Growing Consumer Product Company Builds Bikes for At-Risk Local Youth

Safety. Compassion. Integrity. Respect. Fun. These are the core values of Trips for Kids Denver Metro, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to giving underserved and at-risk youth the opportunity to experience and learn about the natural beauty of Colorado from the view on top of a mountain bike. Their mission is to foster positive life skills and healthy development of youth through self-empowerment and community leadership. Recently, Trips for Kids partnered with CBST Adventures to run a team building experience for ALEn, a household cleaning product company. With many company departments represented including finance, sales, management, and marketing, ALEn’s goal for this team build was to build new relationships and new problem solving skills within a working environment other than their office.

For the team build event, ALEn participants were split up into 8 groups where they entered the first stage of the event: the Bike Build. Each team’s objective was to build 2 bikes and 16 in total with 8 teams. At the end of the day, all of the bikes would be donated to Trips for Kids. Putting their collaboration and communication skills to the test, the teams had to build children’s mountain bike from scratch. No small task to say the least. Along with building the bikes, teams were also asked to write a heartfelt message for each child who would receive the bike.

After a mandatory check from a certified bike mechanic, teams were able to move onto the next stage of the event called ‘Challenges.’ During this stage teams find out what their bikes are made of (literally) and ride them through a series of bike station challenges. The teams then broke off into different challenge stations. The first station, ‘Mountain Bike Disc Golf,’ required participants to ride their bikes through an assortment of cones and then attempt to make the Frisbee into a makeshift disc golf goal. Teams next got their limbo on at ‘Mountain Bike Limbo,’ where they had to pass through two different limbo heights, all while riding the bike they built. Other challenges included ‘Turtle Hunting,’ where teams got a good laugh in watching their coworkers act as “turtles,” laying on their backs with their legs up, while other participants had to toss bike tires onto the “turtles” legs. It might sound a little strange but it’s as fun and as goofy an activity as it can get. The teams were grinning ear to ear and cracking themselves up during a good part of this activity.

The day ended with dinner and a special thank you from a Trips for Kids representative, who shared the importance of the day’s activities for Trips for Kids, elaborated on their mission, and thanked the ALEn group for their contribution. We wanted to share that towards the beginning of the month, Trips for Kids had a very unfortunate and disheartening situation – one of their vans filled with at least a dozen children’s bikes was stolen. Since this heartbreaking occurrence, Trips for Kids has desperately needed new bikes to be built, and thus, the ALEn group was immensely grateful to have built and provided these bikes for Trips for Kids.

The event came to a close with hugs, thanks, and smiles on everyone’s faces, as well as positive and an encouraging spirit emanating from the ALEn team. What’s really neat is when you step back and reflect on the day’s event – not only did the ALEn group come together and work cross functionally within their team but they also took part in a charitable experience, first hand. In our opinion, that’s what you call a powerful team build.

If the above sounds like fun and you’d like to learn more about similar events, click here.

Prominent Large Consulting Firm Lets the Good Times Roll at Team Build

So often companies think that team builds have to be highly structured and serious events in order for them to be relevant and applicable to their business. In our experience working with companies from thriving small businesses to Fortune 10 corporations, laughter and fun can be incredibly powerful tools in bringing teams together. Make no mistake, structure and focus certainly have a place when it comes to team building but when these ideas become the primary focus, we find a team build is not as effective as it could be. So when prominent consulting firm Deloitte came to us to help them wrap up their 2017 planning meeting, we were sure to bring the fun.

In learning that the Deloitte was coming off a couple days of intensive meetings, we felt like the group would really benefit from some active experiences that emphasized enjoyment and silliness. The day began with a Disc Golf competition that the group had fun with, especially as some folks struggled to throw the disc and received some playful ribbings from their colleagues. All in good fun, of course.

We then moved on to our main event – the super popular GPS Challenge, where the group was broken into teams and were provided a GPS unit and a camera. The object of the game was to complete challenges throughout the town of Vail using clues we provided. Teams are awarded points for how well they complete their challenges and the team with most points at the end of the day wins. Challenges for the day included the hilarious Tour De Trikester, where adult participants ride child-sized tricycles around a mini-bike course, and the entertainingly ridiculous Rode Ramblers, which involves participants hoping around on inflatable mini-horses and trying to rope and wrangle targets all while wearing outrageous cowboy hats. The images alone bring out non-stop smiles and laughter but the good times really happen as folks dive in on these events.

What was especially neat to witness with this group from Deloitte was that while they certainly competed against one another for the GPS Challenge, they also were just really excited to partake in the different challenges and their enthusiasm was evident from one challenge to another. We love seeing teams having a great time like this and not taking themselves or the event too seriously. If you haven’t seen them already, we highly recommend you check out the pictures on Facebook as they’re pretty enjoyable, complete with people doing planks, posing with statues, and even some dancing.

It’s safe to say that at the end of the day folks were relishing the day after a rollicking good time. The team was also more connected at days end – the events, while ridiculous at times, gave them an experience to share and bond over for sure. It was great to watch and be a part of.

If your company or team is interested in working with us, give us a shout! We’d love to chat with you.

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.

Fortune 20 Company Has a Fun-Filled Team Build at Beautiful Cattle Ranch

In our experience, we’ve found that mountain ranches can be an incredible venue for teams to host a team build. For one of our recent events, we created a team building experience at Spruce Mountain Ranch, a sprawling ranch typically used for show cattle – on this day it played host to Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE). HPE sent a group of 100 people to work with us for a day and it was an absolute blast! Connection and all-purpose fun was the objective for this team building experience and so we let those ideas really drive the agenda.

