November 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts November 2002 Current Issue
November 2002
Short Cuts:It’s Nothing Physical

image Ropes courses, beach olympics and wall climbing are the stuff of traditional team-building activities those games that inspire fear and loathing in the nonathletically inclined. Luckily, when it comes to boosting morale and encouraging employee bonding, there are plenty of creative alternatives that don’t require breaking a sweat.

The Professional Education Program at the Henry Ford Museum ( in Dearborn, Mich., has organized educational team-building sessions since 1994. Kim Arceci, training and development leader, says groups love her slower-paced offerings. “We might have them select a piece of machinery and try to analyze how it was used to solve a problem in car manufacturing. They then see how what they’ve learned reflects on their company,” says Arceci.

Carol Norfleet, CMP, vice president of client services for destination management company Destination Nashville (, cites two favorite nonathletic activities: “Clueless in Nashville,” a walking event in which clues are found and a puzzle pieced together, and “Harmony,” where groups gather clues from the city’s musical heritage, write a song (with professional help), design a record cover and plan marketing strategies. Braver souls have the option of performing their ditty.

Operation Altitude (, a DMC in Vail, Colo., caters to groups not interested in pursuing the area’s sports of choice skiing and rock-climbing. “We have groups construct log cabins or have teams of 10 people all standing on the same pair of skis and trying to coordinate walking 100 meters,” says company owner Todd Layton. “It is a great way of still participating in an activity that Vail is famous for.” Layton says 15 percent of his clients prefer nonphysical events.


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