Early corporate attempts at team-building seem quaint by today's standards.

Remember informal Fridays, when men could leave the tie at home and women were "allowed" to wear pants to the office? How about that awkward cook-out in the boss's perfectly manicured backyard? Or the rousing round of putt-putt golf where the inveterate cheaters on staff were revealed?

All pale in comparison to some of the death-defying opportunities that team-building vendors pitch to HR managers these days.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.