Changing mindsets

Team building is plays a vital role in getting an entire organisation to speak the same language.

TOGETHER, they have 40 years of experience training teams to be the best that they can be. Along the way, some have called them sadists, even egomaniacs, but they were confident they were doing the right thing. People have to be pushed into difficult situations to unleash inner strength and to work together effectively, they believe.

Four decades of positive feedback have told them they are on the right track.

But all that experience was initially deployed on behalf of other people until one day, while enjoying a cuppa, a thought hit them: “Hey, we can build a million-dollar company ourselves ... why work for others!”

And that’s how GlobalKnox, a team-building company that seeks to develop human potential through memorable experiences, came to be.

Co-founder, lead trainer and head of discovery experience Darren Suresh, 43, said in an e-mail interview: “Team-building, or ‘team experience’ as we call it, plays a vital role in getting an entire organisation to speak the same language.

“It can be used as a platform to move people to the next level of change and thinking.

“Just like any form of training, it is an investment made by the organisation to get people to see things differently.”

The emphasis is on innovation, ownership, relationships and – oddly enough – frenzy. That is to say, the activities are designed to be chaotic and can involve strange dance steps and movements because the idea is to break the ice and get everyone comfortable with each other. Basically, frenzy begets fun and fun begets togetherness.

According to Darren, his team walks the talk by being paragons of these values and expects nothing less of the people they train. “GlobalKnox has always worked well with values, and because we live our values, we always push the values of the client in all our exercises.

“Once the employees buy into their organisation’s core values, mission and vision, they will then have an understanding of the need for team spirit and will go on to achieve this,” Darren explained.

GlobalKnox uses its repertoire of team-building activities to test creative thresholds and patience quotients to help people bond as a team.

“We believe strongly in giving values, creating experiences and memories for participants. Our activities are designed for that.

“We have programmes from year one to year three, and all our activities have different levels of difficulty,” he explained.

But surely team-building can be done without subjecting oneself to strenuous activities?

Darren agreed and said GlobalKnox has designed activities that exercise the “muscles” of the mind and spirit more than the body.

“In fact, the new wave of team building is based a lot on EQ (emotional intelligence) and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and mindset elements rather than just the physical.”

As for Star2’s experience, as with most team-building exercises, points were awarded for every successful task completed and deducted for misbehaviour or failure to accomplish a task. 

However, some of the points awarded were also subjective, and activities that initially pitted teams against each other slowly morphed into everyone becoming one big team and working together.

Darren reasoned that although the activities are structured, flexibility is allowed to simulate real life.

“Having a rigid scoring system will capture the knowledge and skills of people, but will miss out on their behaviour and habits. By having a flexible programme, we allow true behaviour and character to come through, and that is what we want for our clients – to see people being their true selves,” he said.

So whether participants have to brave harsh elements or rack their brains, the goal is for people to get to know each other outside of a work setting, discover new ways of working together and take home good memories.

That, at any rate, is what Star2 got out of the GlobalKnox team experience.

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