There is a constant pressure on the events industry to come up with new team building ideas. The last thing employers want to do today is to send their co-workers on another golf/spa weekend infused with booze and the same old entertainment. Here are few tips on how to turn your team building event into a great one, with inspiration from Poland and its fascinating history and rich culture.
1. Chopin music workshops
Considered Poland’s greatest composer, Frederic Chopin is often regarded as the most talented piano composer to ever live. His music, full of emotion and passion, could be a fantastic subject for a team building event. Classical music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it has been proven that listening to it enhances intelligence, learning and improves concentration and attention levels. The idea is simple: capture the power of the music and release it into your team! Here is how to do it:
The solo piano experience: a workshop that teaches the participants how the universal language of music translates into everyday professional lives. A talented pianist/motivational speaker can, by performing selected pieces of piano music, illustrate how top-level musicians master technique, concentration and creativity. It is a highly artistic exercise that demonstrates how the medium of music can provide a new vocabulary for discussing leadership, teamwork and innovation in today’s business world.
The orchestra experience:
Why not involve your team in not only listening to classical music, but also performing it. You are probably wondering at this point how do you convince a group of people, most of whom have never had anything to do with classical music, to play a piano, or any other instrument for that matter? But then, haven’t you ever wanted to learn to play an instrument, or wondered how it would if feel to perform in an orchestra? If your team can learn to perform a Chopin composition and sound like a synchronized orchestra in 90 minutes, they can do anything! This exercise will improve team dynamics and time management, whilst also exploring collective excellence and the creative spirit, delivered in a fun and exciting manner.
2. Wieliczka Salt Mine underground escape
Wieliczka Salt mine is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Poland. Located only 30 minutes drive from Krakow, it is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
But it is not the regular tourist sightseeing trip we want to tell you about. Recently, the Salt mine unveiled a new mining route that is designed to provide a fully immersive experience of working underground. It is a unique and very involved team building exercise intended to test team work and also gauge individual potential in an authentic mining environment.
The participants are given miners overalls and basic mining equipment: a lamp, a helmet and an axe After a short tutorial (including health and safety briefings) you set off underground for a few hours to become mining apprentices. Each team member is given a role and a specific mining profession and execution of his/her tasks will influence the success of the whole expedition. The activity includes many challenges ranging from basic salt extraction and transportation to the more complicated, such as underground navigation. It is a once in a life-time experience that encourages team play and strengthens the group dynamics.
3. In the footsteps of Communism
Thankfully, the Communist era is long gone but there are plenty of relics that remain of the old regime in most Polish cities. Recently, they became a tourist attraction, very popular even amongst locals. It is a good history lesson but entwined with a positive twist, mostly showing the (now) comical aspects of the previous administration: the absurd notion of queuing for everything (and I mean everything!), the government propaganda against the evils of capitalism and the ‘milk bars’ with the cutlery chained to the tables. It can also be a fantastic way of getting to know your team outside the confines of the hotel and will allow you to experience something completely different and unique.
What we are proposing is an exercise that we call a Communist pursuit game. This activity uses the latest technology to form a chase after the remains of the old regime. The players set off into the streets, following the instructions given by their tablet computers. The team that succeeds in the greatest number of challenges and ultimately scores the most points, will win the game. Local guides are present in the field of play, to assist the players and also share an anecdote or two about the old days. The game can involve a number of attractions, such as ride in a vintage Trabant automobile or a lunch in a Communist restaurant. It perfectly combines the elements of competition, problem solving, knowledge and excitement, making it an ideal team building activity.
4. Polish vodka workshops
Can you use vodka for anything else other then getting drunk? At Beyond Poland Events we say YES, and we invite you to learn more about this drink that has had such a strong influence over Polish culture and every day life.
We bet you didn’t know there are over 60 different flavors of Polish regional vodka and that you can cook and bake using this very diverse alcohol.
And that’s our idea for a team building exercise: a Polish vodka tasting and cooking workshop. Ever popular, culinary team challenges are still in strong demand but we are moving on from chocolate making classes to more adult like exercises. Working with your colleagues to create an amazing cocktail based on Polish flavored vodka, which you can taste afterwards, could be a real test of team dynamics in more relaxed circumstances than an office environment. You will be surprised how many fantastic dishes can taste even better, once influenced by either a popular clear vodka or one of the many Polish traditional flavored brands. I think we found the best recipe for raising your team spirits.