This article talks about how the models listed below can be interconnected to build a better understanding of Teambuilding and Leadership in an organization with Bruce Tuckman’s Team Development Model forming the base for these correlations. The models that will be discussed in this paper as follows:

  1. Tuckman’s Team Development Model
    2. 3Cs of Teamwork
    3. 3 Communication Barriers

Teambuilding and Leadership are almost becoming a common language across organization around the world, and especially in Singapore, where human resource has found its way in becoming the largest natural resource. Organizations have begun to understand the growing need of teambuilding. It is evident a better team is able to create better outcomes through teamwork. The concerning factor will be that many organization view teambuilding as an ability for the teams to come together to do different things rather than work. On a larger perspective this can be acceptable, but analyzing deeper, teambuilding tends to have more detailing and strategic planning in order to make sure a particular group of people be able to
come together to perform extraordinary cause.

By combining some of the familiar/ common models of teambuilding, organizations will be able to better understand the intricate/ complex details that will need to be highlighted for a better and smooth transition from one phase to another.

Bruce Tuckman’s Team Development Model

This model describes the phases which teams tend to go through from their inception to the successful completion of the project, and highlights the areas which may cause the team and the project to fail.

There are four stages that a team will go through in their path together. These stages are Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Tuckman also have mentioned that teams will go through each stage one at a time and will not have a chance to jump stages.

High dependence on an individual leader for guidance and direction. Little agreement on team aims other than received from leader. Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear. Leader must be prepared to answer lots of questions about the team’s purpose, objectives and external relationships. Processes are often ignored. Members test tolerance of system and leader

Decisions don’t come easily within group. Team members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members. Clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles. The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues. Compromises may be required to enable progress.

Agreement and consensus largely forms among the team, who respond well to facilitation by a leader. Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted. Big decisions are made by group agreement. Smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. Commitment and unity is strong. The team may engage in fun and social activities. The team discusses and develops its processes and working style. There is general respect for the leader and some of leadership is more shared by the team.

The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing. The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader. There is a focus on over-achieving goals, and the team makes most of the decisions against criteria agreed with the leader. The team has a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occur but now they are resolved within the team positively, and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team. The team is able to work towards achieving the goal, and also to attend to relationship, style and process issues along the way. Team members look after each other. The team requires delegated tasks and
projects from the leader. The team does not need to be instructed or assisted. Team members might ask for assistance from the leader with personal and interpersonal development

Relationship between Tuckman’s Team Development Model and 3Cs

The framework 3Cs basically talks about the three important words that a team will have to have in order to work together effectively and efficiently. The three Cs are Communication; Cooperation and Collaboration respectively.

The figure above illustrates how the 3Cs can be combines together with the TUCKMAN’s TEAMBUILDING Model. More people tend to identify and know TUCKMAN’s TEAMBUILDING model that teams will have to move from Forming to Storming, from storming to norming and from norming to performing. They also know that there is no short cut to Performing, and that every team will have to go through these stages. The question that many cannot answer, though, is how can you move from one stage to another?

3Cs tend to answer this question easily, as illustrated by the figure above. Communication will lead a team from Forming to Storming, as disagreement can only be shown through communication, regardless of verbal or non-verbal.

A team will only be able to move from a difficult Storming stage when they start to cooperate with each other. Cooperation as stated in Oxford Dictionary, it is the action or process of working together to the same end. So, cooperation enables a team to put aside their differences and to work together to achieve the common goal.

Lastly, teams can only move on to Performing stage from Norming Stage, when they are able to coordinate flawlessly by understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They tend to focus on the strengths and help each other out with the weaknesses. This collaboration can also be called Synchronization, where team members become “in sync” with each other, they tend to understand each other in a different level.

Relationship between Tuckman’s Team Development Model, 3Cs and 3Barriers.

The 3 communication barriers are the culprit that stops a team or individual from advancing to the next level in their relationship. The three barriers are Physical Barrier, Mental Barrier and Emotional Barrier. These barriers are the reason why Teams cannot move from Forming to Storming stage. Also, without knowing these barriers, teams tend to have a pseudo effect that they have passed the Storming stage and are already into the Norming stage.

