Form a Community: Why Team Building is Dead

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: April 20, 2015

I’m often asked about how to best motivate teams. The common belief, of course, being that some type of event or intervention is the best way to energize, invigorate and build renewed collaboration.

My experience has been, however, that although such an event yields some initial benefits, there are few long term benefits that can be realized.

The reason why might surprise you.

Team Building as an event typically doesn’t make any of the members more enthusiastic about being part of the team. It only serves to bring realization to the fact that the group can work as a team. This may seem sufficient at first blush, but once employees return to their working environment where the same challenges, interruptions, personality conflicts and politics exist, the energy can quickly diminish.

The only true means of creating a more collaborative team over the long term is to build a leadership community.

Think about it this way.

In order to attract and retain the best talent, the key question that must be crystal clear is what’s in it for them. Put another way, for individuals to possess a desire to contribute to their team, there must be a clear reason for them to join, stay and get involved.

  • A community is supported by (not managed by) a centralized body voted in by members.
  • A community recognizes and values all members for their individual contribution.
  • A community will naturally evoke those who threaten the stability or safety of the community.
  • A community ebbs and flows as the needs of the infrastructure shift.

If companies the size of Google and Zappos can achieve this, why can’t you?

Question: How are you creating a work environment that employees actually want to join, participate in and remain a part of?

© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.

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