The company description of EcoSeagate states that it is “about identifying and overcoming barriers and excelling as an individual and team member. Be ready to learn through activities and speakers about achievement and excellence. Be prepared to experience our corporate values and Seagate competencies in new and unexpected settings and get ready to see how our objectives can be reached by challenging ourselves, adapting to new circumstances and contributing to an aligned focused team.” (Larson, 2008) EcoSeagate employs four types of team building with varying degrees of success to accomplish this lofty goal, Goal Setting, Role Definition, Interpersonal Processes and Problem Solving. (McShane & Von Glinow, 2008 p. 304)
The first type of team building that EcoSeagate addresses is goal setting where the team clarifies the performance goals, increases the team’s motivation to accomplish these goals and establishes a mechanism for feedback on a team’s performance. (McShane & Von Glinow, 2008 p. 304) Four months before the EcoSeagate ever begins, teams are chosen so that they can discuss preparations for the event including supplies, gear, physical training and nutrition. (Larson, 2008) The common goal at the beginning is to make preparations for the supplies and gear that will be needed to be successful in the upcoming competition and to make sure that everyone is well trained in the physical activity to come. In addition, they must decide together when they will arrive in Queenstown before the competition to get to know each other on a more personal level. (Larson, 2008) To support these goals, Seagate has and online server committed to EcoSeagate where you can do online learning requirements and track training progress in the months before the competition. (Larson, 2008) Telephone calls and emails throughout this interim period are used to motivate each other to be at their peak when they arrive in Queenstown. (Larson, 2008) Members also provide feedback on equipment choices, training recommendations and strategies to get ahead of the game when they get there. These five months of preparation time between teammates allows the teams to set norms for goal setting in the actual competition. (McShane & Von Glinow, 2008 p. 270) The process for clarifying goals has been done once already, they have encouraged each other to be prepared for the difficult task to come and they have already begun to give feedback on each others ideas.
The second type of team building begins when they get to EcoSeagate, role definition. (McShane & Von Glinow, 2008 p. 304) While the team has been operating as a virtual team for the last five months, now they are face to face and have the opportunity to view body language and facial expressions, all important in solidifying the teams dynamic. (McShane & Von Glinow, 2008 p. 290) In Kevin Larson’s case, his experience in the Navy gives the team confidence in his ability to navigate the team and his knowledge also solidifies the trust that they need to have in an unfamiliar environment. (Larson, 2008) During the week, the tasks that the team participate in show others strengths and weaknesses and allow the other members to assume team roles. One person takes responsibility for the endangered tree they are to carry around everywhere, keeping it watered and safe at all times. One works as a monitor, lacking the drive or the ability to inspire others and is very somber; while others combine roles as team workers and plants. (McShane & Von Glinow, 2008 p. 273) Strengths and weaknesses in each of the venues are identified with each team member so plans can be formed as to what role each person will take in different aspects of the final race. (Larson, 2008)
Because of the danger that can be posed in the exercise, conflict seems...