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June/July 2007

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EXTREME' BONDING

Survey Reveals Unusual Team-Building Activities


By the Creative Group

While many companies plan summer picnics and softball games to boost camaraderie, creative organizations may choose more challenging or inventive methods of building rapport. The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis, recently asked 250 U.S. advertising and marketing executives to describe unusual team-building activities they have heard of or taken part in.

Those surveyed were asked, "What is the wackiest or most unusual team-building activity you've ever heard of a firm participating in?" Here are some of their responses:
  • Team skydiving
  • A group Segway tour
  • Line dancing on the beach in matching outfits
  • We had to navigate a maze through a cornfield
"Teamwork and innovation are essential in the creative field, so firms are always looking for ways to enhance morale and spark the imagination," said Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group. "Because industry professionals are innovative, it's only natural that their group activities sometimes stray from the beaten path."

When choosing a fun group outing, for example, why go bowling or have a barbecue when you could do the following?
  • We had a team surfing contest
  • Team drumming
  • We held our own dog show
  • We created a haunted house and invited clients to visit
  • We took an improvisational comedy class together
Then again, misery loves company, which may have been the thought behind these next group outings:
  • We shoveled horse manure in a stable
  • We went camping 9,000 feet up and it rained for two days
Showing creativity in its various forms was at the heart of many group activities, like the following:
  • We held a cubicle-decorating contest, and the winner won a cruise
  • We made sculptures in the sand
  • We designed a miniature golf course and played it
  • Our department built a race car
  • We made jewelry
While creative work typically requires more creative muscle than brawn, some team-building sports weren't for couch potatoes:
  • Rock climbing
  • White water rafting
  • Bungee jumping
With the following adventures, participants learned to sink or swim:
  • We built a raft and used it to go through the water, retrieve a torch and bring it back without putting the flame out
  • We constructed boats out of cardboard and raced them in a pool
  • We created a lifeboat and then kicked people off of it, one by one
These next activities required employees to take a leap of faith:
  • People would fall out of a tree and hope their team would catch them
  • We created a human bridge to cross a small stream
Luxury was the name of the game for some companies:
  • The firm flew the entire creative department to an art car parade
  • One agency flew a group of 20 employees to a ballgame in Chicago. They went to the ballpark, had dinner and stayed overnight
  • We treated everyone to a glorious day of massages and chocolates
  • A firm took the whole team to Disney World
Finally, these activities prove you can still have fun on a dime:
  • We went to a garden store and tried to build a creative project out of $9 worth of materials
  • We gave each member of our firm a package of clay. They had to create a design and explain what they created
The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada, and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com. The Denver office of the Creative Group may be reached at 303-295-7979.


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