Physical Communication Barrier refers to the proximity of a person’s touch to another. This touch can be expressed in a form of a handshake, where meeting a new person and shaking their hands will give a different feeling compared to meeting the same new person and just saying “Hello”. These physical barriers stop us from having any form of contact with a person or team. Some colleagues have broken this physical barrier, they would not mind when a colleague were to come up to them to give them a massage or even comically pull them or hold them. Physical barriers in a FOCUS Adventure programmes can be broken with activities such as, SPA, International Handshake, Alphalink and Turning Point.

Mental Communication Barrier refers to the way two new people come together to solve a problem or a task by thinking together. Many people, when meeting new individuals will try not to show their ability to think as they may feel inferior to the other person. This barrier stops a team from thinking together and moving forward. Teams will need to first break the physical barrier in order to get to break the mental barrier. Mental barriers in FOCUS Adventure programmes can be broken with activities like Loose Change, Key Punch and Tower of Hanoi.

Emotional communication barrier, the final barrier a team will have to break in their Forming stage to move on to the Storming stage. This barrier basically shows a person’s true self during adverse situation. Most of the time, when new people meet, they tend to boast their good aspects/talents in themselves, to make themselves interesting to the other person. During that phase, people tend to be nice, understanding and forgiving. As they break the physical and mental barrier, they will arrive at the emotional barrier. This barrier breaks when a person gets angry with another in a team, cries to a person from the team, shows his/her true excitement, in another words, showing the team their variety of emotions with the
different levels in each.

Once this barrier breaks, teams will automatically move into the Storming stage, as you can only show differences when you reveal your true colours, and make known your emotions to the public/ common man.


As a conclusion, the figure above illustrates

  1. what are the different stages a team goes through during their lifetime together, working
    2. How can a team move from one stage to another?
    3. Lastly, how can a team move out from the most difficult stage, forming?

This figure is done with an assumption that every member in the team is willing to work together and have understood that it takes a team to make something impossible to incredible.

With this comparison, Facilitators and Participants can have a better idea and bigger picture on TUCKMAN’S TEAMBUILDING model and how this can be incorporated into their working environment.

Overcoming this pandemic (COVID-19) by being effectively productive

Overcoming this pandemic (COVID-19) by being effectively productive


Part 1: 80/20 rule during a pandemic

80/20 rule or the Pareto principle 

Business analyst Joseph M. Juran had proposed the theory 80/20 rule. This was called after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who reported that 20 per cent of the Italian people earned 80 per cent of income in Italy. Today, Pareto principle can be found in articles such as time management, marketing, software engineering, operations management, project management, military and even relationships/dating.

Even though it is called 80/20, the idea behind the Pareto principle is that a small number of factors are responsible for the bigger number of results.

Some examples:

  1. 20 % of your clothes will be worn 80% of the time
  2. 20% of a book will contain 80% of the most important information
  3. 20% of customers bring in 80% of revenue

This principle at the fundamental level talks about effective productivity or producing more with less. This, if used well, enables management efficiency, strategy effectiveness and quick turnaround time.

Pandemic situation – COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major pause to the entire world economy. Countries have locked down, closed borders and companies shut. People have become uncertain of the future ahead as no one has the answer on when this will end and when everyone will go back to their normal lives.

The problem is that will never happen. The faster we understand the situation and accept that change is inevitable, we will be quick to adapt and move along.

Adapting to changes 

Humans have lived on earth for the longest time because of one big reason – adaptability. Many species did not make it past a certain century as they are unable to keep up with the changes.

There are many big brands we have come across that have shut down due to the lack of adaptability towards the ever-changing world. Only the adaptive companies are the ones that survived. As people are adapting to the changes, their wants and needs are constantly evolving as well.

Both adapting to change and staying relevant are critical in evolving organisations. Change and relevancy have become the big words spoken by many as it differentiates successful businesses from those that did not practice it.

The challenge 

It is not difficult for an organisation’s management to call out for a change. However, it is difficult for individuals to be adaptable and accepting towards it.

During this period, many people might be at risk of losing their jobs. This situation can be helped if organisations are able to adapt and implement changes. However, this means that employees may have a job redesign to do other things. While most follow suit with the changes, many are still unable to accept this change wholeheartedly

Bringing this back to the 80/20 Principle 

As you would have noticed 20% of those infected are in critical condition where else the other 80% is in stable condition. 20% of those in critical conditions have succumbed to their deaths which have led to 80% of the effects on government movement all around the country. 20% of the industries in Singapore have created 80% of the Singapore economic downturn during this time.

