There is no mistaking the power of executive team building activities within an organization. Drastic changes in the overall performance and productivity are common results when a team building philosophy is initiated within an organization. Games, challenges, weekend retreats and other team building events are all a great investment in the overall health and success of a corporation or organization. Team building simply works.

Two of the biggest misconceptions about executive team building activities is that they have to cost a lot of money and need to be done in a remote, exotic location. Team building is more than just over the top “Survivor” type games. Team building is, in essence, activities that are used to strengthen and improving team performance. To do this, several different types of games, challenges and events are used to build skills including communications, leadership, problem solving and creativity. Rather than being done in some tropical jungle, or mountain hideaway, team building activities can be easily done during company wide conferences.

Either as simple icebreakers, conference long challenges, or breaks between speakers, conference team building – most notably known as energizers – help to bring together then entire audience rather than individuals who are waiting for the time to go. These team building activities do not have to cost much, but can be very effective.

Executive Team Building Activities to Energize Conferences and Build Stronger Organizations through Music

1. Boomwhacker Energiser – This simple, 10 minute team building challenge is full of fun, sound and laughter. Boomwhackers are a favourite with organisers as they are so easy, highly visual, and create a wonderful sound but aren’t too loud and the way we use them lends itself perfectly for team work metaphors that incorporate the organization’s overall goal. With this simple instrument teams can make music while becoming a highly tuned orchestra.

2. Drumming Workshop – Another quick energiser for your conference involves a lot of drumming and 45 minutes of all out fun. One of the benefits of using Drumming as an activity with emerging leaders on leadership events is that within the format, there are many interactive sections where selected members of the group will have the opportunity to lead the group.

This is a perfect activity as there are no barriers to overcome. You simply work within a team to produce a cool beat, have fun and compete in a musical symphony.

3. Clap Happy – Another favorite among team building activities is this simple, 10 minute, conference energiser that uses no other equipment except for hands and feet. In a very short span of time, facilitators of this activity can completely harness the energy in a room and release it in a fun, engaging and musical way. Clapping and stomping out a musical beat quickly engages everyone in the room for a great way to improve leaders, listening skills and creativity.

As you can see, there are team building activities that can quickly transform a company conference into a fun, engaging and energetic time. With little in the way of extra expense, or specialized equipment, these musical energisers can be quickly done, but have long lasting improvements.

A landmark, new study reveals that the duration and 
intensity of applause after a performance is in fact a “social contagion.” What does this tell us about group team building?

It’s widely held that behavior can be contagious within a social group. Laughter, panic, angst, and a wide range of other emotions can quickly overtake a crowd of people. A new study, however, indicates that applause is yet another type of “social contagion” — and that the duration and intensity of applause has more to do with the behavior of the group, and not the performance itself.

This study, which is published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, was conduced in order to better understand the complexities of clapping, and how applause — a decidedly more complex human behavior than the previously-noted emotions — still behaves as a social contagion. Lead author Dr Richard Mann, from the University of Uppsala, believe that applause reveals how ideas and actions gain and lose momentum, and that the complex social operation of clapping can also speak to how trends catch on (or fail to catch on, as it were).

Dr. Mann explains in, a recent article from the BBC:

“The pressure comes from the volume of clapping in the room rather than what your neighbour sitting next to you is doing,” explained Dr Mann. But the performance that had been witnessed – no matter how brilliant – had little effect on the duration of the noisy acclaim. In fact, the researchers found the duration of applause varied greatly.


Dr Mann told BBC News: “In one case an audience might clap on average 10 times per person. Another time they might clap three times as long. And all that comes from is that you have this social pressure to start (clapping), but once you’ve started there’s an equally strong social pressure not to stop, until someone initiates that stopping.”

It’s interesting to note that ultimately it is social pressure that dictates the level and intensity of applause — that it has little to do with the quality of a performance. In this way, the “first movers” of a group play a critical role in applause; are there a few “leader” personality types in the group who are willing to begin and sustain a high level of applause? Conversely, are these same “first movers” also those who, should they choose not to applaud, or do so for a short amount of time, will quell the overall reaction of the crowd?

What the Applause Social Contagion Tells Us About Group Team Building

If social pressure can influence a group into how they applaud, then there is a similar dynamic in the group team process. Like the audience, a team of workers is going to be motivated by some measure of what kind of social pressure is exerted on the work group.

at first, it’s easy to imagine a manager or executive as the one who needs to be the “first mover” in exerting social pressure to encourage a positive or productive output from the group. However, it is more likely that the manager holds more of a “performer” role; he or she might be outside of the loop in terms of exerting any kind of social force. (Granted, the manager has other forces he or she can leverage, but perhaps not this one.)

Instead, there is more likely a leader-type personality within the work team that isn’t afraid to broadcast cues to the team — whether knowingly or unknowingly — that will create social pressure. In group team building, therefore, focusing on these individuals to act as intermediaries can help you leverage the same force behind “social contagion” like applauding.

Thanks for reading our article! Looking to leverage the applause social contagion in your business? Accolade’s Clap Happy group team building event and conference energizer is a quick and effective way to put the power of applause to work for you! Find out more about Clap Happy today!

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