Last week, I spent four days with a European pharmaceutical company, based in Dubrovnik (Croatia), where we demonstrated the value of creative team building activities for all types of people. It is definitely wrong to overgeneralise about people or entire organisations, but the reality is that certain types people tend to be attracted to certain careers and companies. In this case, employees were highly educated, conservatively minded by nature and professionally analytical.
In this sector, companies are generally less familiar with team building activities and our type of creative events. The recently appointed Head of Training had the foresight and courage to try something quite different with this year’s conference delegates.
Each day, through a series of short conference energisers, over 400 doctors, research scientists and other medical specialists learned specific musical parts for their boomwhackers, with each department having its own unique boomwhacker colour and note.
Participants all were working towards a finale performance where the members of each department would eventually meet and create music together as one organization. What the delegates didn’t know was that I had been secretly coaching their own leadership team on how to facilitate this mass orchestra so that they would take to the stage and effectively do my job! The boomwhacker finale was fantastic, with the room full of harmony and colour.
We had an even bigger secret up our sleeves. Just as the room erupted in applause for everyone’s musical efforts in the boomwhacker finale, loud dance music started. Immediately, our Street Moves dance crew burst through the doors, jumped on stage and performed a high-energy routine.
Before members of the audience knew what was happening, venue staff cleverly subdivided the main plenary room (and the group) into four using movable walls, with each group having its own dance instructor!
Each group now learned a specially choreographed dance relating to the four values set for the conference. When the groups came together to perform their amazing routines in front of all the conference delegates, the room was positively electric!
The cheering, congratulations and the all round sense of achievement signified that something extraordinary and totally special had just occurred.
I left beautiful Dubrovnik having had a truly inspiring week. Participants had all stepped up to the challenge, achieving way beyond their expectations. I was very proud of them and also a little proud of us too, for a job well done!
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