01 02 03 "CorporateTheatre": The Wisdom of Teams - 6: Fun@Work 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

The Wisdom of Teams - 6: Fun@Work

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(In this series of posts offering excerpts from the book, 'The Wisdom of Teams' by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith (Harvard Business School Press), the excerpts are in bold.) 



"Finally, teams have more fun. This is not a trivial point because the kind of fun they have is integral to their performance. The people on the teams we met consistently and without prompting emphasized the fun aspects of their work together. Of course this fun included parties, hoopla, and celebrations. But any group of people can throw a good party. What distinguishes the fun of teams is how it both sustains and is sustained by team performance."

By the end of a "CorporateTheatre" workshop, participants would have gone through intensely challenging activity that involves  integrating into new and changing teams, taking on increasing levels of challenge in constantly changing environments, working with severe time and resource constraints, following strict discipline which involves being penalised if they break the rules, competing, and taking on intense physical as well as mental pressure.

At the end if it, when they are asked, " In spite of all this did you have fun?", the answer is invariably a resounding "YEEEESSS".
The learning derived is, to put it in "CorporateTheatre" parlance:
"Fun-at-work is not about doing 'fun' things at the workplace which is extraneous to the actual work.  While this can of course be fun, it does not necessarily make the work enjoyable.  Instead, fun at work comes from creating an environment where the work itself becomes fun without in any way diluting the focus on the objective, the commitment to the deadline, the customer focus, commitment to quality, and discipline. This is very much on the lines of how mountaineering under life threatening conditions becomes fun for the mountaineer, and doing theatre under intense pressure becomes fun and relaxation for the actor."

The inherent ability of a 'natural' team to have fun even when working under intense pressure is consistently experienced and reinforced through the "CorporateTheatre" workshops.  This essential characterisitic of high performance teams has also been validated by research as expressed in the excerpt given above and stated elsewhere in the book.  

The role and responsibility of leadership towards creating this environment, are also defined during the course of the workshops.

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