How Investing in Network Building can Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line: Part 1

“When asked about how the highest performers executed work effectively, how they produced innovative solutions or times when they were thriving in their career, they would quickly start to talk about the people involved. Without realizing it, they were describing their networks…” – Rob Cross and Rebecca Garau At Summit, we often run team building programs with large groups and companies that involve hundreds of participants. One question that we frequently get asked is why these companies should invest in these large programs that only span 1-2 hours, and what the return-on-investment for these programs will be. Over the years, we’ve learned that one of the most valuable outcomes of these programs is the opportunity that it provides for members of large companies to build their networks (hence, why we sometimes call them network building programs). In the corporate world of 2018, we intuitively understand the value of strong networks, but it’s often unclear how it will directly benefit a company’s bottom line. Fortunately, recent research by The Connected Commons addresses this exact issue. In a research project published less than two months ago, Rob Cross (Professor of Global Leadership at Babson College and frequent writer for the Harvard Business Review) and his colleague Rebecca Garau interviewed 160 of the most engaged and high performing leaders across 20 different well-known organizations in a variety of sectors, from financial services to life sciences. They took a deeper look into the strategies that these highest performers in these organizations used to build, maintain, and leverage their personal networks, and in the process, uncovered exactly how strong personal networks can significantly benefit the...

What Is The History Of Corporate Team Building

Corporate team building as we know it today has been around since just after World War 2. While there are many versions of the origin and evolution of corporate team building, this is my understanding. During WWII it was observed that the older sailors had a higher survival percentage than their younger comrades when their ship was sunk. Rational thought you place better odds on the younger and in many cases more fit sailors of surviving better than their older counterparts. This was observed not to be the case and studies were conducted to discover why. It was discovered that the greater life experience and maturity of the older sailors (perhaps this can be related to emotional intelligence) enabled them to tolerate stress, pressure, and discomfort better than the younger sailors. The military therefore crated a training program designed to give navy sailors a crash course in life experience focusing on self-awareness, self-confidence, resiliency and determination. At the end of the war this program morphed into Outward Bound and became assessable to the civilian population. Outward Bound chose to focus on youth in their developmental years with the goal of helping them to become stronger and balanced individuals that would be strong contributors to society. As time went on this approach to personal development began to be recognized by insightful and future thinking corporate trainers and they started to look for ways to adapt these Outward Bound program concepts into Corporate Team Building Programs and thus the corporate team building program was born. Being ever competitive, corporations sought out ways to enhance these corporate team building programs and started...