“I have been invited to conduct a 4-hour session for 120 people at a corporate offsite. From my initial assessment with a random sample from the group—and also from personal experience of once being a corporate slave—I realized these people are looking to drink and have fun, period.
The mandate is to initiate team bonding.
What would you suggest we do? Go with a focused exercise of identifying and bonding on their common values, or take a more relaxed approach? I'm proposing a more strategic intervention for the team leaders later, through my consulting. However, since this is the initial interaction that I will have with the entire team, how could I set myself up for success?”
I’d clarify with the buyer what the specific outcomes he or she desires are. Don’t transfer your own corporate experience to this environment. If it’s merely socialization and bonding, fine, use some enjoyable business games. But remember that true “teams” in organizations are rare. Most organizations actually have committees, with various interests represented. Four hours is a lot of time. I’d suggest two enjoyable business challenges to resolve in theory, and two, new innovative ideas for the business, and a “magic want” exercise: If you could magically change just one thing, what would it be and why? But run it all by your buyer.