Timberline’s Shark Tank Team Building Events
When it comes to generating ideas and a company that we can all be proud of, Timberline One’s management asks the experts: our team. In order to foster innovation and employee focus (some of our core values), our team gathers to generate, share, and vote on ideas as a group.
What is a Shark Tank Event?
Timberline’s Shark Tank is modeled after the hit TV show of the same name. Teammates from all levels of our company form groups to generate ideas and pitch them to our executive team. Ideas are then voted on by our team and a few each year are selected to implement.
From our past Shark Tank events our team was able to pitch, vote, and launch several very successful initiatives. These include:
- Launching a Tree Care Division through Timberline Landscaping (link)
- Forming Timberline Rock N’ Roll (link), Timberline’s wholesale material supply company
- Our robust training program including creation of career pathways
- Hosting English as a Second Language Classes for Spanish speaking teammates
- Launching a Culture Committee, responsible for building camaraderie and furthering our core value of employee focus
Why Host a Shark Tank?
We firmly believe that pooling collective education, experience, personalities, and skills has created the culture and company we are proud of today. Our Shark Tank events have aided in creating buy-in to strategic vision and plans company-wide and allowed for everyone to take part in their creation.
Tips For Success
Choose a Theme
For each of our Shark Tanks we have chosen a specific focus or theme. With such a plethora of bright minds and feedback needed we found it helpful to provide direction via an overarching theme. Our first year was focused on “Innovation” and ideas surrounding, while the following year was focused on “long term direction” to determine what sort of company we aim to be in the future.
Provide Some Training
Jumping in front of 200 people and blindly asking them to “think strategically” or “provide innovative ideas” is a sure way to create unneeded pressure and shut people down. Most of us are innovative and strategic thinkers even if we don’t know it, and these labels provided more of a hurdle than help in generating ideas.
Our recommendation is to provide some training and team exercises to:
- Introduce your theme
- Provide insight on why it is important
- Loosen people up
- Get them thinking strategically without realizing it
- Provide tips on how to present ideas (provide markers, poster board)
Allow the Whole Team to Vote
Our Shark Tank events broke our team in to small groups to generate ideas and vote on what to present to the whole team. This gave everyone the chance to speak and share. From there the entire Timberline team voted on the top 10 ideas to present to the “Sharks”.
Sharks Should Have Ears, Not Teeth
Timberline’s “Shark” panel was made up of our executive team. The goal of the day was to listen to the needs, wants, and hopes of your team. Sharks are traditionally known for their sharp teeth, but did you know that they have more sensitive hearing than humans? This allows them to hear fish struggling many miles away in the water. Your goal as a “Shark” should be to listen to understand, but not to respond on this day. Are any of your teammates struggling in the water? How can you aid them?
Your panel will take top ideas back to the office, vet them out further, and select what makes sense to implement. Our team events led to so many excellent ideas that it was necessary to select a few to take action on.
Some ideas may already be voiced in your work environment but may not be heard very well or pushed hard as an initiative. It’s vital to be able to take the time, understand what some of the quieter team members might be saying, and garner encouragement while thoroughly vetting the logistics to demonstrate whether they’re viable options for further discussion.
Want to learn more about our Shark Tanks?
Want to join our team and participate in our next Shark Tank?