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Seb Anthony

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Team Development


I've been asked to arrange a team development event (1 day max) for ninety professionals, from various agencies, who will be working as a virtual team from a variety of geographical locations. Most do not know each other, their organisations are diverse and a seamless service provision is vital.
I've successfully facilitated smaller TDE's but this one is a real challenge - I'm not too sure if it's even possible, so I'm asking for help.
I would appreciate any contribution regarding its feasability, content, structure and possible pitfalls - I think the event needs something original to engage and inspire. Oh, I forgot to mention that its in 6 weeks' time.
Jim Dryden

3 Responses

  1. Large team event
    The key elements are the purpose and objectives. It is certainly possible to design and run an event for the type of group you mention, but this should be driven by the objectives.
    From what you have said, you could start by getting people to know more about each other – perhaps cocktail-party style, or use person-bingo or get everyone to interview 3 other people and to put 3 bullet points for each person on an A3 sheet with their name on that you have already perpared and put on the wall.
    You could put people in rolling groups addressing a series of questions (eg how are our agencies similar and different, what level of intercommunication should we pledge to give each other, how can we ensure seemless levels of service, etc.) – just choose the questions that best reflect the issues they need to address and the objectives of the event. In other words, keep the stucture simple and get them to come up with the answers.
    For some straightforward options that are explained with great simplicity try ‘Legendary Away Days’ published by Gower. If you want to be more ambitious you might try ‘Large Group Interventions’ by Bunker and Alban, or look on the web under large group interventions.
    I appreciate that if you have not done something like this before, it can be daunting. But if you get the right objectives and post-event outcomes agreed, it can be valuable (and even enjoyable too!)
    Best of luck

  2. a suggestion
    I agree with Graham’s comments wholeheartedly and I fully appreciate the challenge of scale you have here.
    To offer help I’d like to pick on one aspect of your question…”Most do not know each other, their organisations are diverse and a seamless service provision is vital.”

    It might be valuable to focus on the seamless service by getting a process map of the client journey and getting the delegates to identify the dependencies they have on each other when trying to make that journey seamless.
    This would also clarify who needs to work closely with whom and where close interrelationships are less critical. You could then base your activities around some of these relationships.

    You could also look at downstream impact within the process to identify the dependencies of non-contiguous parts of the team.

    It is possible to manage a day for a group of ninety (I’ve been involved in this scale several times) but you will need several facilitators to achieve maximum benefit and minimum chaos. I would also strongly recommend you get them to arrive the night before otherwise you are bound to spend the whole morning welcoming latecomers!
    Good Luck
    Rus Slater
    07812 170391

  3. A Central Activity
    Jim, I have used a ‘game from Northgate Training called ‘Eldorado’ as a central, major activity in a similar one-day event. It relies on both team and inter-team cooperation, win-win, sharing information and therefore communication. Relatively simple to set up and administer, great fun and an opportunity to make some monetary donation to a favourite charity!


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