I've had a lot of intelligent leaders ask me over the years, "What is the purpose of team building?" I often answer with a question like, "Would you rather have a harmonious workplace where people get along and do a lot of great work, or a nightmare where everyone is miserable?"
I recommend a much deeper form of team building than the standard rope climbing, group games, obstacle course, physical challenge, scavenger hunt, company picnic type of approach because those methods don't lead to long-term behavior modification. I view team building as a vital opportunity for staff at all levels, beginning with individuals at the top of the company, to dramatically change the culture of their organization. Team building isn't just a pleasant day where people can bond superficially, it's a chance for you to redesign your company to function at a far better level.
The purpose of team building is to promote deep, meaningful relationships between people so they can create a harmonious, highly effective workplace together. Deeper team building based on self-awareness enables your organization to move past the standard chaos, stress, reactiveness, constant interpersonal conflict, and miscommunication that plagues almost every workplace.