Sports teams have had mascots for a long time. A mascot in baseball was used as early as 1880 and intended to be a lucky charm for the team. Mascots are highly valued and often represent qualities a team aspires to develop. For more interesting facts and tips about mascots, check out this article.
Creating a mascot for your business team can be fun too. Try this activity to bond while deciding what mascot will represent your team. Then, incorporate the mascot into your day-to-day work as a reminder of what your team stands for.
This activity can be done in many ways depending on the size of the group and how quickly you want to design your mascot. Below are instructions to give you some ideas of how you can execute this activity. Feel free to make adjustments that will work for your team.
1. Brainstorm a list of characteristics important to your team.
a. Pass out 4x6 sticky notes and markers. Explain that you are going to ask a question and you’d like each person (or sub-group) to write their answers on the sticky notes with a marker. Just one idea per post-it.
- Say: Think about the team we want to be a year from now. You are so excited about how we are working together. You love this team. This team is rocking it! What are the words that describe HOW we are working together?
- Examples: simpatico, passionate, focused, energized
Note: If the team is 7 people or less do this as one group. If the team has 8 or more people, split into smaller teams for the brainstorm and then merge the ideas.
2. After 2-4 minutes, collect the sticky notes and with the group’s guidance, group them together on the wall, putting similar words together.
3. Guide the group to choose 2-3 characteristics they think are the most important for the team culture they want to build.
4. As a big group (or back in sub-groups), ask them to think of mascots that would represent those characteristics. Encourage them to be creative. Ask them to do three things:
a. Identify an animal, creature, or persona
b. Name it
c. Design it
Note: Another option is to stop the meeting once you have agreed on the characteristics and give them a few days or a week to think and come back with mascot designs to vote on. You could even set up a contest that lasts for at least a week.
5. Once you have your mascot, decide where you will put it and how you will incorporate it in your work world. Some ideas:
a. Make posters
b. Put it on coffee mugs
c. Make or buy a mascot and pass it around each week as a reward for someone who demonstrated those characteristics.
As a team, determine the characteristics and traits you want to embody. Then, decide on a mascot that represents those traits.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and Forward, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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