David Goldstein, COO (Creator Of Opportunities), TeamBonding
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – December 5, 2022
CEOCFO: Mr. Goldstein, what is the overall vision behind TeamBonding, and what are you focusing on right now?
Mr. Goldstein: The overall vision of Team Bonding was to bring people together. We have been doing that for over 20 years, we bring them together in a variety of ways, ideally in a way that meets the desired outcome of the person planning the event. If they want people to get to know each other, if they want to work better together, if they want to have fun together, we have options that meet those needs.
CEOCFO: When someone comes to you do they typically know what they want other than just people to get along better?
Mr. Goldstein: Some people have exact needs. I talked to a gentleman last night who knew exactly what he wanted; he knew where he wanted it. He knew that he wanted it to be collaborative and to be like a survivor game. He wanted to do mental and physical exercises and he wanted a certain amount of time and place. He knew exactly what he wanted. Most people do not have that clear vision.
Most people have an idea of what they are looking to accomplish within the timeframe that they are looking for. They then depend upon us for suggestions that meet their needs and budgets. Between in-
CEOCFO: Playing devil’s advocate here, why do bonding events work?
Mr. Goldstein: Do we do things that are just fun? Yes, and especially during the pandemic where we had a lot of things that were just group activities. We also have a lot more and there is a lot of science behind it, a lot of technology and program design behind it. People are working with what they are good at. They are depending upon others to help them whether it be someone escape a room or whether it is a gameshow-
What this client did before this is they hired an F-
CEOCFO: What are the effects, let us say from an event like you did today, and how do we know that they translate into something meaningful a week or month from now?
Mr. Goldstein: I think it is about setting expectations. If someone is doing a two-
A lot of our events are designed to bring people together, especially now when people are remote. If they are in-
A lot of it is an opportunity to work together with limited risk, and when there is risk ideally, they learn from some of these opportunities, games and exercises and challenges. They learn who they can trust.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about the TeamBonding global reach?
Mr. Goldstein: Around 2018 we joined a global network; it is called Catalyst Global. Catalyst is a network of fifty companies like ours that covers ninety companies. There are people in Australia, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Chile. We just helped a client called Rescue.org, they are doing a team-
CEOCFO: Does that help you through the cultural differences you may need to take into consideration? Mr. Goldstein: It was interesting especially in the Georgia situation where they are much more based on Russian culture. We added a facilitation team, so it was a little bit more balanced in culture. They get a little bit more than what they are used to although they are getting the same things, the same program that we offer in the US.
CEOCFO: What has changed in the events over time; what might you do today that you would not have done years ago and what have you taken off the table?
Mr. Goldstein: There have been times where different things have been popular. Twenty-
During the pandemic we had to go completely virtual, so for a lot of companies it was not a good thing but for us it was a really good thing. We had our best two-
CEOCFO: Would you give us an example of what you might have developed, enhanced or changed during COVID that you are still doing today?
Mr. Goldstein: I think for a lot of companies they did not know what to expect with virtual team building. I think they were pleasantly surprised that there was no ZOOM fatigue with our events, there was laughter, education, and ways to bring people together through improv, comedy, learning a new skill, and working together online. The technology was in the right place at the right time for us. We happened to have the right products to switch into the technology. I think it was much better than people thought. For example, on an average month pre-
CEOCFO: Your site shows the Eleven Things We Believe section. “We believe in helping wherever and whenever possible.” What does that mean day-
Mr. Goldstein: In our office we have a shipping issue tomorrow for one of our events, so everyone is helping. For two years the warehouse was collecting dust and now we have account managers and salespeople. Everybody is helping everybody else whether they are in the office or in the home. The thing that changed for the events is during the pandemic we did not do as many charitable events that we used to do and as we are doing now.
We have the whole charitable component where we build bikes, cancer-
CEOCFO: What about, “We believe diversity is a super-
Mr. Goldstein: Diversity, equity and inclusion is an issue for companies that they must deal with day-
We are working on a program now where there are blind facilitators which walk the non-
CEOCFO: TeamBonding was recognized in the INC 5000, so clearly you are doing well. How do you continue the trajectory?
Mr. Goldstein: It was the seventh time we were chosen as one of the fastest-
What that is based on is a three-
One of the things we have come up with is the little libraries that you see in neighborhoods that are on someone’s property, take one-
We have expanded that and now we are going to build wheelchairs for pets and children. We are looking at our program to see what is needed and wanted now and I think that always gets us one step ahead because we are always leading the way in what we offer.
CEOCFO: Do many people take advantage of what is in your store?
Mr. Goldstein: Surprisingly yes. It was kind of an afterthought and one of the ideas that I had and we were losing a lot of people that do not have the budget to facilitate a team-
We are trying to fine-
CEOCFO: How do you know when a facilitator is right for TeamBonding?
Mr. Goldstein: My business previous to Team Bonding was a corporate entertainment company. We used a lot of actors. A lot of the actors were facilitators but the actors were really good at presenting programs, events and entertainment. The facilitators can bring the energy up and can drive the program and reach all the milestones in the middle.
CEOCFO: Did you recognize in the beginning how enthusiastic you would be and how exciting it would be for you as at TeamBonding?
Mr. Goldstein: It is a roller-
Not only are we having fun building teams, we are giving back to the community and companies. When I first started, company culture and community engagement and employee retention were not important. Right now, that is the most important.
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