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Collaboration in Teams


The Managers in this organisation have been through a period of change and seem self-protective and cautious. I would like to encourage more collaborative and creative working. I have poured over a number of books and training manuals but have yet to come across an EXERCISE that seems interesting and WORKS!
I have sent off for something called Arctic Expedition, anyone used it? Any other suggestions of commercial material, or your own ideas? Many thanks.
brenda isles

4 Responses

  1. go for a change in process – not exercises
    Pls go to
    This may be a bit of a sales pitch, but I really do not feel exercises are the answer. Better to deliver a process that enables them to work together without negative emotion but in a whole brain/body manner. Getting them to use all learning/working intelligences will break down the barriers and promote a creative approach. Have a look anyway. Keith W-P

  2. Packaged exercise – Sister Teams
    We sell a packaged exercise called Sister Teams, which specifically addresses the problem of inter-group co-operation. In the package we refer to it as a separatist mentality where members of the same company see their own departments as separate entities. The result is that the company operates at less than maximum efficiency and everybody looses. An information sheet on the product is available at The tutor manual that comes with the exercise suggests a scenario where the success/failure of the departments influences their chances of re-structuring and redundancy. I guess that in your situation you would choose a different objective, for example, the department’s success/failure influences whether the company gets a new contract. The principle of the exercise would be the same – if we all help each other then we will all be better off! The exercise costs £200.00 and comes with enough materials for three departments. It will take between 1 ½ and 2 hours excluding the de-brief. If you would like to discuss how the exercise might be run in your circumstance please get in touch.

  3. Triads
    I do a lot of work with ‘teams’ who only get together at ‘team meetings.’
    It useful to determine the extent to which a group is more a NETWORK than a teams.
    TEAM as a label sets up expectations (of relationship and ‘reward’ that may not be viable.

    I often give delegates ‘homework’ that requires contact between them between training sessions.
    The ‘homework’ is designed to reinforce and consolidate specific course (and some fine ) concepts.

    eg “Before or after applying This Principle / Practice in a real world situation, contact John at least twice. One of those conctacts must be face to face.”
    “Contact Sally 3 times before the next training session and exchange ideas on how you are both applying the ideas from the course.”
    “Form threesomes with people not from your department, arrange 3 contacts, one of which must be face to face, and…..”

    There are many different ‘instructions’ and a significant part of the exercise is to build in support and ‘team-building at a distance.’

    I usually have people make the arrangements for contact then and there.
    Follow up sessions we discuss what worked, what hindered, what next.
    Many such groupings have continued, and continue to be valued, long after the training.

    I also hold people accountable for failing to keep their commitment – which often leads on to useful exploration of eg Time Keeping, Delegation, Solo-Flyers,’ and much more.

    Michael Mallows

  4. working differently?
    Working differently maybe the best way. Rather than seeking exercises to gain homogeneity, why not establish processes to create deeper understanding and menaingful relationships. Facilitating a process that enables partcipants to see the organisation differently, might be the key.Good luck.


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