Saving Time and Money With a Building Consultant

In the business of building, time often equals money. Applying for building permits can be a costly adventure if your applications and designs aren’t up to snuff. Consider this: to acquire a permit to build a hotel (let’s say the size of The Drake) in the City of Chicago, the cost would run several thousand dollars and well over a month’s time to process the application – and that’s if all your ducks are in a row! On the other hand, if your application or any information pertaining to the building design plans is incomplete upon first submittal, you’ll be required to resubmit the information.

Once you pass the first stage, your documents will then go to the initial review. During this stage, any changes needed to the design plan to adhere to building codes will require corrections or revised plans showing the changes being requested by the review board.

This process continues until all requirements have been met. If due diligence wasn’t given before the application process you could be looking at additional months of waiting time before your project can get off the ground. Time wasted equals money wasted.

If this process sounds like it could be a distraction to your project, the better option is to seek a firm for building code advice to perform the dirty work for you. Yes, it will cost you money up front, but by hiring a building professional to consult your work will result in time saved, reduced money expenditures and far fewer headaches. By identifying applicable building codes and conducting a thorough analysis of your municipality’s zoning regulations, code consultants are able to anticipate issues and avoid expensive delays and corrections down the road. In addition to the process of identifying applicable codes for your project, building consultants will provide documentation, clarification and advice to achieve code compliance, complete and submit any required paperwork and review residential and/or commercial accessibility and health codes. This development of complete understanding of the project helps to streamline the submission and spot issues before they become problems. The benefits of using a building consultant are plentiful. However, it is necessary to find the right consultant that will serve you well. You’ll want to search for quality customer service, one that offers individualized attention – from start to finish. You want a consultant that will have your needs at the forefront; one that will make you feel confident that your project deadlines will be met and costs will remain within budget. If these criteria are met, you, as the prospective builder, will have a wonderful asset on your team who will save you time and money, allow you to focus on your project and its challenges, and above all else: peace of mind.

Corporate Team Building Activity – Failure To Achieve Results

Your corporate team building program was not a success? Here are four possible reasons why.

1) Lack of understanding why they are there.

If the participants are not made aware of the reason for the team building program there can be some serious hostility. Some coordinators like to “keep the people in the dark” and surprise them when the team building program starts. Another common idea is, we will not tell them what we are doing and when it starts they will be totally surprised. These two ideas are a recipe for disaster, and a competent team building facilitator’s worst nightmare. As adults the idea a “SURPRISE” you need better team work, does not create a happy environment.

Instead what coordinators of team building programs should do is speak to the team inform them that they are going to be taking part in a team program. You are going to get some groans and people may not want to attend. This however is alright. The team building program should not be viewed as a prison sentence. Let them go to the meeting, ask them to observe for a little time, if they still do not wish to participate, this is their choice.

Within work teams – initiative and choice is a building block for team work, you must respect your team members decision.

2) Improper sequencing of activities

This cannot be said loud enough. What sequencing is in the team building world is the order of activities, each one adding a new level of comfort and acceptance to the group. Many times the coordinator of the event and even worse the facilitator wants to “scare them straight into being a team” by pushing a huge physical, mental or emotional challenge on participants for the first activity. If this happens almost 90% of the participants will back out immediately.

Participants understand that they are not going to love every team building activity, and that they have the choice to change their minds. A proper sequence starts with the groups’ current state of being. Do they know each other well? Have they worked together for 30+ years? Is there some hidden conflict waiting to erupt? The sequencing depends on the facilitator of your event; the facilitator should at the least have knowledge of Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Formation, if the facilitator does not RUN out of their as fast as you can! This facilitator is not ready for corporate team building.

Ask the facilitator how sequential learning is going to add to your team building program. Be an informed consumer, do not assume that because the facilitator works for a college, or a reputable conference center that he is qualified.

