Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Team building


The Norwegian national team has a meeting coming up this weekend. Bjornar Valstad wrote a bit about it:

The schedule for the fall meeting includes an evaluation of the 2003 season, planning for next season and, among other things, "Team Building" .... A subject that is always interesting and important for individual sports. History shows that good results in international championships are dependent on a well functioning team.

I have no idea how many national teams do this sort of thing. I've read articles about team building from the Norwegian and Swedish national teams. I know a lot of Scandinavian clubs do this sort of stuff. I don't think the U.S. has ever done anything. What about the rest of the world?

My personal experience has been that Bjornar is right. Even in an individual sport, team feeling is important (as an aside, as a manager in a work place I've reached the same conclusions).

It is worth investing some time and energy in managing that feeling. The world is full of consultants who'll be happy to take your money and hold "team building" sessions. But the quality of those sessions varies. In the work place, I feel some of the best "team building" comes from training and activities that aren't labeled "team building." Some of the worst "team building" sessions I've seen in a work place are those labeled "team building." I think the problem comes from the combination of weak teachers/trainers and cynical participants.

posted by Michael | 1:19 PM


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