Secret – Successful Business Teams Are Not Built Playing Golf

When I used to work in corporate America we used to have team building exercises during our meetings. These exercises were considered to be so important by upper management that they were mandated into every meeting. The goal was to bring the teams together so that they executed the plans with a sense of purpose; the team would rise or fall as a collective.

In my experience the team building exercises usually consisted of golf, bowling, or another event that was a “team event” in name only. The sports chosen were usually embraced by an enthusiastic few leaving the others bored and unengaged. The end result was a shared experience, but not one that built a strong team ready to seize opportunities and overcome obstacles. Instead a team in name only was built.

The Secret Trait To Successful Business Teams
Successful teams – in sports, business, the military, etc. – share one common trait or gene: they care about the other teammates’ success. Individuals who are part of successful teams know that their goals, desires, and dreams can only be achieved if they help the rest of team meet succeed. Everyone possess this gene/trait inside of himself or herself, it just has to be tapped.

How successful teams achieve this bond is through a shared collective experience. This collective experience is one that demonstrates to the other teammates the strengths and weaknesses of the individual members. Typically everyone starts at the same level of knowledge – there are no ringers – and the team faces unknown challenges that they must work together to overcome. In the military it is the initial training and common shared misery of the mud, lack of sleep, and obstacle course.

3 Ways You Can Tap The Common Experience Gene
In business your team most likely is not going to go running through mud or climbing over obstacles to get their shared experience. Then again… why not?

Golf does not build a successful team. In fact most individual skills – while learned and/or experienced in a group setting – do not build successful teams. Only events that make individuals work together, learn together, and overcome obstacles together will build stronger teams.

So the next time you are planning a team building exercise for your business meeting, why not give these a try:

  • Learn A New Skill. Whatever you choose as the new skill should have practical applications and if done improperly real consequences. A great one is learning how cook as a group, which involves communication, delegation, teamwork, chain of command, and listening skills. Sure you might have a budding gourmet chef in your team, but the reality is that most people only know the basics. The goal is to cook a meal for everyone. Get it right and you’ve got good food. Get it wrong and well…

  • Overcome A Problem With Many Possible Answers. These exercises usually have a stated goal and limited resources to achieve it. While there might be one best solution, there are many other solutions that could possibly work. A particular exercise I enjoyed was building a boat out of cardboard and duct tape. To be successful the boat had to pass a strength test on dry land first and then go around a buoy and back in the water: all under a time pressure. Teams that prioritized tasks, discussed possible designs, and staffed their boats correctly made it. Others that did not sank.

  • Scavenger Hunt. Break your team into smaller groups making sure to split apart any cliques you may have. What makes this a great exercise is the element of time pressure, getting everything correct on the list, and great stories everyone will have when they return about their successes and failures during their hunt. If built correctly a great scavenger hunt will have goals that will force everyone to stretch him or herself to achieve them.

Put Down The Clubs And Build Teams
What is great about the exercises above is they require your teams to work together to succeed. One person alone cannot do everything. Success means that everyone has to work together as a team.

While you may learn more about the three other chaps in your foursome on the golf course, in the end it is the individual who must swing the club or make the putt. It does not take a team to overcome the sand trap. Therefore the opportunity to build that common bond, to unlock the gene that brings teams together, is never to be had on the golf course.

What are some other events you have done that help build stronger teams?

Why You Should Consider Using VoIP for Your Business

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones & communication systems allow you to make & receive calls digitally using data networks. This and the ever increasing advancement in VoIP technology has allowed these systems to become the preferred choice for businesses worldwide, and are now being hailed as the future of telecommunications.

There are many advantages of using VoIP Telephone Systems the most important one being the cost effectiveness of this service making it cheaper than traditional analogue telephone services. As VoIP uses a broadband connection it makes it less expensive for the provider and their customers to make calls, many providers now offer a flat rate monthly fee allowing long distance and local calls to be charged at the same rate.

As VoIP is non – geographically based, this enables you to create a virtual number assigning any area code you choose to your numbers even if your business is not physically based in that area – the additional benefit of this is that your virtual number is portable so you can take it with you anywhere you go even if you decide to move offices.