After folks arrived to the ranch, we treated them to a delicious lunch and then began the activities. Given we were at an authentic cattle ranch, we thought it only fitting to have a western theme to all of our activities starting with a Western Amazing Race. With this experience, participants explored the ranch through taking part in mental and physical challenges (nothing too strenuous) requiring problem solving and creative thinking. The entire group broke into teams and each team had to pool their resources and delegate tasks to complete including a remote control car derby (a brand new activity), roping a rolling cow on wheels, rocket launching, and paintball sharpshooting, to name just a few.

What’s interesting is we find that a lot of teams aren’t necessarily super excited to do a team build at the start of an event and then are blown away once they start participating in our activities. Such was the case for HPE as the group was totally engrossed with every activity and really threw themselves into completing all the tasks as part of the Amazing Race. We think this is partly due to folks wanting to compete against their coworkers but really has more to do with the activities simply being such a great time that people can’t resist but participate. Not to mention it’s pretty funny to watch your colleagues try to drive, and inevitably crash, remote control cars. Likewise, giving your coworkers a hard time about being covered in paint-ball paint is always good for a few laughs.

As you can tell, fun and enjoyment was a big priority and a major outcome from this event. Yet, as with many of our events, from every laugh and every smile, come teams and individuals engaging with each other in new and different ways. The result is relationships are formed and memories are made that otherwise didn’t exist and it’s these kind of breakthroughs that help forge teams and bring companies together.

We closed out the day announcing the winners from the day’s activities and then flowed into a laid-back and fun-filled happy hour and dinner. The night, however, couldn’t end without one last event – a mechanical bull challenge. As with the other activities, tons of laughter, smiles, and playful ribbing ensued. The winner, the person who rode the longest (and hopefully didn’t lose their dinner), won a Google Home Device – not a bad prize, right? Not at all and not a bad team build either.

To learn more about similar events, click here.

Fast Growing Startup Partakes in Laid-Back But Connection-Focused Team Build

Team building might not be very high on a startup’s to-do list with all the demands that come with growing a new company – getting customers, fundraising, and hiring employees, just to name a few. Yet, more and more startups and emerging companies are realizing the value in investing in their employees and teams through team building activities. This was the case for the fast-growing startup, Birdeye, an online user-review tracking platform. Sometimes companies come to us because they have a particular challenge they want to address – trust, teamwork, communication. With Birdeye, it was simply that they are growing so quickly that they want to make sure their employees felt valued, cared about, and connected.

Birdeye has offices in multiple locations including California, Arizona, and Colorado, which meant many members of their startup team had not met yet. So we brought together approximately 40 people and ran a laid back but very fun team build event. As we were in the heart of sprawling downtown Denver, we thought it would be fun to do our Urban Orienteering Team Tracking event. This is a GPS -based activity where teams compete against each other with a GPS-enabled tablet and they must capture ‘Eye Spy’ photos while also play Cherry Picking (finding hidden objects) and Disc Golf games around the city. It’s a super fun time as it leverages technology through GPS and tablets while also encouraging teams to use problem solving, communication, and creative thinking to try to win the event.

To encourage the teams to get to know one another, we kicked off at the Wynkoop Brewery for some drinks and billiard games and we later learned that teams visited bars during the game (not necessarily part of the game but we fully support it in the spirit of team building!). At the end of the day, folks had a blast and the best part is nothing was forced on them. Yes, we put the group through a team build, but as you can tell, it was fairly casual and very open to teams having fun with it, whether through stopping at bars along the way or simply taking additional time to connect with their colleagues.

This type event really reflects our view on teambuilding in that you don’t have to have an overly structured and disciplined event for people to interact, connect, and grow as a team. While we certainly can run events as structured or loose as our clients like, our goal is that people walk away from a memorable experience that was fun, engaging, and transformative. If this sounds like something your company might be interested in, give us a shout! We’d love to learn more about your company and how we can create a lasting experience for your teams. Feel free to reach out to us here.

Content Share: Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Center Delves into Essential Qualities for TeamBuilding

Stanford University’s resource center for entrepreneurship known as the eCorner recently released a talk by Stanford’s President John Hennessy on the essential qualities of team building. We won’t share too much as you should watch the video but Hennessy talks about the importance of trust and delegation and that one’s instincts on hiring gets better over time.

Definitely give the video a watch.

http://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/3852/Table-Stakes-for-Team-Building

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.

Article Share: Entrepreneur Magazine Discusses How to Avoid Staff Turnover

Staff and employee turnover can be one of the biggest if not the biggest challenges an organization may face. So many companies could avoid this plaguing problem by simply investing in their employees. We wanted to share this article from Entrepreneur Magazine as it offers some great suggestions for how to effectively invest in your employees. At CBST Adventures, we support such advice as it aligns with our mission and values for helping organizations grow and thrive!

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/290486

 

Forbes Magazine Demystifies How to Work with Millennials

At CBST Adventures, we like to share interesting and thought-provoking content that aligns with our values and outlook on leadership development and  team building- even if we don’t write it. We found the below article from Forbes magazine discussing the myths about working with millennials to be a great read. We highly encourage you to check it out!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2016/01/26/everything-youve-heard-about-millennial-employees-is-baloney-heres-the-truth-and-how-to-use-it/#4904678d4904

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