In This Edition...
Late Summer ‘Endeavors' Welcome | Quick Tip for teams and leaders | Featured Product | In the words of our clients | Hands in action/bikes on the road | Tipping Point of the month | In the Media | Word of Mouth Gives a Hand! | Recipient story
As this past spring gave way to summer and kids said goodbye to their teachers, my family looked forward to the plethora of opportunities that summer held. With everything growing and the mountains calling, it was such a rewarding time to see my kids learning about the world in ways that aren't tied to a textbook or classroom. So much growth occurs here in the times between structure and discipline. It's difficult to measure the value of hiking in the mountains or learning to flyfish as a metric for success in school, life or business, but we can't help but know that it is important. And now, as summer gives way to fall and 4th and 6th grade is upon us we look back to the incredible value of being together, and growing in soul-filling ways.
It is our hope that you have had a wonderful summer and you are still able to fit the intangibles into all the structure and discipline that work/life requires.
Enjoy your 'endeavors',
Bill John, President/CEO
Odyssey Teams, Inc.
Quick tip for teams and leaders
To meet or not to meet?
The days of the ""over-the-top"" sales meeting are history, as we know them. Or are they? The real question is, ""How will you go over-the-top without going over the budget?"" How will you continue to exceed the expectations of your participants without political blowback after the final gratuity is paid? Not only is the general public more interested in how big businesses are spending hard-earned profits, but so are the internal employees and actual participants included in such meetings.
What is the solution in the face of these challenges? We know we need to meet. We know we need to reward our teams. We know we need to inspire our people to work twice as hard for less money in a market that requires them to be more in touch than ever with their customers and clients to even stay in the game.
In 2010, teams are running on skeleton sales forces, profits are slim, competition is fierce and it is more and more difficult to enjoy your company spending unnecessary amounts of money on a getaway when many of your friends and coworkers have been let go. But we know we still need to meet and we need to celebrate. The ROI on face-to-face company off-site meetings is still amazing and it is a necessary part of building a healthy culture.
It is not enough to just throw tons of money at the meeting to make your participants happy. Employees are interested in new and creative ideas to get together around purpose and vision. They want to have a sense of social responsibility as they plan for the upcoming year or examine the past year's successes and failures. They want to know that you see the things that really interest them and the things that really concern them. They also want to be recognized as an important part of the company's success.
Here are a few of the do's and don'ts I have seen as I've traveled around the world for the past 18 years observing and participating in some of the worst and some of the best meetings:
• Don't kill them with PowerPoints and flashy presentations that have no heart. People are interested in three things when you present: Who are you, where are you going and can I trust you? They think the same thing about your company. Don't get together and not address those questions. If your teams are stuck on these, forget anything else. They will not remember what you said, but how you made them feel. Be sure that they feel every word of your presentation is something you really believe in and the information inspires you. They will not remember if slide No. 27 in your financial projection had the correct graphic, but they will remember if you seemed truly honest and optimistic. They will get a sense of who you are and if you understand what they need to hear.
• Salespeople are people of action, keep things moving! Most of them got into the sales part of the business because they love people, they love to talk and they like action. Play to those qualities. Keep it interactive and fun. Involve them in the discussions and give them a chance to be heard. The biggest challenge they probably face at a meeting is staying awake or running out of paper to doodle on.
• Break the ice. I don't mean get them all drunk. I mean, have some kind of structured activity that forces them to interact and get to know other people in the group. They will always stay in their cliques unless you make them branch out and get to know other people on the team. People typically get to know each other just enough to get business done. They will gravitate toward people in the group that think like them, walk like them, talk like them and so on. We know they will learn more from the people in the group who think differently from them, people who see life and work from a new perspective. In the safest way you can, get them together and teach them to respect that diversity and value the challenges it presents as well as the benefits it provides. Most of the key lessons learned at a team meeting will be between the team members, if you get them talking.
