BUILDING THEMES, BUILDING TEAMS

When you search “team-building Philippines” in Google images, you’ll get to realize the common notion about it in our country: rope-courses, outdoor activities, and people wearing different colored shirts. These standard can always be fun and effective but some teams might look for an alternative approach or might have bigger needs that cannot be addressed merely through emphasizing bonding and teamwork. So can we build from this? Or do we have to look for another activity all together? The answer is simple but also complex: we add THEMES to the team-building.

Avengers, Game of Thrones, heroic stories from history, recent trends; you name it. Anything can be integrated to a team program. Effectivity still depends on quality of course but as you can observe from the preference of events management companies and also based from our experience, THEMES definitely add value to the activity and will really help accomplish results when done right. In this case, this article will not focus on the how-to of building themes but will provide you inspiration in embracing THEMES and their apparent role in building teams.


AWESOME PROCESS

A client once asked us to combine the intensity of our culminating tools and their exciting theme at the time: Game of Thrones. Since the goals of their company was clearly shared to me and I had the specifications of the venue, I was excited to come back to our curriculum team and conceptualize a strong ending that will accomplish the desire of our client. We then came up with a very fitting final activity: conquering “The Wall” live at the event. During the humongous challenge, the amazed CEO of this insurance company approached our managing director and asked, “How do you come up with these activities?” To which our boss confidently replied, “I have an awesome team churning out everything with me.”

Adding themes to an activity involves a lot of brain-storming, concept-writing, logistics, and testing out the mechanics plus aesthetics. All of these are important but our success in integrating themes boils down to one key requirement: everyone being in a state of AWE. Being in a state of awe is equal to being amazed by the possibilities a theme can create and having unlimited interest in producing something that will accomplish the goal of our client. This way, the theme doesn’t limit what the activity can involve but rather always open up ways how we can accomplish the initial objectives since a theme gives us the freedom to always re-think, to always connect everything and to get insights from the rich story behind a theme.

This brings us to the gift of customization which we have realized from our work on soft skills trainings that defy the usual approach. Tailor-fitting something like a theme to a programs brings out the best in the modules and the activities through the awesome process of making us imagine and connect concepts. Think of your favorite tv show/movie at the moment. You enjoy hours of putting attention to it so if an activity could help you experience your favorite characters and make you re-live the jaw-dropping scenes, how would you feel or respond to the activity? You’ll say it’s going to be fun but we can gladly say that it’s going to be more than that.


FUN BITS

Having an elemental theme for a team-building that will test the endurance of a company’s members, we came up with the idea of providing privileges per element. On the other side, this created disadvantages for the other groups who don’t get the common privilege. For example, people who are not from the “Air Team” should wear face masks to signify oxygen depletion. There is a strong possibility of this theme backfiring (participants getting too frustrated or distracted from the real message) but from our experience, this extra challenge connected to the theme helped them be more grateful with what they have and ultimately connect their experience to the kind of behavior they must foster back at work and sustain the better mindset they have shared together. Eventually, they were sharing jokes about the elements and their handicaps, they were conceptualizing well how to survive the competition, and they really enjoyed the success of everyone.

Themes, if not prepared well, can actually feel forced or even backfire but through proper execution and preparations, can be ultimately fun. This is not just achieved because themes make the learnings light or add flavor to the games but also because they create an experience of discovery just like our previous example. Here are some other instances from our past experiences:

Theme Component

  • Connector.Connector.

    Game of Thrones Mechanics for an Agawan-Base

  • Connector.Connector.

    Filipino Culture Theme for Competition

  • Connector.Connector.

    Roar Dance Steps for a Learning Event

  • Connector.Connector.

    Games based on Product Names

Discovery


  • Connector.Connector.

    Team-mates who can serve as MVPs when needed

  • Connector.Connector.

    Funny and impressive chants that showcase creativity

  • Connector.Connector.

    Renewed energy and excitement

  • Connector.Connector.

    Participants seeing new meanings and value even the up in years participants

In order to make your program memorable and engaging, it must be fun. And adding THEMES help achieve discoveries that make fun effortless.


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Aside for connecting effectivity with fun, we have also encouraged the use of themes because of these benefits that come from it:

Your people aspire more – Because of the inspiration from their favorite heroes/characters and the extra effort required by the challenges, participants get to realize that they can exceed expectations and supercharge their current performance at work and in life.

Creativity bounces off – The exciting ideas from facilitators get additional value from the insights of participants which they get from metaphors or from also connecting learning blocks with their teammates

You get your (company’s) message across – Everyone loves a good story and combining this with well-crafted graphics and consistently challenging activities might be the best way to instill your values and direction to everyone in your team

In short, adding themes helps you accomplish your mission and give you bonuses you would really appreciate. It has helped us reach more and inspire more teams so we’re sure it can help you make the most of your next investment.


Want to integrate a theme effortlessly to your next training or business objective? Contact 09177434808/ 275-2090 or alex@worldstageinternational.com.ph to start customizing your fun and awesome program.


About the Author

Alex Dungca

To say that his charismatic words will charm you out of your wits is an understatement. Our resident 'balagtasero', Alex Dungca has graced World Stage international with his natural talent. It seems that he was born to be on-stage. With his powerful stance and uncanny wit, Alex has the magic of adding value in everything that is placed on this field of potentiality. Not only can he rev up your spirit, Alex's mammoth of an energy and his natural theatrics never fail to keep his audience on his toes.

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