Our CEO Discusses the Power of a Customized Approach to Building Better Leaders and Teams on Top Rated Podcast

Our CEO Jay Irwin recently appeared on the Integrate and Ignite Podcast. On the podcast, Jays gets into the value of companies taking a customized or personalized approach to leadership development and team building, instead of a one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter model.

Give the podcast a listen at the link below or on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher by searching for the Integrate and Ignite Podcast.

 

 

Harvard Business Review Emphasizes the ‘Experiential’ Component in Leadership Development

Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently wrote an article titled ‘Why Leadership Development Isn’t Developing Leaders.’ It’s a terrific read that highlights how too many leadership development programs are purely classroom based. As a result, the leadership training received isn’t very applicable and is difficult to put into practice.

We don’t want to spoil the article for you but the first point that HBR asserts for how to improve leadership development programs is to ‘make [them] experiential.’ We couldn’t agree more and such is the reason why we offer ‘Experiential Leadership’ programs designed to provide real-life leadership and management training to executives, VPs, directors, and manager-level individuals. You can learn more about those programs here if you’re interested.

In the meantime, definitely give the the HBR article a read which you can find here.

Major Pharmaceutical Company ‘Just Wants to Have Fun’ and Experiences an Awesome Team Build in the Process

While our bread and butter services are in creating team building, leadership development, and community impact focused experiences, sometimes companies come to us because they just want to kick back and ‘have fun’ as a team. The good news is we help facilitate these types of experiences as well. We’d be silly not to, right? What’s interesting is we have found that oftentimes loosely structured ‘fun-time’ can be a very effective way for teams to grow in the areas of trust, communication, and general team dynamics. Such was the case for a major pharmaceutical team that sent their regional sales team to Park City, Utah for a sales meeting. Though our ‘home base’ is in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, we also travel to other areas of the Rocky Mountain region to best serve our clients. Such was the case with this engagement in Park City.

Though the main objective of this engagement was ‘fun,’ we did manage to put a little structure into the experience. We had the group do a tablet-based scavenger hunt called Tactical Tablets in Park City’s historic downtown area. This is a fantastic experience for teams that are game for teambuilding but maybe want something a little more low-key but still a lot of fun. In this experience, teams are provided 4G tablets loaded with a course map complete with text, photo, and video clues. The teams must travel to specific locations and complete projects and tasks to earn points. It’s truly a high-tech twist on the original ‘scavenger hunt’ but teams love it as they can’t help but get invested in the game using their tablets and compete against the other teams. The best part about Tactical Tablets is teams will naturally work on their communication and problem solving skills by virtue of simply playing the game. It’s our secret way of getting teams to do a team build activity without it explicitly telling them their doing a team build.

Now unlike many other team building companies, we don’t end the fun once the main activity ends. No, we keep it going as long as the client likes…for the most part. After Tactical Tablets, we made a couple stops at some local bars in Park City. You could really see people connecting and engaging with each other more than when we met them at the start of the day. What’s really cool about what we do is we create experiences and memories that the teams then can talk about after and even during an event. Such was the case while visiting the local bars as one of our team members passed around silly gags and accessories from kazoos to crazy hats to even feather boas. The pharmaceutical teams loved this and were happy to look goofy and make fools of themselves (check out the photos on Facebook) all in the spirit of relaxing, enjoying each other, and just having fun.

At the end of the day, we debriefed the day’s events with the group. It was pretty awesome to hear all the takeaways from an event where the primary objective was ‘just have fun.’ But as mentioned above, that’s just how it happens sometimes. We’re thankful to be a part of such experiences and love knowing that we help make them possible. If you’re interested in a similar experience or something different, feel free to give us a shout. We’d always love to have some more fun…

 

Technology Company Team Build: A Different Kind of Food Drive…

Have you ever been hungry?  Even for just a little bit?  You skipped breakfast and went out on a hike.  You didn’t have time for lunch during conference calls.  Or, perhaps, you went to the pantry, and nothing called to you.  How did that make you feel?  Were you short tempered? Feeling a little uneasy? Maybe even lightheaded?

Now imagine that you experience that every day. You go to the pantry and you find a can of beans, or a few potatoes, and that is your food for the day.  As you walk out on the streets heading for work you notice the restaurants, and the food smells great, but when you reach into your pocket you realize that you don’t have the money to even buy a sandwich.

Sometimes in our privileged world, we might feel that there are plenty of programs out there to handle issues like this – food stamps, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and subsidized lunches.  While these programs do help to alleviate some of the challenges, there are still many Americans living only blocks from us that are going hungry every single day.

With this in mind, we’d like to share a powerful story that starts with a local company setting a key business goal was to “make a difference” in society. Yes, you read that right – a business goal intent on making a social impact.  Solidyn Solutions, an engineering services company headquartered in Denver, decided that they wanted to do something during their holiday celebration to give back to their community.  Their leaders noticed that Keystone Resorts was offering a Community Impact Team Building event with their group meeting package, so they decided to have their all-company holiday party up in Keystone.

