NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Team Building flack at the Union

Jeff Ackerman and The Union is under fire for Column on Grass Valley Team building.

I vote with Jeff. Team building is an industry with a questionable product. I have participated in team building exercises, through out my Air Force career. In 1973 as an Air Force Major at Air Command and Staff College, I was busted and counseled for spending too much time watching team building evaluators manipulate the outcome, and not participating in the exercise as prescribed by the scenario. In industry, I have participated in one day, two day, three day, one week, and two week team building exercises. The best, and most educational part was the evening cocktail hour. I learned more about my team leaders by observing them after a few drinks dropped their guard, than in the exercises. I spent two days a month for, nine months, learning how the Sierra Business Council builds community teams around issues, and how to manipulate the outcome of community meetings. Again, the evening libations and social conversation proved to be more informative than the exercises. Hum, maybe the City Council should spend the $1,800 on a couple of cocktail parties, and forget the paper, sticker, and marker exercises.

More details at on The Union Blog

Tell me what you think

1 Comments:

Blogger steve frisch said...

Russ, when you originally posted the following comment I thought about replying and did not. I am sorry I let it pass last spring.

"I spent two days a month for, nine months, learning how the Sierra Business Council builds community teams around issues, and how to manipulate the outcome of community meetings."

A little disclosure for readers who do not know me: I am the Vice President for Programs at the Sierra Business Council.

If your experience with the SBC sponsored Sierra Leadership Seminar was negative, I am sorry. I suspect it may have had something to do with attending the class with people who did not necessarily agree with you on all issues.

More than 150 Sierra leaders have gone through the class and the vast majority of them find the experience helpful. The class is led by some of the most accomplished trainers in thier field, and your class was led by a nationally recognized leader in the field of consensus building.

Not all issues can be resolved with consensus building processes or collaboration. Sometimes a model based on more traditional forms of conflict resolution are appropriate.

However there has never been an emphasis on "controling the outcome of community meetings." The emphasis of the program is to empower local communities to make thier own decisions, and assist communities with skills to achieve their goals.

Dozens of SLS trained individuals are leading collaborative efforts in their communities that welcome in diverse points of view.

Thu Sep 29, 06:08:00 AM PDT  

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