How many times have we heard John Donne, the London poet and cleric’s famous phrase. ‘No man is an island’? He wrote that in one of his sermons in 1624: “No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.”
With Social Media, The Internet, remote working, hot desking and so forth extremely prevalent to our present-day working life, never has a phrase been so true and relevant than it is right now.
Although our keyboard social skills may be getting better (debatable though) how many colleagues actually work together, know each other and are not afraid to ask a question – no matter how daft?
The initial retort generally is, ‘yes I know my work colleagues, we work well together; we talk and yes I know them’. However, once one gets past this general statement and looks deeper, most people working together, especially those in sales and large offices, do not really know their colleagues and overall do not really work together as a team for the benefit of the company. Getting through the day is generally the main goal. Going for the odd drink after work is not necessarily knowing someone. In any group there are always the extroverts and conversely the introverts.
Many people can work well on their own and very successfully in an office or sales environment however, research has shown that colleagues overall have a bigger ‘imagination’ or ‘blue skies approach’ when physically around others and given the chance to express themselves. The ‘sum of the parts’ approach.
An Ice Team Build event pulls and brings people together; they of course know their colleagues, but they will know them better when they have a fun, interesting and ‘creative’ challenge that is not money-critical or client dependent.
Working in a fun Team Building environment masks the true purpose; to allow colleagues, work-mates, associates to be creative not just in the visual sense, but also in the mental sense. Creativity leads to innovation thinking. Most people have never ‘had-a-go’ at Ice Carving; though it may be something they have admired and seen from a far but never had the opportunity to try.
At an Ice Team Build Event, people are assigned into ‘Teams’, usually three or four to a team. The team is not so big to be intimidating nor too small to put pressure on the introverted or less extrovert. Collaboration spontaneously appears. It is almost undefinable how and why it happens – but it does.
The physical tools and a raw ice block is placed in front of them; within a certain timespan given, the goal is to produce something that they as a team have collaborated on and can feel proud of.
Technology may be advancing at a pace most of us cannot keep up with, but the human nature of talking to each other, expressing ideas, trying those ideas out and ‘giving-it-a-go’ without the real-world ramifications does an enormous power of good to morale and the psyche of those present.
Some colleagues embrace modern technology (computer systems, new protocols, new methods of reporting) whole-heartedly and others will give the appearance of acceptance. However, there is no disguising the human trait of face-to-face talking and physically interacting and working together. Breaking down barriers of one department to another meeting and talking (let alone working) has helped many companies’ productivity and profitability.
As humans we are naturally gregarious. Mobiles, Intranets, Internet and CMS systems and so forth have a certain way of working. We don’t always say what we mean when we text or e-mail someone and as for predictive text… that’s another story!
Ice Team Building events create a receptive setting where people can get-on with each other and get back to that old-fashioned quality: communication. None of us are not luddites these days, but sometimes we forget we are still human and true meaningful interaction is often ignored or forgotten.