Well-Known Healthcare Product Company Finds Big-Time Fun in Team Building Event

Retreats, sales meetings, or quarterly reviews have become necessary lifeblood for businesses today. They’re great for looking back and planning ahead or even charting a new course. Oftentimes, however, these meetings can be quite intense and mentally draining after a full day or two of discussions, presentations, and problem solving. In these situations, companies and teams need a fun, relaxing break to balance the meeting work and also help bring people together. Enter CBST Adventures. Recently, a well-known healthcare product company held some team meetings in Vail and engaged CBST Adventures to inject some fun and downtime into their meetings through team building activities.

Many people may think of team building as not actually fun but more ‘mandatory fun’ – a forced activity that’s not genuinely a good time. We totally understand this, and as a result, we offer team building events that will often incorporate some degree of silliness into them. One of the activities we put this company through is called Tour de Trikester, where we have participants partake in a very mini-bicycle course on kid’s tricycles. If you can’t picture several adults on tiny tricycles, it’s downright hilarious. At the same time, as this activity is a competition, when the group is broken into teams, they can’t help but get into the activity in the spirit of competing against their coworkers. What we observe in these situations is the teams will then come up with creative strategies, encourage their coworkers, and communicate with one another without much prompting from us. We don’t tell the participants this (or at least not until the end of the day) but amidst all the fun and goofiness going on, they’re actually working on skills that have vital importance in the workplace.

Probably the best part of the day was getting to see the this company’s teams take part in our Aviation Creation activity. While this activity took place near the end of the day when you’d expect a lot of teams to be checked out, this company was all in. The challenge involved building flyable airplanes out of random plywood and foam pieces. Trust us, it’s a little bit more involved then the wooden or foam planes you got as a kid and could put together in five minutes. Once the planes were built, the teams then competed against one another to see whose plane could fly the furthest. The ingenuity folks put into designing and building the planes was impressive to say the least. Though, some planes designs and subsequent flights were not so impressive, you can be sure they got a lot of laughs. Once again, it was another activity that was pretty fun and silly at the core, yet required teams to come together, think creatively, and collaborate in trying to achieve a goal.

At the end of the day, people were smiling, laughing, and overall feeling relaxed. After daylong meetings in a conference room, you could say the experience with us was just what the doctored ordered. We’re just grateful to have helped create a memorable, fun-filled event that also helped a team grow and become more connected. Honestly, we’re not sure there’s anything more a company could want out of a team build.

If the above sounds like fun or if you’re interested in additional team building activities for your team or company, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!

CBST Adventures Helps Create Empowering Experiences for Disabled People

What’s Within You Is Stronger Than What’s In Your Way. This is the spirit of No Barriers, a non-profit with the mission to unleash the power of the human spirit.   No Barriers was originally founded by Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind summiteer of Mount Everest, and a group of his friends. Erik and his team now run the No Barriers Summit – a 4-day event attended by over 1,000 people with disabilities that come together once a year in beautiful Lake Tahoe, California. The No Barriers Summit is also an incredible time where technology providers and activity companies, such as CBST Adventures, offer technologies and services specifically for disabled individuals with the mission to help expose them to life-changing experiences.

For the past 5 years, CBST Adventures has run what’s known as the Amazing Race for the No Barriers Summit. As part the Amazing Race experience, we create an Amazing Race course with 6 challenge stations for the participants to complete. All of the participants form into teams and then go-through the course oftentimes with fearlessness and excitement. Many of the participants are individuals with disabilities including blindness, deafness, missing limbs, and paralysis or partial paralysis. The challenges are designed to help these individuals see beyond their limitations and to show them what their true potential is, both in outdoor activities and in life.

This year, we had 43 people compete in the Amazing Race and they formed into 6 teams. The 6 Challenge stations at the amazing race included all-terrain wheel chair competitions, rafting games, rock-climbing competitions, and mountain biking activities.   All of the experiences incorporated innovative new technologies such as the Action Tracker Wheelchair (an all-terrain wheelchair), Aira Google Glass vision instruments to help the visually impaired, Joelette Mtn Bike cart and Tyrollean Traverse with Litter that enables mountain biking for the disabled, and Rafts that allowed for easy entry through an Easy Chair accessory. Witnessing all the new innovations specifically for the disabled was incredible and it was truly heartwarming to know that there are innovators and entrepreneurs out there trying to empower the disabled population through technology products.

