An Amazing Adventure Race
Island Creek Oysters is based out of Duxbury, Massachusetts. They employ over 300 people. The owner contacted Synergy at Northeast Mountaineering to organize an outing to address leadership and teamwork for the eight members of the marketing department. Many of them did not associate themselves as “outdoorsy” but carried an enthusiastic attitude and were eager to participate. In their entry surveys participants expressed concerns about the leadership, teamwork, accountability and lower-than-expected levels of feeling appreciated in their jobs but were very optimistic about the mission and the future of the company.
THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION
Our goal was to create a custom adventure package that would address the desired goals of teamwork and leadership. Working through our systematic process of discovery, planning, implementation, evaluation and adaptation we were able to fully understand who ICO was as a company, an accurate picture of each participants abilities and then develop a suitable outing that would leave a lasting impression once they returned to the workplace.
After introductions and communicating the participants to the challenge that lies ahead we established two teams by picking straws so that participants that worked closely together in the workplace could not subconsciously gravitate to the same team. We provided each team with a map that clearly defined the starting point, end point and the established trails in the area. On the map we marked 25 bonus challenges that rewarded each team with negative time bonuses upon completion. Each team established their intended route of travel and identified which objectives they intended to complete along the way. We broke for a catered lunch around noon. After lunch we went to a local climbing crag (cliff) to practice any of the skills required to safely complete the plans established in the morning session. This included introduction to ice climbing, practice pitching a tent, learning about climbing and mountaineering equipment and how to use it and a whole lot more! Dinner reservations were made and the team enjoyed great food and beverages unaccompanied by NEM representatives.
Each team had six hours to complete the adventure race, completing as many challenges along the way as they desired. Each team was forced to adapt and alter their plans on the fly. In the end, the two teams completed the race within 30 seconds of each other despite completely different leadership styles, plans of execution and varying levels of physical and mental limitations. The winning team was declared over a celebratory dinner. Both teams completed 15 bonus challenges. The winner was determined by better execution of one competition challenge.
The 25 challenges were broken down into the following categories:
Mandatory: Failure to complete these challenges resulted in a positive time penalty
Participation: Successful completion of these challenges were rewarded guaranteed bonuses
Competition: Bonus was awarded to one team only via picture evidence of completion. The team who completed these challenges with better style and quality were awarded the bonus.
Brett and his team of highly talented, personable guides did an incredible job of creating a fun experience where our management staff got to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise while also undergoing a powerful exercise in self discovery and leadership development. We had a great time, learned a lot about ourselves and one another, and are still seeing the positive impact in our day to day months later.