by Diane Goodman | September 01, 2016
Success is a team effort -- and being on the "winning team" can be the envy of anyone in a business or organization. But not all teams are successful, and some bad teams can even hold people back.  

So, how do you build and sustain a successful team? Google just spent millions of dollars (and five full years of dedicated research) to explore why its internal teams are successful -- or not. The results from this "Project Aristotle" were somewhat nebulous (and in some cases obvious), but Google feels they now have a roadmap to more accurately foster teams that gel and excel.

Your company may not have Google's massive resources, but you can do your own scaled-down research and development at your next corporate meeting, seminar, or executive retreat by bringing in a qualified teambuilding professional speaker. Fortunately there are several available today who have created memorable programs that are powerful, engaging, and interactive -- each providing real tools for executives, managers, and employees to bring back to the workplace.

Some of the best teambuilding speakers and motivational groups are former members of the military, elite athletes, world-class mountain climbers, humorists, and -- yes -- even high-performing business leaders. They bring audiences into new and different worlds filled with extreme challenges that parallel workplace situations -- and they use teamwork and teambuilding as the only ways to "survive." A few in-demand examples include:

Afterburner Seminars were created by former fighter pilots, U.S. Navy SEALs, and other elite military professionals. During these high-energy workshops (which range from three to six hours) attendees learn all or some of the Flawless Execution Model (Plan, Brief, Execute, and Debrief) to complete battle-tested mission-planning exercises that teach teams how to communicate and operate as one.

World-champion adventure racer Robyn Benincasa conducts on-site or off-site interactive mini adventure races designed to illustrate how teams can work together to be better than any individual working alone. As a three-time Guinness World Records kayaker, San Diego firefighter, and 10-time Ironman triathlete, Benincasa understands how to face and conquer challenges -- and knows teams that work together are best prepared to succeed against the odds.

Expedition leader Jim Davidson delivers an interactive teambuilding workshop based on his personal, harrowing, real-world experiences -- which include leading a dangerous mountain rescue at 19,200 feet on Alaska's Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) and surviving being trapped on Mount Everest by earthquakes and avalanches in 2015. Davidson "recreates" these events for audiences and then has them work in small groups to resolve problems, using only the personnel and resourses available. During the program, teams examine and debate human dynamics issues that arise under pressure, establish what makes a resilient leader, and identify how engaged team members act -- no matter the conditions.

Tapping into the vast experiences and high-energy programs of professional speakers such as these makes the hard-to-define concept of building teams more concrete. Since teams face countless factors that change almost daily, it makes sense to use meetings and events as ways to develop long-term strategies that nurture and support the ideal team environment.

Then you, too, can boast of having the secret to enviable corporate teams -- just like Google.



Diane Goodman is president of The Goodman Speakers Bureau, which since 1979 has been the leader in helping meeting planners select the best keynote speaker for meetings and events. She brings experience, knowledge, and insights to every planner she works with. Her mission is to always exceed clients' expectations. Learn more at www.goodmanspeakersbureau.com.