During the event, we had 8 people in wheelchairs and many with lost limbs and sight – all of whom competed in the 6 challenges that we had set up. It was an inspiring sight. In one activity, we had 7 of the 8 people in wheelchairs attempt the rafting challenge, and through the use of the Easy Chair accessory, we were able to transport them into the raft. The people that could see would then spot for the folks who were blind to attempt to throw Bean Bags into the targets while the raft was floating down river. It was truly mesmerizing to witness the teamwork, collaboration, and encouragement amongst each of the teams and individuals.

One especially memorable moment from the race happened when one woman who was a quadriplegic in a wheelchair planned to go rafting but at the sight of the high water, cancelled her activity. You could immediately see she was disappointed with herself for cancelling and for giving in to her fear, which honestly is completely understandable. Over the course of the day, she started watching other individuals and teams with similar physical challenges hop into the rafts and go down the river. After seeing this, she decided right then and there she was not going to let fear stop her and was determined to go down the river in the raft.   Very soon after, we put her in a raft and secured her in. She was smiling ear to ear and so were we.

When we came to the end of the rafting ride, tears welled up in her eyes, and in our CEO’s, who rode with her in raft. She shared that she always wanted to go rafting and it was the opportunity made possible by No Barriers and CBST Adventures that made her realize that she could actually do it. In her own words, she saw a life changing ‘Now or never” opportunity and took it. In the true spirit of the No Barriers event, she broke through her barriers and we honestly couldn’t be happier for someone.

If you’d like to learn more about our involvement in the community impact space, check out our Community Impact page here.

 

 

 

 

Inc. Magazine’s #1 Alternative Team Building Activity: Building Something

In a recent article, Inc. Magazine talks about how traditional team building activities such as ropes courses and ice breakers have grown tired and cliche. Companies and teams are now looking for new alternatives to better grow and integrate their teams and Inc. has made a couple suggestions.

Number one on their list? Build Something. Such an activity calls for actual team building, problem solving, and communication skills that result in an actual deliverable or product. Pretty similar to the professional world, right? We think so too which is why we try to incorporate elements into many of our team building and community impact events. To learn more about such events, click here.

And when you’re done with that don’t forget to give the Inc. Magazine article a read.

CBST Adventures Helps ‘Transcend Barriers’ at the No Barriers Adaptive Adventure Race

This past June 1st-4th was the No Barriers Summit, a life-changing event with a thriving community that believes What’s Within You Is Stronger Than What’s In Your Way.  No Barriers Summit is a family-friendly event is for people of all ages and abilities with the mission create a transformational, life-changing experience regardless of your abilities.

As part of the No Barriers Summit there was also the No Barriers Adaptive Adventure Race. CBST Adventures had the great fortune to help facilitate the Adaptive Adventure Race, specifically for the outdoor and team-related activities. This video captures some of the highlights from the race – as you can see, the race and overall event was incredibly powerful and inspiring.

Major Independent Safety Science Company Experiences Transformational Leadership Development

It’s amazing how the outdoors and the experiences they offer can provide powerful metaphors for the professional world. Whether it’s gaining insights from something you do outside or seeing nature as analogous to an area of your work or life, the outdoors can be extremely beneficial. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that we at CBST Adventures are big proponents of experiential team building and leadership development in the great outdoors. Don’t get us wrong, we certainly support and even advocate for classroom learning and development, yet, these programs alone often are insufficient to create the transformational change in teams, leaders, and individuals. Such was the case in a recent program with Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL), an independent safety science company.

As part of UL’s Global Leadership Program, executives, directors, and managers were headed to participate in a 5-day intensive classroom leadership course focused on teaching the principles from Patrick Lencioni’s ‘Five Dysfunctions of a Team’. Our CBST Adventures’ team felt that we could really enhance and supplement the classroom curriculum through our River Venture Experiential Leadership program. For this program, teams get to experience the adventure and excitement of river rafting, camping, hiking, rock climbing, and a GPS based scavenger hunt. With each activity, there are challenges that either we create or nature does (thanks to the weather) that require problem solving, communication, and teamwork skills.

One thing that we really notice is that the outdoors enable individuals and teams to be more real and authentic with one another. Maybe it’s the simple power of nature or maybe the outdoors prevents putting up an image or a front. Either way, what we see is some very authentic and dynamic engagements that just can’t be created in an office or hotel conference room.

