Team building: Build your company

Article about team-building, published in the newspaper "Your privy councilor," based on an interview with the head of "Team Building Club", February 2007. The author - journalist Mikhail Kondratovich. Please note that this article, the author expresses his personal opinion and perception.

Team building: Build your company

Here, opinions differ. Someone says that it was invented as a means of psychological assistance to veterans of Vietnam. These guys came back from the war and in the circumstances of civilian life felt his own helplessness and uselessness. Guys had to pull out of depressuhi and a state of complete helplessness. So there was a so-called "rope" course, which formed the basis for team building.

Corporate Team Building Activities in St.Petersburg, Russia

Japanese mother

However, opinions diverge really. According to another version (which seems to us the most probable), fashionable nowadays sphere of human activity - team building (teambuilding in Russian) - was born thanks to the Japanese. Oh, those Japanese! By building their own relationship with the outside world according to the canons of Zen Buddhism, they easily conquered the globe, no doubt becoming the financial and technology leaders of civilization. Introduced in the 60s in the US market, they have completely turned the submission of Americans (and later all over the world) about a current and familiar things like relationships within the workforce. Americans prosekli pretty quickly that the old customs, suggesting a selfish careerism and climb up on the head and the corpses of their own colleagues for business in general are harmful; common cause with this approach turns into implementation of a set of one ambitiously minded individuals. So the Japanese principles of team approach and corporate philosophy have been adopted, and the Americans (and then by the whole world) with a cry of "nama renge kyo mёho!" Rushed to build the notorious building relationships in the team working on the foundation of the Japanese "we are together».

Summing up the above, we can derive: team building - a set of activities and workshops designed to develop skills of team interaction in a single team. But do not be confused by the English name of this branch of human activity. Team building has a pronounced east of the eyes. Banzai!

A la Sovetique

However, as evidenced by the whole of human history, everything is new - (and below). "Alien" we Japanese-American trends prove to be totally alien. Not teambuilding whether we are doing, when in Soviet times, the whole office went to the field, "a potato"? Or lather when broken-down nags rushing on the track cursed notorious Health Day, and after winning the team championship at the nearby research institutes, with pleasure overturned duty stoshechku and its salty cucumber ennobled? We can assure you - it was an unconscious team-building, it dear, and even his cap askew proletarian would not prevent us to know "brother Kolya».


His work Nikolai began in 2003. Team building then was no longer news, but "legend" was so fresh that explain to potential customers what it sells, it was difficult. In Moscow, this business has already striding to large enterprises are willing to spend money on new-fangled gadgets. This was called the investment in staff, testified to a stable position of the enterprise and its owner promised a significant increase in the productivity of labor hired employees.

Why is productivity would go up? Nicholas answers this question: "Once in America conducted a study on the effect of light on workplace productivity of staff. At one of the plants have two shops. In the first workshop lighting left on the same level, while the second increased. The result was increased productivity in the shop № 2. And it was logical. The next stage of the experiment was to reduce the light in the test shop. Reduction was made below the seed. What happened next, logic, at first glance, does not budge. Instead of the expected reduction, productivity has increased even more. This phenomenon could be explained only by psychologists. They argued that this effect was due to the fact that the workers of the second workshop conducted experiments regarded as an expression of concern on the part of management and kick back. " The conclusion is obvious.

Now the company is no longer Nicholas is looking for clients. "All last summer we only work with clients who have called us to do - he says. - Orders were so many that plowed at the limit of their own physical and institutional capacities. Load the principle of word of mouth: we held the event, the customer liked and he recommended us to others. To date, I can not think of a second St. Petersburg company, which would have as much a solid customer base. Perhaps, in St. Petersburg, we are the largest. And their customers sincerely love ».

The collective farm - is voluntary

On the activity of the firm Nicholas said with pleasure, but sometimes stresses that many will not be able to tell, because - know-how. Argues that the competitors under the guise of customers nazvanivayut punctually and ask them to send a proposal containing the description of the activities and prices. However, the "misdirected boots» recognize quickly - it is enough to break through on the basis of the reality of the claimed business or simply to verify the 'Yellow Pages' telephone numbers on the line. What services are provided by the firm is Nicholas? Here's how he describes it: "We develop and implement measures aimed at improving staff loyalty to the company. Nothing is safe. Just one day in the company of the customer declares: "Lord, at the weekend, we all go by jeep to the ruins of the castle, where we will look for the treasure." And, indeed, employees jeep brought to the ruins, and they're really looking for the treasure. In general, you can consider it as a kind of corporate booze in style «adventure».