Dawn and Andy Marshall, key executives at Solidyn, are two incredibly caring people who are active in serving as advocates for low-income and homeless families in the Denver metro area.  They serve on the board and volunteer with the Jefferson County Action Center.   This desire to serve and improve the local community is a cornerstone value for CBST Adventures as well, which is why we often include a social impact component with our events.

Solidyn decided to host a Community ‘Mini-Golf’ Impact Food Drive Challenge at their event in Keystone, where employees would be challenged to create mini-golf courses with perishable food (in a non-damaging way, of course). CBST Adventures sprung to action, setting the stage for what was sure to be an amazing evening of sharing in the holiday spirit and giving back.

When the evening of the mini-golf event arrived, Solidyn’s employees and families arrived to find $5,000 worth of food waiting for them to build out 15 holes of ‘championship-worthy’ mini-golf course.   The children of the families were ecstatic, and the engineer parents were even more thrilled.   It was truly a sight to behold, as rarely have our events had so much engineering creativity and design.

What really made the event special was beforehand, CBST’s CEO, Jay Irwin, reached out to CityWILD, the youth leadership development non-profit in Denver and invited 11 CityWILD students to work the Solidyn event. The CityWILD students not only worked side by side with CBST staff and Solidyn, helping with the build out of the mini-golf course, but then they were given the tremendous responsibility to later go into their own low-income neighborhoods and deliver the non-perishable food to families in need.

Once the evening was over, the 11 CityWILD students and our CBST staff packed up three pallets of food to be distributed to these communities in need.  One of the CityWILD students said to CBST’s CEO, “That was so much fun working the event, but what’s going to be more fun is distributing this food out into my community.  It’s going to make such a huge impact on Christmas for my neighbors, and I know exactly who needs it the most.”

To make their deliveries even more special, the students put the food into meaningful packages and delivered them door-to-door.   Rice, beans, tuna, granola, peanut butter, spaghetti and sauce, applesauce, and a tin of Christmas cookies for each family as a special treat were all included.   Upon delivery, one woman starting crying and said, “The food is important and my family needs it, but it means even more to know that someone out there cares enough to think of me and my family during this time.”

Make no mistake, this was a teambuilding event for Solidyn and their employees; but, as you can tell, the impact of the event went far beyond the company of Solidyn. It’s such transformational and life-changing events that we at CBST Adventure’s love to create and help be a part of.

To learn more about CBST and our Social Impact initiatives, click here.

Medical Device Company ‘Levels Up’ Continuous Improvement

If you play videos games, you might be familiar with the term ‘Level Up.’ In video game terminology, it means to advance to the next level and to progress within a game. This was the theme of a bi-annual meeting for a major medical device company in the Kidney Dialysis market.

As part of this theme, it was important to the company and to the 42 person team that CBST Adventures worked to focus on improving communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, all aspects that are important to their daily work. We love when companies want to incorporate their regular jobs into the teambuilding experience because that mirrors our approach as well. We don’t believe in simply creating half-day or daylong escapes for our clients but rather to provide a transformational and dynamic experience that people will take with them back to the office for many days, months, and years to come.

Now don’t be mistaken, while our events are powerful and impactful, we love having fun too. For example, as part of this team build, we had the director of the team dress up as a Queen (think Zelda or another popular medieval games) and go out in public to different places in Downtown Denver. You can imagine amount of laughs that ensued… The challenge for her team was then to try to find her via clues on a 4G tablet that had her GPS location.

In case you’ve never heard of an outdoor teambuilding experience that dresses people up like Queens out in public and incorporates tablets and GPS technology, that’s because there’s not many out there.  We like to believe that this is unique to CBST Adventures value proposition. Yes, we’re an outdoor company but we also know that technology plays a large role in society today and even can add value to an outdoor experience. As for integrating the element of fun – well, who doesn’t like to have fun???

Throughout the game, the teams gained information and clues via pop-up questions, streaming videos and real time text based commands sent to their 4G tablet. At each stage of the progressive game, teams had the choice to compete at the first challenge level and earn the minimum amount of points OR go for a more difficult challenge worth more points. With higher risk comes higher reward but there’s also more to lose!

All in the all, the game was an incredible experience for the participating company as it pushed them to practice high levels of communication, problem solving, and critical thinking – remember the objectives from above?  What was really neat to see was the trust forming amongst colleagues and strengths identified in others that many folks didn’t know where there. These are the insights and breakthroughs that can be a game-changer in terms of how a team or organization functions.

At days end, the Queen was found but the laughter and good times kept going. Where we take the most pride at CBST Adventures is in creating a memorable experience that a team or organization won’t forget for awhile – not just because how fun or funny it was, but also because it transformed perspectives and improved interpersonal skills – invaluable results for companies and an incredible outcome for a half-day team build event.

Go to Top