VoIP Maintenance costs workout to be lower than traditional phone systems and they are inexpensive to set up as they use your existing broadband connection. This means there is no need for extra phone lines to be installed. VoIP phones are similar to telephones in there look and ease of use.

VoIP allows you to streamline your communication systems and manage your information more effectively as calls can be run over existing data networks enabling you to receive voice mail and faxes with your emails. Another great advantage is that you can make and receive calls from numerous devices such as phones, pcs (via a software-based phone), or a mobile phone that has voice capabilities. Controlling how your business calls are handled is easy by taking advantage of VoIP’s ability to enable automatic call routing & interactive voice responses.

Call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, caller ID and three-way calling are some of the many other features that make VoIP attractive to businesses. VoIP can also be used for conference calls the VoIP technology treats services on the phone like any other kind of data, enabling the users to attach documents to voice messages, or participate in virtual meetings with the help of shared data and video conferencing.

The fact that you can make and receive phone calls wherever there is a broadband connection by simply signing in to your VoIP account makes VoIP highly portable.

With all the great advantages of VoIP phones & communication systems, it’s easy to see why it has rapidly become the number one choice for businesses. If you’re planning to switch to one of Business VoIP Solutions, complete your homework and in case, you have a question about this technology, you can make a comment below in the available space.

5 Strategies Most Successful Businesses Use Online

Most successful businesses found online typically share certain characteristics insofar as the strategies they use. Their basic philosophy is built around the attitude of taking action when and where needed with minimal hesitation. However marketing an online business also involves the use of a good deal of strategic thinking so that the actions taken proved to be as productive as possible! The bottom line is marketing success on the internet calls for the need to think fast and move even faster.

Here are 5 basic strategies commonly used when marketing an online business that seem to yield successful results for many time and again!

Apply Initiative

Avoid duplicating the ‘cookie cutter’ approach when possibly if the opportunity to customize a something is available to you! Do not select any approaches or strategies based upon how simple they may be to apply when marketing an online business. In most cases there are always ways to tweak or improve that which is already in existence. By doing so you are already distancing yourself from the crowd!

Keyword Selection

Most suggest or are proponents of selecting keywords for their business that are NOT highly searched upon since they are deemed to be too competitive. Well keyword use is for the sake of generating traffic, right? It would seem that those words and phrases that reflect the greatest search results would also bring you the most traffic and therefore more marketing success as well! Using these words and phrases for traffic generation would seem fine, just avoid trying to rank a website or blog using them since these results may take longer!

Watch the Crowd, Go in the Opposite Direction

Although success does leave footprints, use the accomplishments of others as a source for developing new ideas and/or concepts! The key to marketing an online business successfully is to have something that stands out from the pack. You can still be different while employing the same principles others have used in the past that gave then great results! It would only stand to reason that if ‘everybody’ is doing the same thing it will be harder for you to compete!

Forget the Small Stuff

Avoid the temptation of getting too hung up in small and insignificant details! It is absolutely vital to move beyond the planning stages if marketing success is to be yours and this requires taking action! Planning is great and obviously needed however unless active measures are taken to implement your plan nothing will never happen, period!

Fear Not Failure

Do not ever allow a fear of failure keep you from taking action since you will NEVER learn anything new nor will you succeed at most anything. Just about everything you do or have done in life initially presented some type of learning curve which meant the chance you may not get it right the first time! By allowing this fear to hold you back you are cheating yourself out of new experiences, accomplishments and of course the opportunity to learn something new! Failing is learning so get that straight and fear it no more!

Most successful businesses realize the need for taking a more individualized approach in order to set themselves apart from their competitors. This approach encompasses not only those strategies used for marketing an online business but also personal philosophies and attitudes as well. By keeping a focus on their primary goals and avoiding becoming entangled in details and personal fears marketing success becomes easier to achieve! The 5 simple strategies offered above serve to show how practicing a little initiative and not sweating the small stuff when marketing an online business makes you more productive! In the end it all depends upon your ability to shed your inhibitions allowing you to be more decisive when taking action in order to grow your business successfully!

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