Many company executives are now questionning the value of 'traditional' forms of teambuilding such as executive retreats or staff games (e.g. Executive team building: stop wasting their time). Recently I ran across a New York technnology company GoCrossOffice pioneering a more novel approach....
GoCrossOffice integrate both virtual and physical elements into their team games. I am sure GCO are not the only player in this space as it looks like a very promising future market area. The GCO website references a number of independent research reports on the use of gaming for educational purposes by IBM, and Forrester.
GCO was developed by students at Yale University as a "next-generation teambuilding tool" and differs from traditional teambuilding exercises by bundling training with a fun game that spans the virtual and real worlds.
Teams meet in the real world to collaborate and discuss strategy around a game that takes place virtually. By cutting out off-site trips, companies can save time and money and build more structure into their teambuilding.
For a young company GCO have some impressive clients including the likes of Google and Vivendi - heres a case study from their website if you want to find out more
About Ken Thompson
Ken Thompson is an expert practitioner in the area of bioteaming, swarming, virtual enterprise networks, virtual professional communities and virtual teams and has published two landmark books:
Bioteams: High Performance Teams Based on Nature's Best Designs
The Networked Enterprise: Competing for the future through Virtual Enterprise Networks
Ken writes the highly popular bioteams blog which has over 500 articles on all aspects of bioteams (aka organizational biomimicry) - in other words how human groups can learn from nature's best teams.
Ken is also founder of an exciting European technology company Swarmteams which provides unique patent-pending bioteaming technologies for all shapes and sizes of groups, social networks, business clusters, virtual/mobile communities and enterprises. Swarmteams enables groups to be more responsive and agile by fully integrating their mobile phones and the web with bioteam working techniques.
The latest Swarmteams implementation is SwarmTribes which helps social object owners (e.g. musicians/bands, sports teams, film-makers) and good cause sponsors (e.g. Volunteering, Environmental, Public Health) to form unique collaborations with their fans/supporters for mutual benefit.
Bioteams Books Reviews
Just because we might have selfish genes it does not mean we have to behave selfishly; nature knows when to be nice as well as nasty and nepotism occurs in the biological world too with equal destructiveness as our world. This is according to Richard Conniff author of The Ape in the Corner Office and reviewed in the UK Guardian Newspaper (27 May).