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I have been working on the second installment in our Design 101 series targeting file set up. Unfortunately, the past few weeks have been nothing but fire and brimstone at the Casa la Out’a Hacienda! Fortunately, throughout that fire and brimstone, I had a great opportunity to attend the “Team Building Day” event at Premier Plastics.

First, I have to say, man do they put on an awesome spread. Grilled fajitas both chicken and beef, (my carnivorous ways of old rearing its hungry head) salad, rice, fresh homemade Guacamole, and cookies for dessert. Had to roll me into the main event. And on that note, I wanted to touch on that experience. I come from a corporate management background, entering the management field at an early age, night manager of a sandwich shop at 16, the fun years eh, and up the corporate America ladder I climbed. Always with the intention of “living the dream” and eventually having my own art studio.

Throughout those years I have attended many, many, many, UGH, management training seminars, and team building was always my favorite of lessons. You see, what upper management is messaging, is not always what transpires down line throughout the various communication channels. The first event started as a simple math equation, 5 + 3 = 8 through clearly defined set of hand signals and was then to be passed down line. What began at the start of the line, turned into what looked like a dysfunctional disco move from the 80’s. Not that I was into disco, wore a shirt stating, “I would rather eat barbwire than listen to disco,” but that is a whole different story, LOL! Back to team building. (View the short video below to see how the final 5 + 3 = 8 message turned out, it is hilarious…Troy, too funny!)

Another exercise that I, and it seemed all the employees enjoyed, was to build the highest tower using large gumdrops and toothpicks. Broken out into teams, each searched for the “ultimate” Eiffel Tower design. I am not sure who won, some tipped over, (most) and some looked to be missing a few select gumdrops. (Not sure how many got used and how many got eaten) But the exercise was a complete success, and the team had a great time.

The “build” ended with a twist on an old tale, the Three Little Pigs… from the Big Bad Wolf’s perspective! Each team had to “re-write” the story from the wolf’s point of view, and they were quite creative. Just a brief entry from one of the teams, Due to the rise in inflation, mamma wolf needed to feed her pups… you can imagine where it went from there.

One reason I write this now is it is fresh in my mind, and two is the importance of each member knowing the end game, the strategies to achieve the end game, and more importantly, their impact on the end game. Too often I believe, corporations inadvertently lose sight of the importance of down line communication, and the importance of inclusiveness. I have managed many employees over my time in the business world, from corporate management to business ownership, and have always tried to empower my employees to take ownership in our cause and provide them with the tools to succeed in that endeavor.

Premier Plastic’ team building event reassured my beliefs in those practices. The employees had a great time; paid lunch and fun, interactive games, communication strategies discussed, interaction between management and team members, and an overall great way to start the weekend.

Team building… it pays dividends in the long run. As all good managers know…your people are your power!

Layne Lundstrom ~ Contributing Writer

Owner – Creative

Out’a the linez

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