, Team Building Goals – What Are the Objectives of Team Building?, Building Wrestling

Success in building high performing teams in any organisation has huge benefits for the business, its Customers, the teams and for each team member. To achieve success in team building, it is important to have a tight focus on the objectives and goals, as well as on the benefits of team building for that specific business or workplace.

The Overall Objectives

Some think this is about playing silly games, or indulging in expensive and irrelevant out of work activities. The managers or business people who believe this will quickly dismiss the concept as a total waste of money and energy. Others who have problems in their workplace with conflict in groups, poor performance or demotivated staff may see team building as positive, but as an unattainable goal. They do not have a clear understanding of team building, or, indeed of the role of leadership in achieving high performance.

Team building is a PROCESS that takes place over time. The start of the process is where there is a group of people, two or more, and a leader. The end of the process is where there is a high performing team, who are highly motivated to perform better and better, who have well-developed processes and systems to organise their workload, and who gain immense satisfaction from their shared achievements.

The overall objectives are to achieve this high performance, to develop the group through the various stages of development, until it achieves high performance. However, like any other process, there are different steps or stages, and there are quite different objectives and goals at each stage. Focussing on the RIGHT objectives at each stage, and changing your objectives as you go through the process, will help you achieve high performance.

The Objectives at Stage One

At the first stage of team building, the Forming stage, there are very identifiable objectives and goals. These objectives MUST be achieved before the group can move on to the next stage. It is the role of the leader of the team to ensure the objectives are met.

The objectives at the Forming stage are:

1. To bind the group, so that they get to know each other and begin having a sense of team. It is at this stage that team building activities will help bind them.

2. To align them to their shared purpose, goals and targets

3. To establish a positive team culture, the beliefs, values and norms of behaviour

4. To establish the role of the leader

The Objectives at the Second Stage

Some of the initial objectives will continue through to this stage, but other goals will be introduced to develop the team further. This stage is called the Storming stage, where members may challenge their shared purpose, the leadership or the norms of behaviour.

The objectives at this stage are:

1. To keep them aligned to their purpose and goals

2. To develop good working relationships between all members, giving them experience of working with different team members

3. To nurture shared problem solving and generating new ideas

4. To introduce processes so that they work effectively together e.g. daily huddles, flash problem solving meetings, regular state of play meetings, communication systems etc.

5. To establish clear short term goals and methods for celebrating achievement and milestones

The Objectives at the Third Stage

When the team has worked through the Storming stage, they will have become closer, and will have a deep sense of working together to achieve their shared purpose. This stage is called the Norming stage, where they work well together and has effective processes and systems.

To get the team to the next stage, the focus changes.

Not many teams achieve the fourth stage, the high performing team. The reason for this generally is that they get stuck in the Norming stage. To move the team forward, the objective now is to change the focus quite dramatically.

Up to now, the idea has been that there is no ‘I’ in team. The objective is to bind the team together to achieve their shared targets. Now the objective is to get the ‘I’ back in to the Team, to hold them together, but also to develop individual excellence and specialism.

The objectives at this stage are –

1. To increase the business knowledge, so that the team and individual members can take on more responsibility

2. To encourage problem solving, innovation and leadership for specific projects or tasks. The leader delegates to the team, or to small project groups.

3. To modify or change the processes so that they take on more responsibility. Team meetings reduce, team project teams increase. Leadership of projects or meetings rotates.

4. To get the team to set its own goals

With this clarity of the ladder of team building objectives, you will have a much better chance of developing your team effectively.

, Commercial Property Terms – Rectangular Building, Column Spacing and Bay Depth, Building Wrestling

If you currently invest or are considering investing in commercial real estate, here are a few commercial property terms that you should be familiar with.

Rectangular Building

When deciding whether to build a rectangular or a square building, you have several factors to consider. For one thing, it may be important to know that the square building usually has a smaller footprint. For instance, a 40,000 square foot building constructed as a square, would be 200 feet x 200 feet. However, that same building as a rectangle could be 100 feet x 400 feet and still have 40,000 square feet.

Although it’s the same square footage, if you’re going to build:

• 200 x 200, you have walls that are exactly the same.

So, you have only 800 lineal feet of wall to build.

• 400 x 100, you have 400 for both sides or 800 feet, plus 100 on each end, or another 200 feet.

So, you have 1,000 lineal feet of wall.

Although the amount of lineal feet involved is smaller with a square building, lessening the expense of construction, far more rectangular buildings are being built. Why? One big factor that shapes this outcome is that it’s easier to put the roof on a rectangle building. The maximum truss length from the standpoint of practical economical efficiency is 50 feet. As soon as you have more than that, you’re into incredibly larger engineering requirements to build that truss, because of the additional length in the roof that it has to support.

