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.

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

Article Share: 10 Ways Experiential Learning Creates Long-Term Performance Impact

Given we’re a big proponent of experiential learning, specifically through our Experiential Leadership Development and Team Building programs, we wanted to share this article from the ‘Chief Learning Officer’ online publication, which is part of Human Capital Media – a major human performance media outlet.

The article shares the 10 benefits of experiential learning and we agree with and incorporate many of their suggestions into our experiential programs.

Give it a read at the link below:

http://www.clomedia.com/2017/05/08/10-ways-experiential-learning-creates-long-term-performance-impact/?utm_campaign=ED_CLO_CLO_Today_Q2_2017&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51723322&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8QdThW_7UWahtRcqJUnJ8dNaPbTtoDTFS826Uzy9cJlLdCtnoQQ6tJVBJDAH_1SdsR5LSf7ypdCneTsZKwBD8zFyIWkg&_hsmi=51723041

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

Game On! From board games to team builds – CBST Adventures helps major natural food company develop their teams


Game on! This was the theme of a large natural food company’s annual meeting in Beaver Creek. While the meeting rooms were decked out with board games and large white paper with markers and crayons galore, when CBST Adventures arrived on the scene, we decided to take things outside for some fresh air and fun.

Keeping in the ‘gaming’ spirit we kicked off our event with a ‘Hoppy Horses Relay.’ Never heard of it? We hadn’t either before this event. This is a new activity that CBST Adventures developed where teams raced on inflatable mini-horses and handed off a ‘Happy the Cow’ stuff animal. Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? It was, but make no mistake, the participating teams loved it! You can imagine how funny it would be watching your co-workers trying to move an inflatable horse back and forth as quickly as they can. And that’s our goal – to create these type of memorable experiences, as we find that people have the greatest fun and enjoy themselves the most when silliness and laughter is involved.

Next, we shuttled the team up to the Beaver Creek Village where they took part of our famous GPS course and took some ‘Eye Spy’ photos. With this game, teams used GPS units, maps and cameras to navigate the area in search of hidden clues, play trivia and take numerous photo ops (hence, the ‘Eye Spy’).  Each task on the course is weighted based on difficulty so teams have to devise a plan of attack based on their vision for success and the dynamics of their group. A bonus challenge for this particularly activity was what we at CBST Adventures call ‘Happy Hunting!’ in which the teams searched for Happy the Cow (one of our guides in a cow onesie), who was walking around the Beaver Creek village. Once they found Happy, the teams had to take a photo as proof they caught him. Once again, a pretty funny visual, but one that required some real problem solving and critical thinking, nonetheless.

The teambuilding event ended with fun being had all around as everyone stuck around afterwards for happy hour at the 8100 Bar at the base of the mountain. This is an ideal event in our book, where teams have a ton of fun through laughter, goofiness, and being playful; yet, at the same time, teams are put into challenging situations and dynamics where they have to collaborate, problem solve, and think strategically about how to be successful. In our opinion, there are a lot parallels in such activities with the workplace. While we assume there’s not too many outdoor guides running around in a cow onesie at your office, we’d like to believe that the teamwork and communication skills needed to find Happy are similar to running a great campaign, having a successful product launch, or hitting a major milestone at your company.

If you think any of the above sounds interesting, we’d love to share more about this event and others. Please reach out to us at our website or by calling 970-668-8900.

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.

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