A busy summer…

Autumn seems to have arrived with some force and it’s prompted reflection on what’s been a very busy summer for us.

It’s mostly been about our Property Trading Game which we’ve run six times with the teams from Crossrail – everyone from Senior Managers to the Apprentices (that said it does help one of our partners is in the OD team!), once with the global marketing team from Dollar Financial (thanks to VP Digital Marketing David Henry for that one) and finally our ‘there is such a thing as a free lunch’ open day – where 15 brave volunteers came and played on what must have been one of the hottest days of the summer.

A good time was had by all it seemed and apart from some tired feet there’s been some superb reflection and discussion in the post-game sessions we’ve been part of.

So apart from a little light trumpet blowing that’s it apart from sharing two of our favourite pictures from our busy summer. The first from the Open Day where the team chose the ‘Ascent of Man’ for their inventive team picture

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And the second from early September where one of the teams from Dollar Financial invented a new performance art – tube ballet, which they demonstrated to a packed rush hour metropolitan line tube. Our only challenge after that event is the lady from Finland who wants to play the game with her team – may have to be our portable version ‘Bid the Grid’!

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Hope you all had a good summer and remember to give us a shout if you have a team build at risk of being boring!

Why we do what we do…

If you have ever run or been involved in a team build or leadership development programme you have at one point or another built a bridge. We’d put money on it – everyone has! The bridge may have been over a real river with proper planks (you worked in banking) or more likely in a hotel room involving bamboo sticks, string, sellotape etc

The funny thing about the bridge building exercise is that like it or not it provokes behaviour HOWEVER (and this is a big however) it’s not always natural behaviour and if you asked us the question why do we do what we do then the answer would involve number 1 in the list below.

Types of behaviour witnessed in bridge building:

1. “Watch Me”: the person who is nice as pie and spends at least 30% of their time looking over their shoulder, smiling at the observers and who’s every gesture says ‘watch me be an awesome member of this team’

2. “Face:Bovered”: the people to whom this contrived load of nonsense is a complete waste of their time when they could really be doing some proper work

3. “Mr (or Ms) Helpful”: these people contribute to the team by being the nicest politest people and doing everything they can to be as helpful as they can

4. “PANIC”: ‘they’re watching me, I will screw something up, I will do it wrong, my career will end now’ and FREEZE

5. “Say nothing is best”: these people are helpful, pass, fetch, carry, stick etc but could be confused for mutes – they say very little

6. “The Silent Assassin”: who can easily be mistaken for a “Say nothing is best” but who will wait until either “Watch me” or “Mr Helpful” have made a complete cat’s breakfast of it, step in, say a few things and completely save the day. Timing is everything

As people who regularly run such sessions we were fed up of standing in the corner of a hotel room watching the inevitable play out and secretly wanting to strangle the “Watch me” person so we decided to do something different. What started with The Property Trading Game has grown into a list of games and simulations that can be used to avoid the above but there’s enough about that on here already so in short, why do we do what we do? To avoid strangulation!