Team building motivation and recruiting are exceptional: hike once with the LinkedIn founder

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Team building is supposed to get unmotivated employees back on their toes. LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke prefers to hold his meetings while hiking. And the model also seems suitable for recruiting. Or? Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Walking with the LinkedIn founder

There are already for Company Alternatives to traditional recruiting methods: Recently at the Zukunft Personal, Europe's largest trade show, I hosted a panel on team building in recruiting. The question: Can joint climbing, skiing or hiking replace costly application process?

LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke, for example, has been wandering with students for years and states: “Sharing special experiences brings people together.” TV star Manuel Andrack also emphasizes the connecting element: “When hiking, you go deeper and talk about the essentials.”

Meetings - hiking instead of sitting?

Guericke founded the LinkedIn business network together with four others in 2003. Guericke and his co-founder Reid Hoffmann also wanted to get moving at their meetings - and started hiking.

However, LinkedIn was created in a long development process in which several people were involved. "But we talked about it a lot when hiking," recalls the founder.

From founder to venture capitalist

According to LinkedIn, Guericke was a manager, consultant, and a board member at various companies. Since 2012 he is a partner at Earlybird, a Berlin-based venture capitalist.

The passion for hiking remained: 10-15 meetings he completed every week, many of them with new founders of his former University Stanford.

What can you discuss while hiking?

Strategy and personnel issues as well as business ideas were easy to discuss while walking: “It makes little sense to look at an app on the go; If you can't explain your idea in a nutshell, it's hard for customers too, ”says Guericke.

Because of the spatial concept, remembering important things works even better than sitting down: "I go through the path again in my memory and link content with experiences."

How to organize a hiking meeting

However, the meetings require organization: “The route must be wide enough for several people. Ideal are two to three people, up to eight are not a problem.

Sometimes we need WiFi and also public toilets. ” 80 percent of Guericke's hikes therefore take place in the same place.

Organizers have jumped on the train long ago

It is therefore no wonder that resourceful organizers have already discovered nature for meetings. In Tenerife, for example, you can walk in the world's third-largest volcano crater, popular with American IT companies is a banana plantation.

In Norway, on the other hand, the entire Trollfjord becomes a location and hiking meetings take place on pilgrimage routes. The only question left is: Who are hiking meetings suitable for? “I've already convinced a few business partners. In principle, I have not yet found an unsuitable topic, ”says Guericke.

More communication as an economic advantage

Maybe Marissa Mayer would have asked him for advice. When she announced in 2013 as a relatively fresh Yahoo boss that her employees were no longer allowed to work in the home office, the outrage was extremely high. It later turned out that this was also an economic advantage. Steffen Hopf, head of Yahoo Germany, said: “Teamwork in particular benefits.”

Because if team spirit and identification with the company are missing, that's a problem. The consulting firm Gallup has been creating an engagement index for Germany since 2001. According to the latest surveys, as many as 67 percent of those surveyed are on duty and 17 percent have quit internally.

Teambuilding with snowball effect

Maybe team building will help? In Switzerland, I saw the so-called Meeting Trophy: eight teams solve tasks and compete against each other, for example, in pedal boating or snowball throwing.

But what happens? Firstly the usual group dynamics: competition sweeps by delimitations from the opponent and joint successes together.

Interesting role allocation

Interestingly, the role distribution: who volunteers, who stays in the background, who gives the bellwether, who fails under stress and who brings the coals out of the fire? Here are characters and behaviors as in the job.

If the team members are too different, they'll crack, if they're too similar, they can not handle the multiple challenges. In the end, the team in the lead, which combines all these opposites best - just office in the microcosm. And I realize that the simplest tasks, such as salami knots, often bring the biggest effects.

Teambuilding with Microsoft and Google

No wonder that many companies also regularly combine events with outdoor activities: Like Microsoft in Bergen; It is not for nothing that Norway's second largest city is one of the most popular event locations because it combines urbanity with breathtaking nature and offers so much space for joint activities.

It is similarly popular with Dublin-based IT companies such as Google or Facebook the nearby County Wicklow or in Germany the Zugspitz region, which has been recommended for larger events since the 7 G2015 summit at the latest.

Teams closer together?

Even if it is superficially about fun, the events are mainly used to bring teams closer together or get to know applicants, because they promote communication in the group.

However, the reactions in difficult situations are particularly interesting: Who is the leader, who is the opponent?

How useful is teambuilding?

Nevertheless, there are doubts about the effectiveness: "Real team building takes place in daily practice, nowhere else," explains coach and business economist Jörg Romstötter. Instead of extreme sports, he recommends: "Give your people the opportunity to celebrate success regularly in their own specialist task."

In fact, the result of our discussion, teambuilding events can neither replace recruiting nor success experiences, but they support community feeling and corporate culture. This is becoming more and more important for successful companies.

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  1. René Paparusso

    RT @m_aeschimann: Hiking meetings - From my point of view, only practicable in small groups and if you don't have to take notes. http: //…

  2. Markus Aeschimann

    Hiking meetings - In my opinion, only practicable in small groups and if you don't have to take notes.

  3. Simone Janson

    My current WELT column with LinkedIn founder Konstantin Guericke: How useful are ... -

  4. Profession pictures

    My current WELT column with LinkedIn founder Konstantin Guericke: How useful are ... -

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