Back in 1997, when The Lantern Group started almost 70% of our work focused on team development. We did everything from on-going team development consulting with managers, to team assessments, to experiential ropes courses, to developed a number of fun and effective team building events. Over the years, our focus shifted to other aspects of the business and our team development work decreased until for the last few years it comprised just under 10% of our revenue.
But this year, something has changed.
Since February we have received more inquiries about doing team building programs than we have in the past two or three years combined. These are both big and small programs – from groups 200 plus to small executive teams of 8-10 people. The managers and VPs that we’ve talked to have indicated that they want to do something to help increase the effectiveness of their team while also providing them with a fun activity that can be a diversion from the everyday stress they have been under.
Normally I would just count my blessings and be thankful for leads coming in. But this drastic increase has made me wonder, “why?” Why the increase? Why now?
I have a few theories:
1. Pent up need – because of the recession, companies did not have budget that they could use to help build their team and improve bonding.
2. Changes in the teams – either through layoffs or attrition, team dynamics have changed and there is a need to improve how people work together
3. Need to have fun, but with a message – again, due to the recession, many companies have had people working under significant stress, longer hours, with more responsibility. Astute leaders see that there is a need to let their people unwind and yet they want to make sure that there are some learnings and insights to be had
4. Work itself has changed – the very nature of work has changed with more people working off-site, more technology, more need to collaborate in new ways. Good leaders use team development programs to help sort that out.
What are your thoughts? Do you think there is a growing need? Please leave a comment.