It is vital for the organisation to adopt the 80/20 rule and to apply it to strategies moving forward.

There are five important pillars that every organisation will be looking into during this period to keep businesses afloat.

  1. Strategic planning
  2. Communications
  3. Job redesign
  4. Product redesign
  5. Training and Development

Strategic Planning 

Although we are in a demanding situation that requires us to focus most of our energies into the operational functions of the organisation, we need to make tactical and strategic decisions to move forward and come out of this stronger. No business will come out stronger by just sitting and waiting for the pandemic to be over.

The question should be what will be one big idea that can create a quantum leap for the organisation? We might need to change our mental models to the very fundamentals of our business processes and the way we run the business

Knowing the business environment will help the business to have clearer plans towards their strategy in moving forward. Additionally, a little assumption is needed to ensure that the business does not wait for anyone. Now that the government have introduced a circuit breaker for a month, leaders should think about what is next. What will happen in the following month? Will things get back to normal or will there be cooling measures in place? Or will there be any possibility of a lockdown the following month? How will all these various decisions affect the business and what strategies do you have in place to overcome most of the scenarios that you have thought about?


There are many different things we need to share with the people working in an organisation. What will be the most critical information that will highlight 80% of the concept of the message? Keeping it short and simple allows everyone to understand the message and situation easily. Also, what will be the one way that can easily communicate at least 80% of the message clearly to everyone now that everyone is working from home? Would email still be helpful? What are other forms of communication methods that the organisation has been using? What are other platforms that the organisation have not tried yet but might have the potential to share at least 80% of the entire message concept?

Job Redesign 

During this period, there could be some jobs that become obsolete while other types of jobs become more prominent. For instance, security officers working in the central business district might have a problem as they are no longer required to scan and issue passes. This had resulted in a reduction of the number of people required for the job.  On the other hand, IT officers might see a higher demand in their job scope as many more organisation are adapting and trying to go digital with their businesses.

Understanding a job design is crucial in ensuring the business’ foundation stays strong. To redesign it, the leader would need to understand what will be the one big change that can create 80% of the positive effect on the business. This will ensure a quick, smooth transition for the staff and in most cases cost-effective too.

Product redesign

With job redesign, there will be product redesign as well. This will be the period to analyse and see which will be 20% of the product that brings in 80% of the company’s revenue during this period. It will be wise for the organisation to then put 80% of their effort in this 20% of products to bring in 80% of revenue. It is also critical to redesign other products to create similar successes or to make the decision to put the other products into the shelves during this type of situation.

Training and Development 

With the redesigning of products and jobs, training and development will need to also be looked into strategically to avoid disruption and continuous smooth flow of business outputs. There could have been a series of training arranged by HR for the staff for the entire year. During this period, everyone will be exploring cost-saving measures and usually, staff training might be affected too. One way moving forward will be to find out which training programme can be 80% effective towards the organisation’s new direction. HRs personnel can then concentrate fully on this training programme and exploring how to bring that to the staff during this period.

In conclusion 

All these steps will be helpful for the organisation to stay afloat and come out stronger. They will ensure that organisations start to look into effective productivity and ensure that the number of man-hours put into the business will be all worthwhile. This way, organisations can also ensure that each individual in the team are effectively productive and value for time. Part two of the article will discuss 80/20 principle for managers and how it can be applied during this period.


Part II: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Investigating Manager & The Superconnecting Manager

Part II: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Investigating Manager & The Superconnecting Manager


80/20 Manager by Richard Koch

Richard Koch wrote a book: 80/20 Manager that discusses how a manager of 80/20 is a transformative leader, a leader of Y ideology, who recognises that workers are inspired by imagination, teamwork and enjoyment in using their expertise. In contrast, Manager of X ideology will want to transfer his staff by command and control.

There are ten types of 80/20 managers written in his book.

  1. The Investigating Manager
  2. The Superconnecting Manager 
  3. The Mentoring Manager
  4. The Leveraged Manager
  5. The Simplifying Manager
  6. The Liberating Manager
  7. The Manager seeking meaning
  8. The Time-rich Manager
  9. The Lazy Manager
  10. The Strategic Manager

We will be discussing on two types of managers per article; specifically discussing on how they can be a solution during this pandemic (COVID-19).

