Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

what is the state of teambuilding where you live?

Team building (or teambuilding, if you like). I have heard so many options presented, I don't know what it really means anymore. It's a golf day. Or a dinner out for the team. Or a movie. Or an art workshop. Or an improv workshop. Or a high ropes course. Or whitewater canoeing. See, it's so many things, has it become a meaningless concept, watered down by too many interpretations, or is it all these things, each as valid as the next? Honestly, I'm confused.

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Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on June 20, 2008 at 16:35
There is an interesting seminar about „Hypnosystemische Konzepte und Interventionen für Gruppen und Teams“ on
03. – 04. Juli 2008 in Vienna mit Gunther Schmidt
Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on June 17, 2008 at 10:12
I like the term: "sensfull confusion"!
Comment by Per Hedberg on June 17, 2008 at 9:45
I believe you are right about Beethoven, Hans-Peter. I think the words of Steve says it all: " We can only misunderstand each other more or less".

There are a number of activities that no longer (if ever) can be described with one word so I guess we will just have to be more curious every time we hear someone say that they do "teambuilding" or play "music". In the end it seems that things work out fine anyway, and people make sense of it no matter the confusion!
Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on June 13, 2008 at 12:13
"TZI" in English is "TCI", please see:
Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on June 13, 2008 at 11:14
I imagine that if Beethoven heard the "music" of today he would be just as confused or frustrated as we are... >>
Well, I am shure that in Beethovens time for example in Vienna also a lot of confusing and frustrating music was played... we in our times don't know that, because this music is (thank goodness!) not still reproduced...
And I am shure, that Beethoven would find a lot of splendid music of today... and maybe he would appreciate some pieces of pop and some movie-soundtracks... and maybe he would beclome motivated to compose such pieces ... and not " serious music"....

And an additional idea concerning "historical persons":
What would Ruth Cohn say, if she could notice all this "teambuildung stuff" of today?
Would she say: "GREAT!!!! I never hoped, that my TZI will be established in such a wide range!!!"
Or would she say: "Well, al lot of TZI is still practiced.... mostly without mentioning that it is based on TZI.... and still in wide areas interaction in teams is still done in less useful ways... so, as if time has not changed..."
Comment by Per Hedberg on June 13, 2008 at 10:30
Hi Michael!
The trend in Sweden is similar to the rest of the world, and I´m not surprised. Any activity done by a team is building the team in some way, and I agree with Kirsten that most activities that are done in the field today does not really require a trainer. But instead of being frustrated with the dilution of the concept I think it´s a good idea to become more specific about the differences. As a musician I would never say that I play music, but rather be very specific about what styles I master. I imagine that if Beethoven heard the "music" of today he would be just as confused or frustrated as we are... / Per
Comment by Marco Matera on June 8, 2008 at 22:16
Hi Michael,
I agree with Hans-Peter "It is a field for doing business with it"

In Italy there are many trainers and consulting firms that sell workshops on teambuilding.
The ways are very different from boring lectures, to outdoor training.
Basically are proposed as teambuilding but in fact are seminars on management groups.

I share with you an old story. One times ago someone have asked a football-coach as it did win. He simply replied that "the attackers had to make the attackers and defenders defenders: the important thing is that not fighting among themselves"

I personally develop a way to use systemic constellation approach to help each partecipant to find the best place in the group.
In this way the partecipant understand how they work and how they can work better, in a solution focused path.
If you need more I'm here...
Comment by Kamila Novakova on May 31, 2008 at 16:30
Hi Mike,

Thank you for starting this topic... I have to say I share your feelings - from my POV the term teambuilding is often "abused" (being used e.g. as a code name for any entertaining activities that are accompanying the corporate meetings, etc). That's why it is difficult to provide one brief definition. From my POV the multiple interpretations of "teambuilding" could be used as an illustration of Wittgensteinian quote that menaning of the word is created by those who use it... Anyway, sometimes not only clients but some "providers" seem to be confused by this state as well.

Based on my experience, team building is generally connected with the idea of any outdoor program. Given team building activities are often offered as a part of standard (in-door) trainings or workshops as well. Anyway, working for number of training companies, I was never been asked for delivering in-door team building program.

As I don't consider myself to be an expert on team building, I made brief research among my colleagues. The result was they recognize 1). team building programmes that include activities for newly formed teams, 2). team spirit ones (motto of which is the entertainment with added value) dedicated to developing of existing teams and 3). entertaining programmes (e.g. accompanying social or sport activities).

I guess, in our country has quite good name the experiential learning (pls visit e.g. presentation of Vacation School Lipnice at, a member of Outward Bound International) that could be used for both personal growth and team building purpose as well. Recently formed experiential approach to education – the artefiletics (the reflective conception of arts and crafts) seems to be quite interesting as well.


Comment by Carole Waskett on May 24, 2008 at 11:23
Michael, to answer your question a bit more -
'Where I live' in terms of the British NHS where I do most of my work - there is a recognition that good team work makes a difference to healthcare, see papers on this site:
In some Trusts, teamwork is recognised as a theoretical idea but there is no practical support for teams. Lots of groups of people in the NHS are called 'teams' without any real support or understanding for team building. I'm very lucky as my Trust pays me to support teams and team working.
Even in my Trust, teams are sometimes only allowed to ask for very short team building sessions, and their managers can demand that they work on meeting objectives & targets etc during that time. Some teams have more freedom and will get a venue paid for with lunch, & enough time for us all to work together in a looser and more focused way with a few smiles! Conditions are definately getting better as we're able to do more and more team working and the idea is spreading.
Best wishes,
Comment by Katalin Hankovszky on May 23, 2008 at 11:55
In German we say Teamentwicklung and so we don't use distinction between teambuilding and teamdevelopment. I see a difference between teambuilding and teamcoaching, Dani Meier with his german booktitel on SolutionCircle made my thinking in this distinction also more flexible :)
Since I'm working a lot with games (thanks all my clients ;), and Hans Fluri, Paul Z. Jackson, Peter Szabó) I sometimes get assignments like Teambuilding “pur”.
I learned from Jesper to ask some of the team members in advance about their needs and best hopes. This, in addition to the careful goal negotiation with the contracting client, where I make best experiences with sf questions.
When I work with games (which allow a lot of easy-going comments related to the team topics as well) I fulfil this idea of spending memorable time together and the games deliver light and easy usable bridges to preferred team activities and ways of working together. Sometimes we take after a challenging game-situation a moment to see, what worked. And always: resources, resources, resources. Games suite perfectly to show and to feedback them…




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