Given the pace at which the world is changing, companies have always attempted to innovate, encouraging their teams to think out of the box to stay ahead of the curve. Little did they know the solutions may not just lie in exorbitant R&D investments but simple, consistent efforts in one aspect: Team Building. Curious to learn more? In this article let’s explore how Google, IDEO, Zappos and Pixar innovated through team building practices, and explored best practices as takeaways for your own organisations!
Team building activities that promote diversity drive innovations
According to a study by Deloitte, 78% of executives believed that diversity is key in driving innovation. For example, Google has a "20% project” initiative that allows employees to spend 20% of their time working on other cross-functional roles that interest them. This policy has led to several successful products, including Gmail and AdSense. Team building programmes designed around advocating for diversity and inclusion, such as cross-functional mentorship, could potentially foster a culture of innovation.
Credit: Unsplash, Christina @ wocintechchat.com
Teams innovate when they feel psychologically safe
Team building may also drive innovation by fostering psychological safety, which refers to a state of mind when employees feel comfortable taking risks and sharing their ideas in a conducive and welcoming environment. Team building activities that are centred around trust and collaboration, can help to create psychological safety for employees and in the process, create a culture of innovation.
IDEO, a design and innovation consultancy, is known for its use of design sprints to rapidly test and iterate on new ideas, allowing employees to bond and collaborate while putting forth novel suggestions.
Credits: Unsplash, Brooke Cagle
Team building... with a bigger purpose
Based on a PwC report, it is found that 97% of companies believe that purpose is important for driving innovation. Team building activities that align with the company's purpose help build a sense of community and shared mission among employees, which in turn drive innovation.
Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, is known for its unique culture, which is built on a foundation of team building and collaboration. The company has a "culture book" that is updated on an annual basis, including sharing from every employee. This initiative helps reinforce the company's values and sense of community among employees, allowing its employees to innovate meaningfully and purposefully.
Team building creates structured process to innovate
Finally, team building can spur innovation by providing a structured process for reviewing new ideas. Pixar, for example, employs a "Braintrust" process in which senior leaders provide feedback on new projects, allowing teams to refine and innovate more effectively - ensuring that new ideas are thoroughly reviewed before implementation.
Credits: Unsplash, John Schnobrich
Choosing the right team building activities
Given how team building is critical for driving corporate innovation, it is important to ensure team activities are selected mindfully, with the objectives to be inclusive, safe for ideation, as well as aligning with the company's values. With that in mind, the wide selection of creative, multi-player, multi-perspective escape room, CSI and murder mystery games on AveLIVEX were hand-crafted to ensure the teams would have a great time bonding and innovating! Click here to learn more about our flagship game "Guardian of the East: The Awakening" and reach out to us to enquire for your next team building event!