  1. The Investigating Manager

“Curiosity is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein.

This quote creates the foundation for this type of Manager. Investigating Managers questions everything and understands that everything has a reason for it.

Being an Investigative Manager using the 80/20 rule will be for the Manager to identify who are their core customers and what are their core products. Also, to determine what makes these people or product to be core or different.

They usually ask seven questions to investigate.

  1. What single powerful idea will be able to turbo-charge the business
  2. Who will sponsor the plan, most probably a decision-maker
  3. Identify who is achieving great results and how are they doing it
  4. How can you make a 16-fold improvement to be called a quantum leap
  5. Who is my most important customer?
  6. Which single constraint is holding me back?

Investigating Manager during COVID-19

Using the seven questions to understand the situation:

  1. What unique powerful idea can the business have now during this climate that will turbo-charge the business? Do we need to change our mental model? If you are in the Oil & Gas industry and airliners do not have business during this period, what idea can you have to turbo-charge the business forward? Can the product be used for something else? The power of paradox will come in handy here.
  2. Who will be the one person who will sponsor the idea? Most of the time, it will be a decision-maker. What proposals need to be created to convince them of the plan?
  3. During this period, to find out which industry is doing well and still going strong. Not to copy what they are doing, but to understand what keeps them up. This initiative might give new concepts on our own business too.
  4. With the idea created, how can you achieve a 16 fold improvement? What are the steps and processes that need to be in place to see this? What needs to change to see the 16 fold improvement? Everyone works home now, does going online or digital give you the answer?
  5. How to achieve much more with much less? To calculate the cost and revenue and find out what you can do to reduce the cost and increase the revenue. This action means changing fundamental processes, thinking differently and replacing some parts. There can never be a different result with similar strategies.
  6. Who will be the identified customer who will buy into this idea? Know the customer so that the product/service/idea can be tailor-made for them first. This process will then help you to create a template moving forward.
  7. What would be the single constraint that is holding you back? There might be many challenges, roadblocks, but as an investigative manager, the idea is to identify one significant obstacle that holds you back 80% of the time.


  1. The Superconnecting Manager 

As the name says it, superconnecting managers are like magnets. They attract many different people to come together. If you are into networking, one thing you will realise is that when people from diverse background come together, new ideas emerge and opportunities are born. Acquaintances are people we have met once or twice, such as old school friends, someone you met over a network session. But these are the most important people as they might be a great helpful resource for you.

Red ticket vs Green ticket towards success

The difference between this two will be time. Red tickets are things that take long to achieve like attaining a degree. Green ticket, on the other hand, will be like having an acquaintance that might have certain information that will help you to be successful. One out of ten of such acquaintances might be helpful, and this generates little effort with big wins.

Big world vs Small world 

In a big world, there is too much space in-between, and it is not straightforward to connect with others easily through acquaintances. In a small world, everyone is linked and connected one way or another, and this makes it easy to connect with someone through an acquaintance.

Superconnecting Manager during COVID-19

During this period, especially when everyone is working from home, it will be the best time to catch up with individuals. We do not have to meet someone in person for a networking session. The COVID-19 situation has created an excuse to meet someone over an online platform quickly as it has become the new normal.

Creating green tickets

As a superconnecting manager, try to catch up with as many acquaintances as possible. Book their calendar for maybe 30mins slot, and have a conversation. That conversation could create opportunities, new ideas or even a different perspective, especially when they are from a different industry. Now that everyone is having the same “Villain”, we can enjoy the beauty of how everyone defines the Villain and what steps they have taken. It will almost be like watching different language movie of the same story – similar, but different. That difference is where the opportunity hides.

Creating a smaller world 

During this period, superconnecting managers will have online gatherings where you might be told to bring a +1. A term usually used to bring our spouse for any event, but that is where the world becomes “smaller”. As our spouse might be from a different industry, we create this spider web network and start to see how the systems to link everyone up.

In the next article, find out how The Mentoring Manager and The Leveraged Manager will deal with the pandemic.

Part III: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Mentoring Manager & The Leveraged Manager


Chapter 3:

Part three: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Mentoring Manager & The Leveraged Manager

80/20 Manager by Richard Koch

In this continuation, we will be exploring the next two types of managers

In case you have missed the previous two chapters, the links are at the bottom of this article.

