Harvard Business Review digs into the fundamentals behind successful teamwork: a compelling direction, a strong structure, and a supportive context. CBST simulates these pillars of collaboration through its team building challenges in outdoor and indoor settings.
In this study by Harvard Business Review, researchers prove communication to be the single most telling predictor of a team’s success. “Not only that, but it is as significant as all the other factors—individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions—combined”. When put to the test, researchers correctly predicted which team would win a business plan contest based on their measured communication abilities.
Through the study, several defining characteristics of highly functional teams were identified:
- Group discussion consists of equal and succinct contribution by all.
- Conversations occur most often face-to-face and in an animated manner.
- Team members seek each other out for discussion, rather than relying on the team leader.
- Members seek information outside of the team to provide fresh perspective in problem-solving.
Because of the cache of research proving the importance of communication, CBST Adventures designs its team building experiences around these skills. Events stretch individual’s communication, interpersonal, and problem solving skills to create lasting relationships amongst innovative and engaged teams.
In this article by Entrepreneur, the myth of traditional team-building being effective is debunked. While a trust-fall can be fun once-in-a-while, this arena is in need of innovation and fresh ideas. Let’s get people excited again: “Effective team-building can build lasting bonds and even workplace friendships. It can re-energize employees and improve morale and productivity.”
CBST Adventures certainly has some ideas. We’re experts in team dynamics, and our engagements are designed to stretch individual’s communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills—all through immersive outdoor experiences. We help companies build a workplace of camaraderie, friendship and personal investment. Entrepreneur would agree that “to really improve morale and team dynamics, [companies should] create scenarios that will build friendships.”
We’ve developed a series of team building and experiential leadership opportunities that get people bonding, high-fiving and making memories all around—scavenger hunts, raft building, Climbing Wall Scrabble Sprawl, all in a day’s work.
This week’s CBST Adventure’s article share takes on the meaning of “agility” in the business world—the ability to respond to an ever-changing market with confidence and efficiency. This means curating a workplace culture where employees own challenges and become leaders. CBST Adventures is helping to build an economy of agile companies through experiential leadership and team building in the great outdoors of Colorado.
The article can be found HERE.
Jay Irwin, CEO of CBST Adventures, talks about the power of community impact events, and the story behind our “Hands of Gratitude” prosthetic hands team building experience.
CBST Adventures’ CEO Jay Irwin shares his insights on how team builds that incorporate the element of ‘fun’ are actually more effective at bringing teams together and forging relationships that boost organizational productivity and morale.
The article focuses on an interview with Jay and discusses how CBST Adventures is changing the landscape of leadership development and team building for companies in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.
What do Leadership Development Consulting companies do when they need some team building and a little outside time? They come to CBST Adventures. We love when we get to work with companies who are as passionate about leadership development and team dynamics as we are. Such was the case when we put on an event for The Regis Company in Keystone. The Regis Company is a leadership development and coaching company that had brought 20 of their clients and 20 of their employees up to Keystone for a company conference. Our event was the team building portion of the conference and we were asked to incorporate the conference theme of ‘Thinking Forward.’ We love getting to do this integration with companies as it helps us ensure continuity with their meetings and also provide the highest level of impact for the participants!
In the spirit of anticipating the future, we decided to put the team through a customized progressive and forward thinking version of our mega popular Tactical Tablet event. The group of 30 participants first broke into teams and we kicked off the event with a friendly little game of Disc Golf. It’s a great opening primer that allows teams to warm up the muscles and get ready for a day’s worth of activity. We then started the tablet adventure and each team was given one GPS-enabled tablet and had to complete 62 questions for the day as part of the tablet challenge. As we modified this challenge specifically for the theme of the company’s meeting, we added in 10 questions that addressed key ideas, messages, and takeaways from their conference. Yep, we made people ‘walk and chew gum at the same time’ but everyone did great!
After all the teams completed the Tactical Tablet challenge, they returned to their resort in Keystone for the final activity, Rodeo Ramblers. For this activity, participants put on the goofiest cowboy hats we could find and then hop on inflatable mini-horses for a wild ride of rounding up stationary cattle steers. The sheer image of seeing adults wearing these ridiculous hats flailing around on inflatable horses is worth a thousand laughs (see the Facebook pics for the proof) and that’s why we do it. We have found, and research shows, that teams that have fun and laugh together, are more productive, have greater engagement at work, and overall are happier employees. Thus, we try to create fun-filled, laughter creating experiences and games like Rodeo Ramblers at nearly every event.
Once the day was over – you could just feel the joy in the air amongst the group. Teams did a little problem solving, got outside, laughed at one another, and overall had a great time! In our opinion, these are the ideal kind of team builds as they make for lasting experiences that people will take back with them to the office. Whether it’s reminiscing about a funny thing that happened or connecting with a colleague that someone didn’t know very well, it’s these type of interactions that we love to help create because we know they may not have happened otherwise and, more over, they change companies for the better.
If you interested in creating a fun-filled, team building experience for your company, reach out to us. We’d be happy to talk through what an event for your company would look like.
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.
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.