Column Spacing and Bay Depth

These are important commercial property terms to understand, because if you have a building that’s 400 feet x 100 feet, you must have one column in the middle of this building. That means your trusses have a one-column distance. This becomes important, when your tenant requires more usable interior space. If your tenant is using big trucks, tow motors, and similar equipment in your warehouse and is trying to navigate a column with a 200-foot truss, they would have trouble.

So, more buildings are being built like this, due to required elements such as column spacing and bay depth. Normally your columns are going to be 20 feet apart. So, if you’ve got a 100-foot building, it’s 50 feet to the column. You have a total of 50 feet of what is called clear span area. You can actually run a tow motor in that area without worrying about any kind of column spacing or impediments. The utility of the space becomes greater, even though it costs more to build.

Also, the cost of trusses is less and makes up for the extra cost in the lineal footage of wall space. Most of your tenant companies in this kind of property are going to be doing a lot of storage. If they want your warehouse facilities for storage, either long-term or short-term, there must be access to that storage.

Tip: The more efficient the access to storage, the more efficient the space becomes for the user.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles with more commercial property terms you’ll want to know.

, Building a Duplex: Tips and Advice, Building Wrestling

Investment properties in Australia are a hot commodity; not only can you increase your real estate investment portfolio, you can also use your investment property to garner additional income for your family. One of the ways to accumulate an investment property is to buy or build a duplex or other dual-occupancy property. A dual-occupancy residence can be detached or semi-attached, such as an apartment over the garage or a separate building on a piece of property. When building a duplex, tips and advice from those who have been in your situation prove an immense help to you before and after you begin the process of construction.

Know the law

Building a duplex, or granny flat, requires knowing a bit about real estate law. You cannot build any structure without the proper permits and you should never build any structure for investment purposes without first checking with an accountant regarding the tax you are required to pay upon sale of the duplex or on the money you earn as rent from the duplex.

Meet all council building requirements

In addition, your duplex must meet all structural, height, floor space and other relevant and required restrictions before it can be built. This requires making a blueprint of the structure and including all relevant details of the building. You can, however, add on to an existing structure to turn it into a duplex or build an entirely new structure on empty land.

What will you use the duplex for?

Before you begin construction on your duplex, there are a number of other factors you need to keep in mind. The first is what you plan on using the duplex for. Many people commonly take advantage of these granny flats as a way to care for elderly family members.

The addition of a granny flat, or duplex, gives you the space and privacy you desire as well as the proximity required to take care of your elderly parent or grandparent. Others use their granny flats as an apartment for recent graduates looking to move away from home for a little more privacy; since many graduates cannot afford a place of their own until school is over and jobs are secured, parents are letting their kids stay in their duplex while they go to school. The situation is a win-win for both parents and their adult children.

Your other option is to rent out the duplex to someone outside of your family. This method of investment generates income for you by renting the granny flat to someone with a contract requiring them to pay a set amount of rent each month.

Why choose a duplex?

Duplexes add value to your home when you decide to sell. The addition of a separate living quarter is something buyers look at as an upgrade, which also allows them to use the structure for investment purposes much the same way you do before choosing to sell your home.

These dual-occupancy homes are perfect for investment reasons, in-laws, visitors, elderly relatives or your kids when they are old enough to move out of your main residence.

Tips and considerations

Now that you have made the decision to build a granny flat, or duplex, on your property you need to adhere to a few tips and tricks. The first one is that you always include the necessary accommodations to the duplex. You will get more money and more potential renters based on the amenities in the duplex.

Additionally, the structure cannot be considered a duplex if it does not have a bathroom, kitchen and living area. You can make the structure a “studio” type building, which has a bathroom and kitchen and the rest of the living area is used as a living room, dining room and bedroom. However, the large your duplex, the more potential renters you will have. At least one bedroom will net you far more in monthly rent than a studio type duplex.

Another consideration is access to your house. If you are attaching the duplex to your house and using it as a rental or investment property, you don’t want your renters having access to your home, which means you need to ensure the duplex has an exterior door of its own and no access to your home.

Design

Consider using building materials that are sturdy and visually appealing. Pain the duplex a neutral colour that most people will find attractive. If you plan on allowing children or pets to live with their families you might consider a hard floor such as wood or tile and avoiding light color carpets that are easily dirtied and stained.

Speak to the right professionals

Always get advice from the right people before building a duplex! Talk to your accountant, conveyancer, solicitor and mortgage broker. They will help you make informed decisions.

, Building Strong Relationships – Four Stages of Development, Four Phases of Connection, Building Wrestling

To build a relationship, first it is necessary to give in order to receive so as to build trust and credibility, and to demonstrate what can be expected on an ongoing basis. Enterprises offer promotions as incentives to encourage prospects to try out products and/or services on a trial basis before making a full commitment as customers.

To form a relationship, a customer has to become a new user of a product and/or service, or has to switch from another supplier. The new supplier has to be persuasive. Decisions to adopt a new supplier are often made on emotion, and then justified rationally. The new supplier may only receive part of the new customer’s business at first, and has to earn the rest over time. It is not uncommon for customers to do business with several suppliers to stimulate competition, especially on price, but also as a hedge if quality degrades, or if outages occur.

