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Newsletter of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators -- August 2010

Tom_heck_120Hello Teamwork Facilitators!  It's Tom Heck, President & Founder of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators, with your August 2010 teamwork ideas e-newsletter.

I recently returned from my summer vacation in the Finger Lakes region of NY and we (family) had a great time.  Lots of swimming, bicycle riding, badminton, and reading.  I'm so grateful to enjoy this time with my wife and kids.  Today my kids returned to school and this required a big shift for all of us.  My focus is now fully on the IATF and supporting the work of our community members.

I'd like to welcome all of our new IATF members (we had lots join during the summer).  One of the greatest joys I have is learning about the good work our members are doing to build inspired teams.  Check out the Member Buzz Roundup below to get a taste of what some of our members have been up to. 

If you have ideas, suggestions, or feedback about the IATF please share them with me.  As we grow, I want to make sure we grow in "Class 1" way (Class 1 experience = feels good, good for you, good for others, serves the greatest good)

Tom Heck
President & Founder
International Association of Teamwork Facilitators
[email protected]
office (828) 348-4677

Upcoming TeleSeminars

Shutting Up or Speaking Out: Developing Trust on Teams When None Exists
with special guest Michael Goldman of
August 19, 2010 at 1pm EST
CLICK HERE to register.  FREE
NOTE: As of August 17 this TeleSeminar is near capacity.  Register now to reserve your seat.

Group Coaching / Q&A Call -- held monthly
August 26, 2010 at 1pm EST
CLICK HERE to register (members only)

Member Buzz Roundup

The IATF community is AMAZING.  Check out what some of our members are up to: 

  • Brian Capron at UNC-Charlotte transforming lives of kids.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Deb Brown coaches leaders and teams.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Mike Cardus uses medieval siege weapon to build teams.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Diane Crampton offers free team assessment.  CLICK HERE for more.
  • Aric Bostick presents at Harvard.  CLICK HERE for more.

Free Leadership Agility Assessment

The speed of change and level of complexity in today's world are straining the capacities of many leaders almost to the breaking point.  These conditions have created what we call the agility imperative. To succeed in this new era, leaders, teams, and organizations need to be agile.  CLICK HERE
Free Teambuilding Game

Build a tower, build a team -- a teambuilding activity by Tom Wujec  CLICK HERE

Free Creativity Resource for Leaders

What is the most important leadership quality of CEO's?  A new survey says "Creativity".  

What is the number one habit used by leaders to tap into and harness creativity?  CLICK HERE to find out.


Why we (shouldn't) hate HR

Back in 2005 Fast Company Magazine published an article entitled "Why We Hate HR". 

William Taylor, the author of that article, now has this to say about HR:

The real problem is that too many organizations aren't as demanding, as rigorous, as creative about the human element in business as they are about finance, marketing, and R&D. If companies and their CEOs aren't serious about the people side of their organizations, how can we expect HR people in those organizations to play as a serious a role as we (and they) want them to play?

This is a lesson I've learned and relearned from all kinds of companies that are winning big in tough economic circumstances. You can't be special, distinctive, compelling in the marketplace unless you create something special, distinctive, compelling in the workplace. Your strategy is your culture; your culture is your strategy. The most successful companies I know understand that the most important business decisions they make are not what new products they launch or what new markets they enter. What really matters is what new people they let in the door--who they hire--and how they create an environment in which everyone in the organization can share ideas, solve problems, and develop a psychological and emotional stake in the enterprise.

Teamwork Facilitators are all about creating an environment that capitalizes on the human element - - in a Class 1 way (Class 1 = feels good, is good for you, is good for others, and serves the greater good).  How do you do this?  Using a Coach Approach.

How great leaders inspire action by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"

His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers -- and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

For those of us who sell programs you need to get this piece:

"People don't buy what you do.  They buy why you do it."

This is a TED video.  Watch more HERE.

IATF Member Buzz Roundup for August 2010

IATF members live in 35 countries and are doing amazing work.  Here's a sample of what's going on...

UNC Charlotte Venture Program

Brian Capron and UNC Charlotte’s Venture Program is partnering with No Easy Walk to provide five programs for up to 100 students from 9 middle schools with the goal of reducing gang involvement and positively impacting high-risk students in high risk urban schools. Using a combination of challenge course/teambuilding programs, project-based and community-service based programs, No Easy Walk creates a supportive and positive community within these urban Title 1 schools, where over 70% of students are eligible for free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch.  After last year’s programming, No Easy Walk data showed marked improvement in students End of Grade test scorres, suspensions, absenteeism, detentions and other disciplinary measures as compared to their peers by grade-level and by school, so the program has expanded from 5 schools to 9!

Coaching Team Leaders

Deb Brown is attending the International Coach Academy, and is halfway through her studies.  Deb has particular interest in coaching team leaders and her experience working in corporate environments gives her a solid background to work from.  If you're interested in learning more about Deb's coaching for team leaders contact her by email.  We here at the IATF are big proponents of using a "coach approach" to build and lead teams so we're particularly excited to see Deb (a graduate of the IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program) head in this direction.

