“Coming together is a beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together is success.”
Why build a team
There are many reasons to build a team. Departments have been fused. A merger. You’ve assembled a group of very capable individuals to work on a major project. There’s been so much reorganization within your company you want to make a clean start. And so on.
What was it Henry Ford said? “Coming together is a beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together is success.”
On journeys, people learn how to work together and succeed as a team. The shared experiences, values and inspiration that your people bring back from a journey form the basic ingredients for an environment that promotes excellence. One in which everyone is appreciated for what they are, and what they bring to the table.
This is no survival expedition
Let’s get the misconceptions out of the way first. This doesn’t involve having groups of participants building rafts, crossing ravines, sitting in sweat lodges or running round in bearskins.
Nonetheless, there are many different aspects of a journey that bring people together. For a start, travelling into the unknown as a team is transformational. And you get to share many more remarkable moments, from group dialogue sessions in areas of outstanding beauty to silent walking. You develop and discuss your own leadership vision and receive constructive criticism from colleagues on issues you may be struggling with. All of this helps the bonding process even further.
Connecting as human beings
You also learn to see the people around you in a different context. The human element in your colleagues is emphasized; you discover each other on a whole new level and not just as fellow sales managers, engineers or project leaders. You see the whole person rather than someone in a function.
"Throughout the journey stories were created and shared. The exercises and the power of silence connected us on a whole new level. People spoke from the heart and without judgment. They were curious, receptive and truly human." Pim Mol, Executive VP
The magic of team genius
And why is this important? Because this understanding is the basis for trust, openness, daring to be vulnerable, sharing. You feel comfortable about being seen as you really are. Others can then better comprehend why you do what you do. From there, you start to identify complementary capabilities and build new connections. And at every step of the way, your team gets closer - and stronger. Once back at their jobs, people act with the feeling that they can’t lose, and genuinely rely on each other. That’s because they’ve discovered the magic powers of team genius.
See also team development.