Leadership

Crowdsource: How Mini-golf Became a Team Building Winner

By / Oct 1, 2015 (American Farm Bureau Federation)

A team building activity that fulfills a mission.

After many hours spent updating its strategic plan, executives at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) wanted to bring together its staff, which is spread out among several offices, to have a big kickoff. That event turned into a two-day retreat with teambuilding activities and speakers who came in to talk about culture change.

One of the teambuilding events stood out among the rest, in terms of the level of engagement—and competition—it produced.

“We decided to break everyone into cross-functional teams and design mini-golf holes out of dried goods and canned goods,” says Margee Wolf, CAE, executive director at AFBF. “A lot of what’s going to happen as we move forward with our strategic plan is a lot of cross-functional­ teams and a lot of different structures and different ways of getting things done. And we felt like this was the perfect way to help get that work started.”

Beyond creating a fun atmosphere—the teams designed and built the holes out of the nonperishables, created signage and “special jingles” for their hole, and answered trivia along the way—all of the food used was donated to Feeding America’s Harvest for All campaign. AFBF, which provided the donated goods, valued them at more than $1,600.

“The important thing to us was that it was fun but also mission-related,” says Wolf. “Last year, our members donated 41 million pounds of food, \$1.2 million, and 13,000 hours of time to their local food banks, and it’s a cause that we like to support as staff as well. So it turned into something that was really fun to do but allowed us to donate to a good cause.”

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. More »

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