Trebuchets, Medical Students, and Teambuilding

Mike Cardus at recently designed and delivered a great teambuilding program for 145 students enrolled in the Albany Medical College.  Mike is masterful at large group events.  Take a look at the photos HERE .  Mike shares the design of his program HERE. Check out the trebuchets Mike built for this program HERE.

Free Team Survey Report

Dianne Crampton at TIGERS Success Series is offering a free team survey report to teams of 5 and more people. This survey has been used for over 20 years to  assess the level of team trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success that team members perceive they have. It passed two independent validation processes (one by Gonzaga University and the other by the Washington Education Association).  This free report is part of a BETA program as this survey is being put on the web. CLICK HERE to view the survey terms and conditions. Dianne is offering 100 FREE survey reports, a phone debrief, recommendations all pro bono and will not offer her services for the recommendations so as to keep this process sales free.  Call Dianne Crampton for more info here:  541-385-7465

Harvard University and Youth Leadership

Aric Bostick has traveled all around the US this summer delivering one amazing program after another.  Most recently Aric delivered a life-changing program at Harvard University for 450 youth from 60 countries.  Aric recently published his "10 Steps To Living Your Dreams" on iTunes and you can get it HERE.  Check out all of Aric's work HERE.

Free "Leadership Agility" Assessment

What does it take to lead in a world of rapid change and increasing complexity?  The answer may be found in your "Leadership Agility".

From the book:

The speed of change and level of complexity in today's world are straining the capacities of many leaders almost to the breaking point.  These conditions have created what we call the agility imperative. To succeed in this new era, leaders, teams, and organizations need to be agile.

More and more companies are identifying "agility" as a key capacity their leaders need to ensure ongoing business success. Yet, few people really understand what agile leadership looks like in practice, how to assess it, and how to develop it.

The authors of Leadership Agility have created a free online self assessment that will provide you with a custom-tailored feedback message that tells you what your power style is.  Take the assessment HERE.  It's FREE!

Your power style is how you deal with situations at work where you want one thing and another person wants something else.  The assessment will reveal the pro's and con's of your power style, and it also gives you some specific ways to deal with these situations more effectively.

Thanks to IATF member Nina East with Personal Growth Princess for this tip!

Teamwork Cartoon - rowing

My friend Fian is an awesome graphic artist and we got to talking about teamwork.  Fian developed a fun teambuilding cartoon showing a group of men rowing a giant folded bill.

A few observations about this image:

Team_work_rowing_cartoon_fian I like the rowing metaphor. In a row boat, if one person is rowing harder on one side, the boat goes around in circles. The lesson? Coordinate efforts to move forward with greater speed and efficiency.

The characters in this cartoon are without emotion (that's the way I see it). Back in the day, businesses could in fact move forward (compete) without expressing much emotion. Times have changed. The teams (businesses) that are winning express their emotion easily and they have a high "emotional intelligence" (high EQ). 

The metaphor of the dollar bill representing the team/business is somewhat dated. Boomers and Gen X probably relate well to the dollar bill metaphor however Millennials (aka Gen Y) aren't motivated by money like previous generations. Millennials are (in large part) motivated by other things such as life-balance, community, helping the planet, etc.

What do you think of this image?  Leave your comments below.

Shutting Up or Speaking Out -- How to develop trust when trust doesn't exist - with Teams In Trouble expert Michael Goldman - Leadership TeleSeminar Recording


Trust.  It’s the foundation for all valuable relationships and is at the core of all high performing teams.

But what happens when a team lacks trust?

My colleague Michael Goldman of relates this TRUE STORY of a team in trouble that he was called into work with...

A new product is developed and feedback is needed from within the company to make some critical decisions on how to proceed.

A diverse group of staff is formed to provide the needed feedback - - only there is a problem.  There is “history” between some of the staff members.

It’s a trust issue.

There is reluctance within the group to speak their mind.  It will be a waste of time and energy to bring the group together unless the feedback is honest and unfiltered.  But that’s not going to happen because the staff doesn’t trust each other.

What would you do?

On Thursday August 19, 2010 expert "Teams In Trouble" facilitator Michael Goldman will share the strategies, tactics and tools he uses when working with a team with trust issues. The tools Michael will share will position you to help teams build trust and move forward with speed and grace.

Call Details


Teams In Trouble -- Shutting up or speaking out.  How to develop trust when trust doesn't exist


Thursday, August 19, 2010


Starts at 1 pm Eastern (NY City time zone)
runs for 70 minutes


Michael Goldman of, the largest and best facilitation training organization in Canada
Tom Heck, President & Founder of the IATF


Come to the call ready to participate in small group discussions, share ideas and resources, ask questions, answer quick polls, and be fully engaged as we put the newest distance learning telephone conferencing technology to use!


This call was recorded and is archived in the IATF Members Only Area.  Not yet an IATF member?  Join HERE.


A three page handout which outlined the two-tiered facilitation process was provided during this call.  The handout is now archived in the IATF members only area.

CLICK HERE to register.  It's free!  After you register, we'll send you the secret phone number and "PIN".  This event has expired.


A class handout (PDF) will be supplied during the call.  This handout is available in the IATF members only area HERE.  Not yet an IATF member?  Join HERE.