Teamwork is a process that can be experienced outdoors and well as in workplace. A lesson learned in one environment can be applied equally well in another. Teamwork: We Have Met Enemy and They Are Us, a book by Dr. Steven Stowell and Matt Starcevich, describes actual teams that have participated in a variety of outdoor teamwork training programs. These programs have been as long as five days and as short as one. Each account has been chosen as illustrative of one of phases all teams go through in progression from inception of a team to fully functioning interdependence. This sampling of teams has been selected for each particular event, one or another best illustrates why some teams work together better than others. Not all teams engage in events reported here, nor are these events an exhaustive report of all teamwork training actives that could be used to improve teams.
A majority of accounts in this book describe teams that have failed to succeed at their assigned task. We focus on their failure to highlight those factors that contributed to teamís demise. We do not to suggest that all these teams are failures. The best discussion and insights have resulted when teams have had to explain why they did not accomplish their objective in a teamwork training event.
The client teams we work with already see themselves as effective. What they are seeking from us is teamwork training to improve on their effectives Ė to be stretched, tested, and to grow as a group. As we said before, not all teams fail, but these accounts are typical of how a majority of teams approach outdoor challenges they face. As with an actual team, if you focus on success or failure, you will miss important opportunity in exploring how teams functioned in performing tasks, or their processes.
Each account in this book has been written as an independent narrative followed by a summary of key points that would have contributed to better teamwork. The summaries are in varied formats including a didactic approach, a panel of expertsí discussion, participantsí personal reflections, a fable, and teamís own reflective discussion.
Our hope is that you can translate outdoor teamwork training metaphors and summaries to workplace and to situations within your own team. The crucial leap involves taking lessons these teams have learned experientially and applying concepts to improving your teamwork.
Like any journey, many different routes can be taken. You donít have to read book from cover to cover to capture significant messages. Choose those topics or aspect of teamwork of most interest and zero in on them. We hope format will lend itself to an enjoyable journey into inner working of group dynamics and teamwork.