There are ten types of 80/20 managers written in his book.

  1. The Investigating Manager
  2. The Superconnecting Manager
  3. The Mentoring Manager
  4. The Leveraged Manager
  5. The Simplifying Manager
  6. The Liberating Manager
  7. The Manager seeking meaning
  8. The Time-rich Manager
  9. The The Lazy Manager
  10. The Strategic Manager

We will be discussing on the Mentoring Manager and The Leveraged Manager today; specifically on how they can be a solution during this pandemic (COVID-19).

The Mentoring Manager

As the name suggest, this manager mentors and shares experiences, processes by understanding the person from a personal level.

There are three types of people to be mentored:

  1. Those awaiting a mentor to lead them or guide them
  2. Those who are doing well
  3. Those who might be slipping off soon

To be a mentoring manager, the manager will first need to have his own mentor. This shows that the mentor has someone to check and balance for progress and growth, as most times we tend to want to be like our mentors. Mentoring managers take full responsibility in wanting to grow someone.

Mentoring Manager during COVID-19

During this period, there are many people out there who are in need of a mentor to guide them well. If you are a leader and have people working under you, what are the steps you will be taking to guide them during this period?

  1. How will you mentor those waiting for a mentor?These people usually are positive but might not be focused. By creating a focus for them and giving them a vision, they might be able to see their potential and grow even bigger.
  2. Who are the people doing well in your organisation?Why would they need a mentor? The reason is similar to why you as a mentor, will need a mentor too. This will help to create check and balance with the individual. No one is perfect; by creating the opportunity to mentor someone who already is doing well will prevent them from hitting a ceiling as there is always room to move forward. You will play the role of creating the flow theory for this person – knowing their skills to push them towards certain challenges.
  3. For those slipping off, it will be good to understand why and how you can help. Not everyone will follow through an organisation especially during change. Just because someone leaves the organisation does not mean you cannot be a mentor still. Remember everyone who left the organisation have automatically become an acquaintance that will help with your superconnecting ability.

The Leveraged Manager

You can use as many levers as you can to be a leveraged leader.  In this case, a “lever” is an essential tool that can multiply the output of your input and therefore helps you to produce exceptional effects by constant effort.

Here are the seven levers that yield excellent results:

1. Caring and the subconscious force

When you genuinely and deeply care about something, the subconscious force might be strong enough to lead you to new ideas and thoughts – this might eventually lead you to breakthroughs or help solve a critical problem.

2. Confidence

Confidence can produce an area of super positive momentum, life-saving strength, the creativity that defies the impossible.

3. Ideas

Every company starts with a plan – it can be built on any concepts or framework but it must start off as a positive idea for the company to succeed.

4. Decisions

Without decisions, we fly rudderless on the sea of life. If we are decisive, then we will be through. When we are indecisive, we will never. Focus on making the few critical decisions that could change your business and life, and hang the rest.

5. Trust

The essence of trust is that you rely on outcomes, not inputs, and encourage your people to do the same thing. A loss of trust requires continuous attention, which makes it appallingly inefficient. The 80/20 solution is the antithesis.

6. People

Spend whatever resources, time, energy, and persuasion is required to attract the industry’s best. Recruiting the right staff is almost as critical as retaining, or perhaps more so, the right clients.

7. Money

You can afford to dream big because the funding for the project comes from the client, as a planner with a good idea. If the plan is going to take off, so you can. When this happens, the money does not have to be paid back. Launch bigger ventures.

Leveraged Manager during COVID-19

1.  Caring and the subconscious force

In order to exercise the first lever and to get into the subconscious force, one must take ownership of the organisation’s situation at hand. If everyone thinks that someone will be solving the problems, no one will. Eventually the highest ranking person in the organisation will have to be the one making all the tough decisions. Sometimes during tough times, everyone starts to look at the CEOs as if they have some kind of a magic wand that could just change the situation almost immediately. The biggest difference between the staff and a business owner, especially in SME (Small Medium Enterprise) will be the ownership the business owner has over the situation compared to the staff. For the staff, this is their monthly salary but for the business owner this could mean closing down the entire dream that has been build. Once a company employee starts to have ownership over the organisation, there are many considerations and perspectives that will start to come forward.

