Team Building, Large and Small



This summer was full of Airigami team-building. Two full weeks were spent with Rochester school children taking part in the Shared Adventures Summer Scholars Program through The Rochester City School District and Shared Adventures/Rock Ventures. Approximately 150 fourth graders took part in physical and mind enhancing programs, including an Airigami project that encouraged teamwork.



Divided into eight groups, the kids worked to build a giant octopus. Each group learned enough about twisting balloons to make their own tentacle and all were brought together to complete the piece.

Big kids too

We all know that given an opportunity, kids will create. Getting adults to do the same is often quite a bit harder. Suggest team building exercises to a group of adults in a work environment and you get everything from managers excited about the prospect, to their employees rolling their eyes at yet one more thing they're being forced to do. Of course, when we show up, we know that we're bringing fun, packaged in tasks for everyone. Those that want physical work, get it. Those that want thinking tasks get them. Everyone ends up working together -- and laughing through it all.



Last month we tried out our newest team-building experience. We created Mission: Inflatable. This is a fast-paced, mission-oriented program that results in a large sculpture installation created by the participants. Some team-building programs establish competition between the participants. Instead, we focus on a cooperative environment where the various sub groupings of participants slowly come together over time to finish the large piece. In other words, the team grows. Isn't that what team-building is supposed to be about?



Like all of our large team projects, the piece to be built is custom designed for the group. We match the theme we're given and the ability of the participants. We provide basic instruction, guidance, and coaching through the project to make sure it happens. Even the manila envelope with the mission details and a roadmap for the project is provided. Of course, there's still plenty of room for creativity beyond the mission outline for those that work fast enough and have a desire to take things beyond the basics.

Our first time using this format was a huge success. It was a group of 150 employees of Superior Plus Energy Services attending their annual sales meeting. We heard grumbling before it started, and before they knew what we were going to do, but everyone left with a smile. Participants kept telling us how much fun they had. When it was done, they had created the decor for their own dinner.

We're looking forward to bringing Mission: Inflatable to more places. If this sounds interesting to you, let us know!

Coming Up: Balloons Around the World

The first Wednesday of every October we celebrate Balloons Around the World. Balloon artists from around the world participate in this event, spreading the joy of balloons everywhere they can. Just as we did last year, Kelly and I will work with many other Rochester artists at the Strong National Museum of Play. We'll be creating a balloon rainforest from 11 AM to 4 PM on October 3. If you're in Rochester, come, watch, and chat with us.