Relationships between parties migrate through up to four stages of development:

  • Emerging – getting know each other with a few test transactions (both financial and non-financial)
  • Growth – increases in size and/or volume of transactions
  • Maturity – steady state: stable size and/or volume of transactions
  • Declining – decreases in size and/or volume of transactions

Non-financial transactions include updating account information, and determining service delivery options. However, they can also be related to non-economic events such as invitations to parties, receptions, and seminars, and referrals.

The migration path is not linear. Due to changing circumstances or lack of commitment, some emerging and growth relationships do not reach their full potential, whereas some mature and declining relationships migrate back to the growth stage again. It can take time to build a relationship, but it may be damaged beyond repair in an instant if credibility is lost.

The strength of a relationship is based upon the degree to which the parties wish to connect with each other, and applies to both financial and non-financial transactions. The strength of the relationship migrates through four phases of connection, primarily during the emerging stage of development:

  • Formation – getting to know each other
  • Divergence – differing opinions, disagreement, and doubt
  • Convergence – reconcilement, acceptance, and agreement
  • Association – performing collaboratively or cooperatively

However the relationship can migrate to back to the divergence phase at any time.

Parties can be:

  • External suppliers and customers
  • Individuals within the enterprise with an internal supplier and customer relationship
  • In some other relationship where they have to work together, either external or internal to the enterprise

If either of the parties or both are enterprises, the connection is always between individuals. Two individuals within the same enterprise can connect differently. Differentiators include willingness to help, or going beyond the call of duty.

Relationships between non-competitors are either collaborative or cooperative. In both cases, there is a common purpose or value. In collaborative relationships, the parties are dependent upon each other; in cooperative relationships, the parties are independent.

Team members should have collaborative relationships because they are dependent upon each other. Organizational units within enterprises should have collaborative relationships because the individuals within them should be working towards a common purpose – the mission and vision. However, in highly political environments where stated and enacted values differ, relationships tend to be competitive as individuals fight for position and status.

A general contractor/subcontractor relationship is collaborative because both parties have a common purpose – project completion on budget and schedule. The relationship between a retail enterprise and its customers is cooperative. The retailer wants or needs to sell products and/or services and the customer wants or needs to purchase them. Hence, there is a common purpose. However, unless any other form of relationship exists, the retailer and the customer are independent.

In financial transactions, a supplier offers a product and/or service that a customer wants or needs with a certain level of expectation. A financial transaction is an offer of an item in exchange for cash or credit (or barter). The price is the exchange value offered by the seller; quality is the value perceived by the customer. When offered and perceived value equal approximately, the relationship is likely to be sustainable over time. When perceived value is higher than offered, the customer has an advantage, but the relationship may not be sustainable over time because value is being given away. When perceived value is lower than offered, the supplier has a price advantage. However, unless the supplier can further differentiate, the customer may believe that they are being taken advantage of. The customer may be able to get better quality or lower price elsewhere, and thus the relationship may not be sustainable.

Relationships often exist within certain tolerance levels for quality and price, and service levels can be differentiators. In general, lifestyle enterprises differentiate on the basis of service because owners are willing to make the extra effort to exceed customer expectations personally with no additional labor cost.

Customers will often test suppliers with “teaser” transactions before a major financial outlay occurs, and before a supplier is recommended to others. However, “word of mouth” referral is the best way to start a relationship.

Building relationships is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

, Building a Custom Boat Seat, Building Wrestling

Boat seats are often very expensive and it is not so easy to find them cheap. I spent a lot of time surfing the internet to find seats for my last boat building project. I am a big DIY fan and there is quite a lot of things that I already built for my boats.

I started looking for an online tutorial on building a custom boat seat but had no luck finding it so I decide that I will try to build seats for my boat on my own. I had drawn a few sketches of how I wanted my seats to look like and started to calculate the amounts of materials needed for the job.

I planned everything very well so at the and I came up with this great tutorial with all the answers provided for those of you who would like to build you custom boat seats. Not only you can save a lot of money by doing this yourself but you will find out that the same skills are used to make yourself new kitchen or bar chairs.

I used some marine graded plywood to build a frame for my seat and additionally protected it with some marine paint and this presented a basic construction for my seat. I bolted an aluminum rod to the bottom side of the seat that is later used as the seat’s leg. I then bought some artificial leather and cut out a shape of my frame and an additional 8 cm wide tape.

I then used a normal sewing machine and some polyester thread to sewn the top seat cover. Between the plywood frame and the seat cover I put a 5cm green seating foam. I then used a stapler to attach the foam to the seat frame with stainless steel staples an also to attach the final top seat cover to the frame.

To give my product a final touch I stapled black artificial leather cover to the back of the seat frame to hide the painted plywood.

I took my about two days to make two custom boat seats for my new boat I was rebuilding at the time and they came out very nice.