CHALLENGES IN Team Building – OUR Services
Team Building at Evocatus is usually an activity on the way to meeting a wider challenge. In our experience, a demand to resolve challenges in team building is usually a result of a wider challenge which an organisation is trying to meet. These challenges could be about strategy development, communication or even about developing attitudes and leadership skills across the team. Everything we do is bespoke – we believe in the power of playing games and taking part in exercises, but we design our events to fit our client’s precise requirements, rather than rolling out the same activities. The team ends up being stronger, but team building is part of a wider process to help the organisation towards their goals. Finally, we believe in playing games because they are good fun; we work really hard to strike the right balance; stretching and challenging participants in a way that is fun and constructive.
TEAM BUILDING STRATEGY GAMES
As part of an organisation’s strategy development, we can run exercises which can allow every individual to engage with and contribute to the plan to deliver on the purpose and priorities of their team. This also provides an opportunity for leaders to fully understand the talent and experience on their team and how each individual responds to responsibility and pressure.
TEAM BUILDING COMMUNICATION GAMES
Team building communication games are most useful when an organisation is operating in stovepipes and struggling to focus the team’s energies on to their strategic ends. This might be down to difficulties in explaining the strategy across the business or might be down to cultural resistance to change. Our most effective game to date was helping a huge global company build consent for an important change management programme. Senior managers had tried to explain the need for change with presentations, but it was only by experiencing the emotional engagement created in a communications wargame that the team recognised the problem faced across the business and the need for change.
TEAM PROBLEM SOLVING GAMES
All the best team building exercises have a directly relevant context which allow every team member to demonstrate their unique skills and talents. These sorts of exercises can be run across a wide area, along the lines of a detective story, with roleplayers and movie content providing parts of the narrative and the details which players will use to develop solutions to the challenge they face. Mechanics such as restricting managers to base location and restricting their communications causes them to rely on their team as agents and to concentrate on delegation and giving clear instructions. Designing a game to fit exactly with the skills and characters in the team under development takes work, but the value of developing individuals as part of the team is significant; diverse teams are only more effective in an inclusive culture, where different viewpoints are not just heard but valued.
SCENARIO BASED TEAM BUILDING
Easier to keep in context, our scenario-based games use scenarios which could face the client’s team and, ideally, put individuals into different roles from those they usually hold. This could mean that the sales and marketing team become stakeholders or competitors, but could also mean that the finance team get to experience the challenges faced by logistics, HR or operations. These games not only build mutual understanding and strategic thinking across the team, but also allow for leaders to rehearse options for dealing with identified risks and opportunities.
The Evocatus bespoke team building service
Every team building event we run is bespoke. As well as using our experience of designing and delivering complex military exercises, we try to bring as many ideas and mechanics as we can from the tabletop gaming world; this allows us to deliver team building challenges without complete reliance on outdoor activities. Although we are happiest out of doors, an indoor exercise is often more realistic if time or budget is short.
We always start from the client’s requirements; nailing this down often takes a bit of work, but we will make sure we know exactly what you want to achieve before we start the design process; everything starts with “Why?” Given the benefit of our experience leading teams and designing exercises, we are usually able to sharpen a slightly fuzzy need for team building into a focussed, problem solving experience for the organisation’s people.
In practice, most events we run are a blend of those described above; even in the most strategy-focussed games, there is benefits to be gained in the development of communication, trust and confidence and in those games with an emphasis on fostering inclusive, innovative teams there will often be some insight which supports strategy development.
The Evocatus approach starts with a specific requirement and is then not complete until delivery is completed by an After Action Review; it is through this reflective process that the emotions, frustrations and insight of the game can be identified, discussed and understood within the context of theoretical tools and models which individuals and the team may find useful. Depending on the level of sophistication required, this review could be supported by specialists, such as psychologists, or by experienced mentors who can coach leaders using their own experience. We can also use technology including GPS tracking and drone tech to be able to play back the action to the team, providing them with a more complete view of events than they will have had during the game.
At Evocatus, our focus is on using engagement through games to help businesses achieve their objectives, using our experience as leaders, decision makers, trainers and exercise designers. We are confident that we have the key skills to deliver truly transformational team building activities, but are equally confident that the best events will use the expertise of others, depending on the client’s needs. Our strong links to small businesses offering services as diverse as film-making and organisational psychology in the UK and beyond mean that we have a constant feed of new ideas, innovations and context to make sure we can deliver exactly what our clients are hoping for.
Where we operate
Our base at Hartham Park in Wiltshire is a perfect setting for team building games: Swindon, Bristol and Bath are all within very easy reach. Alternatively, we routinely travel to deliver exercises at an organisation’s own offices or at an entirely different location; this can be particularly effective when a corporate away-day or meeting incorporates team building scenario games. London and other major cities with good public transport networks provide an ideal place to run problem solving games; Swindon and other regional hubs tend to provide more options for getting out into the countryside or for using larger indoor spaces without breaking the budget.
If you are interested in using our Team Building services for your organisation or company then please get in touch to discuss your requirements.