We Did the Team Building Like This

Trust falls just aren’t interesting any more. We’ve heard all the laboured metaphors before. You and your motley crew of immediate colleagues are a living breathing single organism, you’re a machine smoothly operating together in harmony, you are cohesive a solar system orbiting one another and marvelling at one another’s celestial wakes. Or words to that effect. At this point, the motivational speakers are resorting to random word generators in the desperate hope of coming up with a fresh view point.

Team building hospitality has been a booming industry. Turning expensive activities like paintball into corporate team building events was a master stroke. No longer did the lovely chaps from finance and sales have to muck together attempting to cross imaginary rivers with nothing but a few planks of wood or pretending that the blindfold games weren’t just a little bit weird. Instead, for a tidy fee, all the stuffy suits could gambol about the countryside shooting whatever they wanted or zipping through the air with the greatest of ease.

But where do you go from there? You can’t keep going bigger, better and flashier until trips into space are a wee bit less expensive. It’s the only way they have these days to draw in those incredibly easily distracted millennials – sure, they’ll take you abseiling down the Shard but look at us, we hold a yearly music festival as an attempt to make you bond with the men upstairs.

Why is team building even a thing? Why can’t we just get shut away in our cubicles? We can plug away at whatever our day jobs happen to be, rush out the door the very moment the clock tells you it’s alright to go and keep chugging away until we meet the retirement finish line in spite of the fact that the government keeps moving the goalposts away. It’s their attempt at gamification, extending the achievement or some such nonsense. That being said, I’d totally be up for it if my company wanted to pay for me to go on a jolly to a falconry range in the name of team building.

Song choices courtesy of: Mark Mothersbaugh, Michael Giacchino and Elbow


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