I’ve finally worked out why I detest team building events.
I fully understand and accept the secondary goals of a team building event, to create a team gestalt amongst team members, so they help and support each other, and know how to work together. Mind you, it doesn’t help that contemporary methods are entirely insipid and faux compared to ancient world techniques, if only because the ancients took full advantage of the human condition. But I accept in these frigid and hypocritical times, it is simply unacceptable, despite the serious psychological benefits of the consequential deep bonding, to hold mass orgies. So we’re left with miserable fake orgies instead.
Of course, these explains why forcing people to take part in team building events is a form of abuse. To be fair to team event organisers, it’s a long time since I’ve come across an event where attendance was obligatory.
No, what gets me about all team building events that I’ve ever encountered, whether being forced to take part in (great team building attitude there), or heard about, is the complete and utter lack of utility of the event itself. Build a tower of paper! So how many lives does that tower of paper save? Shoot each other with fake guns? So how many people does that lift out of poverty? Without exception, the group effort of team building is to produce something that is a complete and total waste of resources. The team is taught that what they do together is great fun and easy to do and completely pointless. In other words, the apparent goal is to develop teamwork, but the actual goal is to skuttle it.
In whose interest is it for an organisation to be taught that teamwork is pointless? That organisation’s enemy, the competition, its opposition, those who wish it ill. It’s this that I’ve finally realised underlies my disquiet about team building events, that they serve the interests of a team’s enemies, not those of the team itself.
I don’t know that I’ll ever be invited to one again (I suspect not), but I think my response will be:
- apologies, I can’t come, I have an STD, it’s called sanity;
- my wife/husband/partner/stallion will divorce/leave/kill/roger me if I attend another orgy, no matter how fake it is;
- if the organisers understood what they’re doing, they wouldn’t do it;
- (if the event is compulsory) I shall not be abused (sung loudly and badly to the tune of Rule Britannia);
- (if the goal is pointless) is the person who wants this naïve or working for the opposition?