Last Friday, I was privileged to not only meet Mark Collard, but to also get to spend a day with him working on team building. Mark is the author of several books, as well as the founder of Playmeo, a top-notch resource for team building activities.
We spent the day working through a number of team building activities and also talking about his new book and his paradigm for designing the funnest and most adventurous team building programs.
Mark shared his definition of adventure with us: “A situation where you do not know the result or ending.”
Often when people think of team building, especially when paired with the word “adventure”, they think of some activity that is based outdoors. If you define adventure like the above statement, adventure can be found anywhere. Adventure can happen every day and in almost any situation.
What does this mean?
We can have adventures with our kids or spouse. We can have adventures with our teams. The space doesn’t matter – it’s the fact that we don’t know how it will end. That’s what creates the adventure.
An adventure can be inside or outside. It can be short or long. The length is not necessarily the poin nor is the space. We can have brief adventures and lengthy ones in the great outdoors as well as inside.
Adventure must be fun.
One of Mark’s other requirements for team building is that it must be fun: “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.”
Different people have different definitions of what’s fun and what’s not; however, Mark’s objective is to make every team building program so fun that people do not want to be left out (even those hard-to-convince types). Who wants to be left out of something that is totally fun and engaging?
Adventure should be transforming.
The most important aspect of Mark’s team building programs are that he desires people and teams to be transformed by them. We can go through a fun activity together – nothing wrong with that – but how will we make a difference?
Mark’s attitude going in to every program is to make a difference. How will people feel when it’s all said and done? What kind of goal
Feelings are in an integral part of transforming teams. If you’ve worked with teams for long, you’ve probably seen it happen. People leave different than they came in. They are not the same. They may be more confident, more peaceful, more self-assured. That can happen when you combine fun, adventure, and transformation.
Those three things are an integral part of what Mark does, and they are an integral part the vision of Lead by Adventure.
We believe that team building activities should be fun.
We believe that there should be adventure behind every program.
We believe that teams and leaders will be transformed through fun and adventure.
How do you define adventure? What aspect of adventure might you need to define differently? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey Will, it was a great pleasure to meet and play with you too last week. A note I would add to what you have described above is the power of adventure to do several things – it engages people, it’s fun, it’s challenging and above all, it has the power to invite people and groups to answer the question, ‘What is possible?’ Adventure is ‘unanticipated outcomes’ and when you embrace this approach in your programs, you will be able to quickly engage people in their own learning, rather than just telling them what they need to know and do. Have FUNN…. Mark
Thanks, Mark. Those are powerful outcomes that adventure can accomplish. Appreciate the observations. You definitely showed us all those things at the workshop last week. Look forward to chatting more!