What brings people in groups closer together to form a more cohesive team? A voice from above would perhaps say, “Well, this is going to take a long time!”. But the short and crisp answer we would say is : “Challenges”. And so, when we received a request from an MNC to conduct a Team building program for a group of 120 people – mostly foreigners, here in India for a sales meet – the question in our mind was, “What is the challenge we can setup for them which is just optimum enough to get them excited, intrigued and at the same time, successful?”. The answer became easier to arrive on, due to the constitution of the group – 100 foreigners and 20 Indians. “Lets setup a Treasure Hunt in Delhi, so that they get to see our heritage – while at the same time, participating in a Challenge!”….. and with that we went about setting up the challenge. To cut a long story short – the team had a great time seeing a lot of the heritage sites, of which Delhi is so plentifully blessed. At the same time, they had a whale of a time cracking clues, competing against each other and of course, doing the oh-so-Indian challenge activities like : “5 people in the team getting mehendhi done” or “Playing the Ek tar Sarangi Symphony at Dilli Haat” and many such more. The fact that they had to use a modern GPS device to lead them to the different places, instead of a guide, made it a self discovery and so, all the more exciting. But at the end of the day, does such an activity really help in pulling the team closer together? Here are a few reasons why we think it does and why we love running these treasure hunts: 1. The teams had a set of different challenges: to crack the location clues, to solve a riddle sheet while travelling, to complete the challenge activity (like mehendhi) and to arrive back on time. The only way to do everything within the stipulated time was to assign roles and collaborate. Also close communication between team members and the drivers assigned to the respective buses, was critical to ensure no time wastage. Thumbs up for teamwork! 2. As fun as a Treasure hunt looks, it calls for serious business planning & prioritization skills. Which route should the team take? Who does what? When is the cut off time to head back? The teams that win are almost always the teams that plan to win. No kids-play this.. the team must get together, discuss and decide the way forward. Somewhere in the process the imaginary string holding them, draws closer. 3. A big points winner in the treasure hunt was the “Team spirit bonus”. A maximum of 100 points was there for the winning if the teams show the necessary elements that go into making a great team. And what are they – looking out for one anothers safety, cheering for each other, keeping the enthusiasm up and of course, knowing one another better & enjoying each others company. Each team was also given a camera to capture the moments, which later went on to form a “cherished team memory”! 4. Corporates by and large - we feel - under estimate the power of fun and laughter in bonding people together. It almost seems at times that people think: “We are serious people with serious titles – and so fun is frivolous”. Yet our most cherished memories are always the times when we did things together that were incredibly fun and full of laughter. For corporate team members, running along together, doing an apparently senseless, non-motive driven activity like a Treasure hunt – often turns out to be the “laughing out loud” lasting memory creator. 5. The best thing about Treasure hunts though is the complete flexibility we have in running it. A treasure hunt - for the record - can be setup anywhere in the world. It can be setup across a city, within a large sprawling resort or even in some large office campuses. It can be made at different levels of difficulty too. Treasure hunts can also be setup in a way by which the “core values of an organisation” or any other current “message” can be conveyed to the teams in an engaging fashion. Don’t take our word for it. The next time you have an opportunity to run a team building program for your organisation, try the Treasure Hunt. And yes, do feel free to call us – should you need any help! The actual Treasure that you discover at the end of the hunt – you will see – will be the new bonding in your team and some great memories! Do try it and let us know how it went!