Agile teams on the rise
In the last 10 years, most companies cut team building. Yet the most successful companies literally doubled down on teams.
Team building days died… But the incredible rise of Agile is bringing them back.
HR managers, corporate facilitators and training managers will remember Monday September 15, 2008 for all of the wrong reasons. For anyone wondering, it was the day that Lehman Brotherscollapsed, the largest corporate avalanche in history.
Something else died that day, but it didn’t make any headlines.
For years, the annual Team Building day was a staple of businesses worldwide, but after the GFC, the market said no more, we just can’t afford it, or even more cutting – we just don’t see the value in it. The same went for leadership courses and personal development, if it wasn’t core business, it didn’t get a look in.
Fast forward to 2019, in general terms markets are at or near full recovery, yet for the broader market, team development is only just hitting the radar again (a very long 10+ years for many L&D professionals).
But business wise, a lot has happened since 2008! Of the top 5 US companies in 2018 only 3 (Microsoft, Exxon and Berkshire) remain in the top 10 and 1 (Microsoft) stayed in the top 5.
Each of the top 5 companies on this list invested heavily in teams, team structure, performance and profess to be ‘agile’ at some level whilst innovating their way to the top. It also helps that with success, they have been able to attract the top talent and build a strong culture of accountability and results. Meanwhile the rest of the market was coping with radical change and in simple terms, not investing in team development as they once had.
Whilst most of the world decided to cut back on team development and team building, the most successful companies literally doubled down on teams.
But this time there wasn’t any trust falls, rope courses or survivor style challenges, it is all about radical transparency, flat structures and a relentless focus on the customer. Globally, Agile teams are on the rise and companies are rushing to work out what they need to do to become ‘Agile’.
Whilst many teams or companies will never be fully ‘agile’ according to the Agile Manifesto, spending time getting teams working together (team building) to deliver customer value is at the core of Agile.
As the rest of the business world follows the tech leaders and jumps on the Agile bandwagon (in some way, shape or form), the change management piece will be huge, this is where the second coming of team building will help facilitate the change.
We get the feeling that this time around people will be looking for fun, innovative and non-physical alternatives or team activities that have genuine workplace outcomes vs just mucking around.
If you are serious about your team culture and want to take your team to a new level, let’s start the conversation.