team building

Why you don’t have a 6-pack and your team building sucks

Last weekend I got into a heated debate with some friends of mine at a braai, the well-known saying “knowledge is power” came up in conversation as we were prepping the fire. I contested it on the basis that knowledge is nothing but potential. Now of course, this is one of the more well-known sayings that everyone and their dog has heard, so initially, a couple of people came to its defence.

My situation was looking dire… I could feel my chances of changing their perspective start to wane. Winning the debate was a far off dream. I was beginning to look like the other cooked chops at the braai. I needed to formulate rebuttal and do so, fast. Then I had an idea.

I asked the group who wanted a 6-pack? Obviously, everyone admitted to wishing they had one. I then asked if they were all aware that doing sit-ups would give them this 6-pack they wanted, everyone said yes. Except for Luke, who went off on a rant about how diet and overall exercise played a role too, not just merely sit-ups… There’s always that guy.

See if knowledge was power, I explained, everyone here would have 6-packs… Yet you don’t, even though you know what you need to do to get one.

Take for instance a general going into battle; Insider knowledge on your enemy’s battle plan is only going to give you the upper hand if you exploit it. Simply knowing their movements is not enough, the only thing that knowledge does is give you the potential to use that information to your advantage. In order to actually gain that advantage, you need to action something.

Furthermore, the amount of knowledge determines the size of the potential. Sure sit-ups will get you a 6-pack eventually, if that’s all you know. However like Luke said earlier (yeah yeah, he was right), if you have a greater knowledge of fitness and diet – you could achieve your goal much faster. To go back to our battle example, the deeper your knowledge of the enemy’s plans are, the more precisely you can take advantage of it.

While winning braai debates has somewhat turned into a hobby of mine, this one, in particular, stuck with me. I realised how detrimental this apathetic mindset could be. That’s why I’m writing this blog. What does the manifestation of this equate to in the real business, within team-building, or fields of expertise?

When people run these events, things go incredibly well, everyone learns more about working together effectively while doing the activities. However, they then go back to the office and leave everything they just learned behind – going back to their old ways. Leaders make the assumption that their employees have more knowledge about collaborating now. This is not the case and does not translate into the work environment.

This is one of our main focuses at 21Tanks, turning activities into actions. Making sure that the momentum of the lessons learned, is maintained. We want the effort and investment you put into your next event to move the needle of your business. Frankly, you deserve it and so does your team.

Tired of same old team building? Give us a call to see how we can empower your team through game-based strategic team building and facilitation.

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Brainstorming 21Tanks

5 ways to make sure that your brainstorms don’t suck

Brainstorms usually suck and drain your creativity without yielding real results. No more we say! Here are 5 ways to make sure that your brainstorms don’t suck.

1: Start before the storm
 At 21Tanks, pre-discovery is a big part of the process. Once your group is in the room, they become a single unit. You need to get some individual thinking in the mix. Ask three relevant questions to all attendees before the process begins. Get ideas in writing.
 
2: Get perspective
If you can, bring an outsider into every brainstorm, the less you can tell them before you start the better. Your brainstorm needs fresh thinking, not more of the same.
 
3: Don’t ask the bosses
The last voice in the room you want to hear from is the big cheese. Don’t get me wrong, we want to know what they think, we just don’t want them to influence every thought. Ask them, just ask them last.
 
4: Structure is key
The biggest mistake people make with brainstorms is they think that they’re a complete free-for-all – they’re not. Your thinking needs to be free, but the best way to do that is with a structured process. There are many numbers of these online, or you can develop your own, just make sure that your process drives the room to fulfil an objective.
 
5: Shorter is better:
These whole day affairs seem like a good idea – they’re not. Within an hour or two everyone becomes “invested” in an idea or two, from that point, all perspective is lost. If I had an hour to spend, I’d spend 15-mins on setting the scene, 30 minutes on ideation, and 15-minutes on working out the executable next steps. 
 
Luckily, if you need some help in this regard, you can download Do Ideas for free. You’re welcome.
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