2. Confidence

Confidence in a manager especially during testing times gives a sense of assurance to the people following. This confidence builds trust with the followers, and although the situation might look bleak everyone will listen and do everything that has been told.  

3. Ideas

During this time, it is critical to constantly fight the fire. However, it is also crucial to think about what is next? What happens once the fire has been put out? If you could think of ideas on what the organisation can be heading towards next, you will be leading your market. Every time the market goes into such situations, every organisation that comes out of it will restart on a clean slate. This means that companies are given opportunity to catch up and for those leading companies to find solution to keep at the front.

4. Decisions

Leaders are trusted upon on making the right decision that does not jeopardise the entire organisations. Strategic planning is especially tough during this period as everything is unclear. However, it is critical to make decisions for a clearer vision and direction for the organisation. With this, employees will be more focused and more motivated to work towards it. Leaders who have identified the right decisions and act upon it, will be ahead of the rest in the market race.

5. Trust

During this period, many organisations have shifted to ‘Work From Home’ and many leaders are finding it extremely hard to keep control over their employees. They are unsure if their team is effectively productive. However, if the leaders can put that aside and come up with a set of measureable target for the team to work on, it could put both the leaders and employees at ease. In other words, leaders should trust that employees have their ownership to achieve their target – to concentrate on the outcome instead of the input; to look at the results rather than the process.

6. People

Staff and clients are equally important. Many of us would have now seen the true transformational staff. During this period there will be three types of people

Transitional –This group of people could be waiting for the situation to be over, waiting for bonus or waiting for the HR from the other company to give a green light before they leave the organisation. They are highly disengaged and may sometimes be actively influencing others to be like them.

Transactional – This group of individuals will find ways and means to do less during their time. They would sit in office and do nothing and still expect the full salary at the end of the month. They would only work when they see that they are being noted and appraised. Their working style will be “Give first before you get”, rather than “Let me give first and I trust the organisation will give me back something bigger when we are better”.

Transformational – This is the group of people are critical in the organisation. They work hard and ensure that they do everything possible to change the situation. They do not mind job restricting as long as it involves in the transformation of the organisation. They are always positive and want to achieve something.

It will be good to identify who your people are and ask yourself how you will like to move forward with this group of people. All of them can become transformational – there might be something lacking for the transitional group and there might be trust issues with the transactional group. If this two can be solved, the organisation might have just created a team of transformational individuals – imagine the possibilities.

7. Money

If we are confident enough to understand this concept, we can create many different ideas. The point is, every idea we generate or invent we want the clients to buy it. So no matter how big the idea is or how expensive, if during this period they are willing to buy the idea there is no harm in changing the direction to get it done.

Stay tune to the next Chapter, Part Four: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Simplifying Manager and The Liberating Manager


In the previous chapters:

Chapter 1: Overcoming this pandemic by being effectively productive. (http://www.focusadventure.com/overcoming-this-pandemic-covid-19-by-being-effectively-productive/)


Chapter 2: Part Two: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Investigating Manager & The Superconnecting Manager (http://www.focusadventure.com/part-two-becoming-an-8020-manager-the-investigating-manager-the-superconnecting-manager/)


 Adapting Change Management through online teambuilding activities

Written: Sasi KUMAR


Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily in situations that come towards the business. Under the concept of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), Agility plays as a prime to act as one of the counterweights in managing a VUCA environment.

To practice agility, four components will need to be addressed.

  1. Change Management
  2. Flow Theory
  3. Result orientation vs Process orientation
  4. Paradox thinking

In this article, we will be exploring how online teambuilding activities can bring out learning lessons for change management.

Change Management (for leadership roles)

When we usually hear change management, the first model that comes to mind will be the ADKAR model. It stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement.

Awareness – The ability to know that a change is required and to showcase the difference early ahead of time to the people. Awareness also creates opportunities for employees to ask questions and give suggestions.

Desire – At this stage, leaders will find out the ground sentiments towards the change itself. Should there be anyone against it, leaders must also find out what their concerns are and try to address it. Most of the time, the problem is in the fact that people are not able to see the common good for them from the change.

Knowledge – Once you have created buy-in with the people through awareness and desire towards the future, the next step will be to bridge the gap between the current situation and the future. This is the part that requires the employees to go for specialised training and development for them to stay relevant during the change.