3) Poor or inadequate debrief

If the facilitator does not have the skills to debrief the team building activities, take your companies check book to the toilet and flush it! You will get the same results – wet feet, a foul odor and an angry supervisor.

This is where experience and broad knowledge is needed for the team building facilitator. After the majority of team building activities the facilitator should lead a debrief or processing session. Effective facilitators are able to gain the trust and attention of all team members through a variety of processing techniques. While you are speaking with the facilitator ask about experiential learning cycles, processing, planned outcomes, goals, and customization to your group. If he just stares at you blankly this facilitator is probably great at playing games but lacks the true processing needed to turn a corporate team building activity from recreation to education.

4) Lacking commitment of Management and Executive team

“Thank you for coming to this our team building day, the executive staff are pleased to have you, the executive staff and I are going to go golfing for the day and leave you here to play some games with [insert team building facilitator here]. This is important to the executive team that all of you work as a team. Have fun playing some silly games we will see you after our golf game, Good luck [insert team building facilitator here] this group needs a lot of work!”

This is the introduction I once got before a 7 hour team building program. Needless to say the goals and learning objectives that were reached never stuck back in the office. It is imperative for the higher ups to be part of the team building as much as possible. Often times the ideas that arise are brilliant and can be easily implemented into organizational practice. If the executive team is off golfing, they will never hear it.

Team building is a culture, team building is a value a mission a deep down belief in the participants soul to like and love their Job as well as co-workers. When looking for a Corporate Team Building Consultant find someone who is passionate about your organization and is ready to work with you for success.

There must be trust for organizational growth to occur.

Team Building Success – 4 Steps To Implement

Do you want your team building program to be a success? While many factors play a part in creating a successful meeting, off site and team training program – here are 4 ways that work for organizations team success.

1) Full understanding why they are there.

It is imperative for the team to be knowledgeable of why they are involved in the team training. Transparency in the goals expectations and needs of the team and members that are part of the team make participants feel comfortable. If you plan on surprising the team with a jolt of, “The Company feels you are dysfunctional and we are going to spend a day team building” this will show a lack of trust and that you are treating the team as children. Even youth groups will not take well to this.

Meet with the team ask them what they feel is the team problems involve them in making decisions. Team members know what is going on and they will tell you what they need – all you have to do is ask.

2) Proper sequencing of events.

This is why meeting with the team building consultant is necessary. Sequencing is building from a “safe” point to a “riskier” point. If done properly the team grows and the program progresses. Whether it is 2 hours or 4 weeks – sequencing takes planning and time. A good starting point to understand how to sequence would be viewing Tuckman’s Stages of group development, Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. This illustrates the progression of teams in development. It is imperative to understand that at any point the team may shift from one stage to another. This should be kept in mind when sequencing team building activities and lecture based materials for the team program.

3) Focus on Processing and De-Briefing.

If you truly wish for a team building recreational event – realize that is all you will get a great time and laughs. That is a wonderful thing, and does build teams.

If you wish for an educational event (recreation – fun and education – fun) then do your research. The team building activities are just vehicles to deliver learning to the team. The point of hands-on initiatives is to allow the team members to reinforce and test new learning and skills gained during a lecture part of the team program. Additionally the hands-on and experiential nature creates a learning centered environment. Processing (with the right facilitator) is exciting and motivating. Before you commit to a program ask the facilitator to lead a small sample exercise. You should feel at the end that you learned and gained some knowledge, a great facilitator in the processing makes you feel like you taught him something.

4) Follow up and now what?

Team building and experiential training are long term projects. At the end of the session ask the team what to do to harness the energy and ideas that were generated. Create a concrete plan to follow up. Even go so far as to write down and put the goals and skills learned from the team building program into evaluations for the team members.

An effective team building program has the ability to encompass many different learning styles and skills at once. This is best viewed as a symphony of ideas. Any great composer (in this case team building facilitator) is able to keep the sounds beautiful and know just when different instruments are needed.

Invest in your teams abilities and the results sound like beautiful music!