However, in the entertainment wrapper wrapped candy is not easy. The essence of what is happening is to ensure that the treasure can not be found without performing a number of tasks that are built on the principle of computer quest - without solving the puzzle, you can not move to the next level, and there is no workaround. In such circumstances - as close to "combat" - even the most inveterate individualist, willy-nilly, to integrate into the team and be in its interests.

«In developing the program, we aim to minimize the convention. Therefore, the mask flies instantly - confirms Nicholas. - There is a recognized need teamwork ».

Of course, there are people who initially wary of such games. Nicholas says he strongly recommends customers not to force this through staff: if someone does not want to, though not involved - the farm is voluntary. "Our event - says Nicholas - leave a lot of positive emotions; remember them for a year, and the next "refuseniks" no ».

Corporate Team Building Activities in St.Petersburg, Russia

Mao and team-building - two things are incompatible

At some point, had to admit: "Nikolai, the reason for our meeting was the one a leaflet ..." A leaflet that is remarkable in every way. It contains the basic precepts of some major Russian supermarket chain ("begin and end your day with thoughts on how to improve the performance of the Company. This is the source of your strength and freedom."), Morning Mood, urging employees to do everything possible "to my work has become easier and more efficient every day, "and even Hymn Companies that employees are singing in the morning before work in unison. Even without a vivid imagination, one can imagine as cashiers and sellers, before starting to serve buyers lined up in rows and columns and, putting his hand to his heart sing: "The work we rallied / team, our strength / unity of our bulwark / Forward "*****", forward / country we are waiting for, go ahead! "Looks like the Chinese demonstration of Mao Tse Tung, a collection of evangelists and a bunch of zombies from a Hollywood blockbuster in one bottle. Somehow, after each line like inscribe "Oh, hallelujah!". Or "Allah Akbar!».

Nicholas laughing holding his stomach. When otsmeyavshis, said: "If you think this is a manifestation of team building, you have perverted view. Normal team-builder is not engaged in the development of such nonsense. Is able to scare anyone. Thank God, we are lucky to have customers. It is quite adequate, sane people who understand what they want. There was, however, a precedent, when I did not have enough hardness to insist on their own right, and the client the opportunity to change conceptually important things. This client thought he was better than me knows this area simply because it pays the money. The result in the end came out ugly. And it taught! Since then, if the client is trying to modify fundamentally important things, we recommend that you contact him to another firm. In general, if you have something strained in team-building - is not the fault of team building; this wine team-builder, who could not properly prostroen program. Yes, we can lay the tasks that require a certain voltage physical and mental abilities. But we never offer anything that you obviously can not fulfill. Or, for example, we assume that it will cause negative.

Team building against staff shortages

Effectiveness of team building is difficult to assess. Nicholas agrees. Says that it is possible, of course, to be held in the company's monitoring, which shows the dependence of the number of effective contact management with clients from ongoing activities, but recognizes that it will be a convention in its purest form. However, according to Nicholas, team-building partly able to solve the problem of shortage of personnel: "In Russia, and everywhere in the world - staff shortages. Few sane people. Companies can search for the right employee for years. And when they find they have to deal with Head-hunting, which has become quite common. How can there be a guarantee that valuable specialist will not be offered to go to a competing structure to a similar position, but with an increase in salary? This may only be a financial guarantee. You look like increased wages over the past few years. Explain this increase only by inflation impossible. It is only ten percent per year, and wages are rising at times. Companies can not indefinitely increase the salaries of its employees, trying to tie them to a chair working ruble. Requires different tools. Can boast that we have already encountered a precedent when we carried out activities after workers refused to go to the competition, citing the fact that, say, an increase in pay is certainly good, but the old team is more valuable and more expensive, and the old leadership produces impression of normal people ».

Kickbacks are not rolled

In general, customers Nicholas - a large commercial structures. Nicholas says that these companies are so firmly stand on their feet, that they have sufficient funds that can be invested in staff. From government agencies to the services of Nicholas drew one known design bureau. But emphasizes Nicholas, with government agencies to cooperate difficult: "Our company basically does not work with setbacks. A public enterprises - is often rolled back. However, our doors, they say, is open to all, but the state institutions themselves rarely call us. "

The main question

Keep from this issue was not possible.

- Nicholas, tell me, if your services are needed in a business survival?

- Good question. Somewhere in the 90's we have with our services would be sent as far as possible, because there was no money available. And now, when there is so much money, why not invest in staff? Because people will be pleased. And if they will be pleased, they will pay back the same.

Michael Kondratovich