What the World’s Top CEOs Say About Team Building

Branson quoteHow do Successful Companies Increase Productivity and Morale?

Research has shown the benefits that team building can bring to an organization, and it is backed up by the opinions of the world’s top CEOs.

Everyone knows the old mantra that an organization’s most valuable commodity is its people, and a cohesive team is certain to make any workplace a nicer place to be. It not only improves morale, but it also increases efficiency and productivity, leading to a more successful business.

Organisational behaviour experts will be quick to point out numerous texts and papers that prove beyond doubt that employees value an enjoyable working environment far higher than pecuniary factors.

However, every team building company knows the truth of the adage that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So who better to give an unbiased opinion on team building than the leaders of some of the most successful companies in the world?

Sir Richard Branson

The Virgin founder is possibly the most famous entrepreneur the world has ever seen. After more than 40 years, Virgin Group is still seen as a trailblazer, and a company that does things on its own terms.

Every year, Virgin Atlantic runs a three-month series of team building activities that are mandatory for all employees, regardless of seniority. A wide variety of activities are undertaken, from salsa dancing to tag-cooking. Sir Richard feels that these activities are essential to maintain the “small business” pioneering spirit that has always been central to the Virgin ethos:

“Trying to stay small while getting bigger is very important. Any company that has more than 250 people in a building is in danger of starting to become impersonal. In an ideal world, 150 people are the most that should be working in one building and in one organization, so that everyone knows each other and knows their Christian names.”

Steve Jobs

The late co-founder and chairman of Apple was widely recognised as one of the greatest and most inspirational business leaders of his generation. His view on the value of a good team was clear and uncompromising:

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.”

Tim Cook

Steve Jobs must have felt that he left Apple in safe hands, under the leadership of current CEO Tim Cook. At a recent Tech event, Cook was keen to discuss matters of corporate culture and team building. He stressed that it is essential to preserve the innovative corporate culture at Apple and ensure it remains a place where people want to work.

Warren Buffett

Perhaps the most successful business magnate of the 20th Century, Warren Buffett is one of the world’s most wealthy people. He is also one of those individuals who has a soundbite for every occasion, and team building is no exception.

One of his most quoted phrases is “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” The message is clear – to succeed in business we cannot go it alone, but need the support structure of a well organised team around us.

Mark Zuckerberg

It is easy to forget that behind the youthful looks and the “student nerd” persona hides a very shrewd businessman and one of the top CEOs of the new millennium. Mark Zuckerberg knows all about the value of teambuilding.

“The most important thing for you as an entrepreneur trying to build something is, you need to build a really good team. And that’s what I spend all my time on.”

Sundar Pinchai

No discussion of the top innovative businesses can be complete without mentioning Google. We have all heard of the Googleplex headquarters, with its swimming pools, tennis courts and giant rubber balls.

And many believe that it is his attitude to team building that got CEO Sundat Pinchai the top job. Former Project Manager Chris Beckmann pointed out: “Pichai recruited, retained, and mentored what was considered one of the best teams of product managers at the entire company.”