Ability – After going for training, one cannot immediately start the change; instead it is necessary to check if they are capable enough in the new skillset that they have acquired.

Reinforcement – When a change happens without a gatekeeper, the change will quickly die off as people tend to fall back to their initial processes. Changing processes can be equivalent to changing habit, as they might be doing the same process for an extended period. Therefore, during this stage, it will be necessary to give positive reinforcement by encouraging and recognising all efforts put in place to affect the smooth transition of the change.

Many activities can be done online for leaders to practice the ADKAR model. Each of the stages in the ADKAR model can be an activity by itself.

Awareness – This, in a nutshell, will be the ability to create awareness in people who will be affected by the change. Communication plays a vital role in this area; having the right communication, taking note of time, pace and tone will affect one’s perspective towards the change. To work on this, organisations can embark on communication-based teambuilding programmes.

An example of communication-based teambuilding will be The Shape Shifter Challenge! that not only shares how the management can communicate better, but it also shows the various responsibilities that each stakeholder has in an organisation. The activity also shows how teams can understand each other, even during complex situations.

Desire – It focuses mainly on the ability to empathise with the employees and to be able to ensure the change will have a common good for everyone to feel like part of it. For online activity, organisations can look into something that deals with silo mentality and how to change that into a clear, big picture perspective. This enables everyone to see the benefit of having a big picture and how it can help the organisation and also the individuals.

The Bind Shape Challenge! will fit into this objective where teams are divided into smaller groups to create a shape. Every team will be working on their shape, but what happens when someone changes role? Will the person feel frustrated? How will the behaviour change when they finally could see the big picture of the entire shape that was coming together? Would that help them to see the common good?

Knowledge – The ability to see what is missing and what needs to be filled. For this stage, organisations will need to be very clear on the gap that is stopping them from achieving their desired future outcome. By understanding each individual and their values, the organisation will be able to know how big of a bridge needs to be build. If organisations are looking for teambuilding to create teachable moments around understanding individual values, some activities can be experienced as well.

An example will be The Shackleton Challenge!, where teams will need to debate and decide what are some of the essential items they would want to bring over to the deserted island. This online activity is not just engaging but thought-provoking as well. Everyone will be required to share their reasons for wanting to bring something along with them. During a change, the same episodes take place where everyone has their item they like to bring over. It shows individual values as each individual will have a profound rooted reason for why they would like to bring a particular item. This is when the ability to show the common good becomes critical here.

Ability – To check on the ability of a team in handling the situation, a critical word will have to be visited – trust. Trust plays a vital role within organisations for everyone to believe that with the knowledge gathered, everyone is ready to move towards the change.

The Masterpiece Challenge! is an online activity that focus on ability. The team’s task will be to create a replica of a particular picture they have seen. Everyone needs to play their part in ensuring that they can recreate it. However, can everyone be trusted to do the job? In an organisation, if there is a lack of trust, it slows down the entire process as people may start doing double work to ensure the previous person’s job was right. This process will be reflected in The Masterpiece Challenge!. Apart from that, the activity also creates an interesting perspective on the benefits of trust, and it shows the visual effects of having trust in a teammate as well.

Reinforcement – The ability to recognise efforts, celebrate small wins whenever possible and also to give positive encouragements in the efforts taken to move towards change. To do this, leaders must have a deep understanding with the people and be able to see things from the employee’s perspective. There are times where an employee might be struggling with a new task. Leaders will either reprimand them or find out what is the exact issue and to create solutions that will eventually create a win-win situation.

The Zoom Challenge! is an activity that gets participants to share their point of view and perspective. Whose perspective is right? Who should listen to who first? When participants starts to understand the reality of the activity, there will be a moment where everyone will stop trying to share their perspective. In turn, participants will try to find out their team members’ perspectives instead. This is when the activity will take a turn of events and start to progress towards success, similar to the real world.


In conclusion, teambuilding activities are just like various tools used to do a particular job. Just like before the pandemic and how everyone was meeting each other physically to have their teambuilding sessions. One can do it online too as it is merely just another tool that can bring out the learning lessons. The critical component will be how does that particular activity has the ability to bring out some of the desired outcomes the organisation would love to achieve through an online teambuilding programme.


For enquiries on online teambuilding programmes, feel free to email us at info@FOCUSAdventure.com!