After having the UL group complete a Wilderness Rescue Workshop, where they learned and practiced everything from simple bleeding treatment procedures to splinting/broken limbs to concussion and evacuation procedures, the team then debriefed the experience. Some very open and honest discussion ensued about the activity that the group realized paralleled their professional jobs. For instance, one participant mentioned how that when the team was collectively working in the wrong direction, as a leader, he had to accept some conflict to resolve the problem and getting a better outcome. Another participant mentioned how the group at times would get so mired in the details of what they were doing, such a splinting an arm, that they at times would lose sight of the big picture (saving a life). What was really neat is that these are two key concepts from the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and they bubble up through the course of natural discussion. We then could see people connecting these takeaways back to the work-world and having illuminating moments – a key goal with such activities.

Another objective for our Experiential Leadership programs is to help people change their lives in a way that not only makes them better professionals but better people. One woman in our group had participated in an ½ Ironman Race two years ago but had suffered an injury while swimming in the race that led her to refuse getting back into water. One our guides was able to work with her on this fear through safety training and coaching, and upon learning about her fear, her coworkers supported and encouraged her in overcoming this two-year long obstacle. Eventually, she not only jumped in one of rafts but she also jumped into the river at one point during the rafting trip. It truly was a transformative moment and one that her coworkers helped her experience, thus changing the dynamics of those relationships moving forward. At the end of the day, she shared with us “I have so much trust in my teammates that I was able to overcome my intense fear of the water, and actual get back into it for the first time after a near drowning experience.”

At the end of the program, the team was unquestionably exhausted, but for most people, they were also content. Yes, they had fun in experiencing the multitude of outdoor activities but many of them also had a life changing experience. Maybe it was getting over a debilitating fear or realizing a bad habit or simply remembering the importance of looking out for others – a concept easily forgotten in the workplace. Whatever the experience, we like to think at the very least, we helped individuals and teams create memories that they’ll never forget and always be able to look back on. It’s our hope that these memories help better fortify teams, improve interpersonal relationships, and make individuals more integrated professionals and people. We love what we do and are thankful we get to do such meaningful and rewarding work.

If any of this is something that you’d like for your team to experience, check out our Experiential Leadership programs here or feel free to reach out to us.

Video Share: MIT Labs Discusses How Team-Building is Key to Innovation

Wired Magazine recently did a video story at MIT’s Media Lab, which is tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges from fighting pollution and to urban modeling through making team collaboration and communication an efficient science.

Check out the video here to learn the strategies behind of MIT’s Media Lab’s approach to teamwork that has lead to unparalleled achievements in innovation.

ARTICLE SHARE: McKinnsey & Company Reveals Top Reasons Why Leadership Programs Fail

In 2014, McKinnsey & Company wrote an article on ‘Why Leadership Development Programs Fail.’

The blog highlights key oversights made by companies when choosing to invest in development programs including not considering ‘Context, Applicability, Mindset, and Measurement.’ We love when major and influential companies like McKinnsey & Co. speak into our services in efforts to improve the industry and help leaders grow. Such is the reason we wanted to pass this article along.

Check it out at the link below:

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/leadership/why-leadership-development-programs-fail

Major Resort and Lodging Company Celebrates a Record 2016 with CBST Adventures

From time to time, we have the pleasure of helping companies celebrate major milestones and achievements. For Stein Collection, a resort and lodging management company, they were celebrating a record year in 2016. Not surprisingly, Stein Collection asked for the focus of the event to be creating a fun, enjoyable experience for their team. This was not a problem as our events can span from very relaxed and easy-going to more structured and disciplined, depending on the goals of the company we’re working with. In this case, it was more of the former than the latter; yet, even low-key, fun events can serve as powerful team builds.

As Stein Collections company meeting and celebration was in historic Park City, Utah, we decided to leverage the historic downtown area with our very popular Tactical Tablet Challenge. For this game, the group had to break into teams and then compete against one-another by exploring areas from downtown Park City to Park City Resort Area to the low and high ends of Main Street in Park City. The key to the game is to use the CBST provided tablet and look for clues, play historic trivia, and take silly snap-shots along the way. The team that completes all the required tasks first wins.

As we like to keep our events fresh and innovative, we added a new twist to Tactical Tablets – teams had to visit City Park and compete in what we call ‘Volleyball Victory’ – a creative take on volleyball in which participants bump, set, and spike a volleyball-sized tennis ball through a hula hoop. This game was as goofy and as challenging as it sounds but ended up be a great new addition to our traditional game.

It was mission accomplished at the end of the day, as there were smiles all around and people relaxing and enjoying themselves in the company of their teams and colleagues. This is a great sight and something we hope more companies aspire towards and actually do – celebrate success.

To learn more about this event and others, click here.

 

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