building simulations available to companies and consultants?
There are a number of formal, packaged, team building exercises available in the marketplace, things that can be licensed to companies and consultants for business improvement. Some have a leadership development focus, while some focus on collaboration and communications. Some focus on culture change and organizational alignment while others teach different aspects of collaboratively running a business.
What simulations have you used or been involved with?
When I think of all the team-building events I've organized over the years, the most polarizing thing that jumps out is not the event, but what made the difference between good events and bad ones.
Engagement. People who just don’t want any part of team-building – they just don’t want to be there – period, the end. When those people can't be engaged, they negatively impact the entire event. With that said, I find that you need a very strong facilitator who can engage the whole group and pull a little bit from everyone, not just the small vocal group that every company has.
Here's one that did more than just teach fundamental principles. I've done a bunch of Lean Manufacturing exercises with various groups that have a unique and unintended response that relates to team building. It’s a learning experience that demonstrates the benefits of using Lean Manufacturing methods in a make-to-stock operation to achieve breakthrough business performance that would otherwise never occur in a traditional work environment.
We do four very interactive rounds to demonstrate what's possible - “Business as Usual” – we add “Lean Foundations” – we add “Cycle Time Reduction” – we then shift to “Demand-Based” manufacturing. Through, the addition of techniques, reframing thoughts and perceptions, and a cursory understanding of “Lean Processes.” there is increased throughput, reduction of bad work and the removal of chaos. When people are happy, doing a great job, and understand what every team member has to do for the system to work – poof! There is an unintended team-building effect that is magical.
Many people get “Lean” all wrong and automatically think it's about making a physical product. Not so. Lean is the elimination of waste in all forms. The manufacturing part is the easiest, whereas the internal information flow tends to be more difficult. That includes accounting, order processing, and customer service.