The Subjective Nature of Fun

I’ve yet to run a full marathon, though have done many ‘half’s’. I know at the starting line the run ahead may not be ‘fun’. It is the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment that awaits at the finish line. Fun may be in the mix while I chat & pace with a friend on the course or sharing orange slices, and stories at the post race party. I will treasure the race-shirt for the learning, commitment, and accomplishment it represents, much more than for the ‘fun’ I had that day. All of if worth the effort.

What’s Beyond Fun Teambuilding?

Time is priceless.  The talent and collective brain trust on a team are close runners up.

A world-class team pursues more than fun from a teambuilidng event. They don’t have the time for frivolous affairs with little ROI for all the time, energy, and resources an event requires. Sure, they want to have a good time and positive experience, though the main focus is to gain insight, tools, and increase connections that will propel the team forward. They realize this takes some effort to do so too.

Start with the end in mind when planning a team building event. Consider the kind of remarks you would like to see afterward. Some of the comments would include the ‘F’ word (fun) but you would create a much bigger ROI on your investment if you heard:

  • I learned so much about my self, my team and our business.
  • It was really challenging and totally worth it.
  • It was a powerful metaphor for our work and team.
  • I can’t wait to put into practice some of the things we learned.

Extending The Experience With A Gift

Endorphins fire in our body when we give to others. Little things like opening the door for someone (with a smile) lights up those feel-good chemicals as does working as a team to create meaningful, tangible and oftentimes life changing differences for others. Look for a philanthropic component embedded into a custom-event for your team. This type of team experience and its value lingers long after the program due to the emotional connections of giving and the joy/ fun that comes along with doing so.

Expect a ROI on teambuilding. ‘Fun’ is a low bar to attain and should be a by-product of any option on the table…not the goal. Meeting planners who are hesitant to ask deeper questions of a team leader may suggest events or activities that are superficially fun but lack the ability to generate deeper connections and alignment, or increased ambition and awareness. Go for relevant, engaging, and memorable and you’ll exceed all expectations of a fun teambuilding event.


Written By:

Todd Demorest

Chief Facilitation Officer of Odyssey Teams