• Do something good for the world at the same time. One of the hottest trends we helped create was the Philanthropic Teambuilding sessions. This is a combination of team building, leadership development, sales training, ice-breaking and volunteering. It is impossible for someone to participate in a program that benefits a group in real need and not feel something positive. I have never heard of a participant saying that we should not have given those kids a bike, a playhouse or a prosthetic hand. During the Life Cycles bike-building program, the children actually come into the conference room to receive the bikes. This interaction breaks the walls of even the toughest attendee and helps reconnect everyone to the real purpose of the work. Whatever you do, do something that makes them feel good together. They will have something to talk about besides the news or latest office gossip. Something that reminds them that the purpose of all business is to give real value to someone who needs what you are coming together to provide. If you don't do this at some level, then it might seem like you are just going the motions without any emotion.
Lain Hensley, COO, co-owner and lead facilitator,
Build bikes, hands at your company-end-of-year/holiday party!
This year, do something good at your end-of-year holiday party. Build your team while you build something life-changing for someone else. Helping Hands, Life Cycles, and Playhouse Projects are perfect for celebrating the past, and preparing for the future. The qualities that you'll demonstrate during one of these sessions will set a new benchmark for what's possible for you, together.
Call now for more information/booking 800-342-1650
In the words of our clients...
"Since quality time together as a management team is difficult to come by, it was not easy to convince everyone that spending an afternoon away from the tactical necessities of business planning would be well spent. By the end of the afternoon, however, and even still today (three months later), our team unanimously voted the three hours with Odyssey was the most beneficial part of the meeting. They do an amazing job of packaging the positive energy of a philanthropic event with the goals and objectives a stakeholder has set for their meeting. By clearing your mind and embracing the experience, you're able to gain wonderful new insight, not only about yourself and how you behave in both personal and professional settings, but also about your colleagues and your company - which ultimately can lead to some powerful brainstorming and flow of new ideas that can set the tone for a very successful future. Our folks walked away feeling extremely positive about themselves and our business. There's not much more you can ask for as a result of a management meeting!"
Julie Carroll, vice president, partner and industry relations,
BCD Meetings and Incentives.
"If you focus on the obstacle, an obstacle you will get. Trust yourself and your team, focus on the goal, imagine the feeling of success, and all obstacles will yield to you."
Brett Nelson, Solectron
Life Cycles participant
Bicycles on the road: 12,153
In the media
There has been a lot of love for Odyssey Teams and its clients from the media lately, from television to print. Check out our ongoing list of expert columns and advice.
Print media: http://issuu.com/odysseyteams
Television/News media: http://www.youtube.com/user/OdysseyTeams
Word of mouth gives a hand!
Pass this newsletter on. If your colleague books a program with us we'll donate three LN-4 Helping Hands to landmine victims in your name.
The story of Suzanne is difficult to read. I decided to share it to allow to feel the the life-changing effect the LN-4 hand is to people. it's not difficult to realize how many tragic stories exist in the hundreds of thousands of victims of war and violence. The LN-4 hand is the only functional, no-cost-to-the-recipients prosthetic hand available. Please help us reach 11,000 people by the end of 1011.
We just spoke on the phone regarding the LN-4 hand for "Suzanne," a double, upper-extremity amputee in Bluefield Nicaragua. Thank you so much for being so willingly helpful with this. Suzanne is a 28-year-old lady with three kids (ages one, three and six I think).
Short version of the story: Less than a year ago she lost both hands to a jealous "significant other" chopping them off with a machete. They lived in a small farm community upriver from Bluefield. He apparently was very jealous, did not want her talking to anyone else, not even family members. One morning she and her mother had prepared breakfast for several of the farmers. She and her mother got into an argument with one of the farmers - something about the iguana they prepared for breakfast was not very good? At any rate, her husband (significant other) came in, was furious that she had spoken to his friend that way, and tried to behead her with a machete. She tried to duck away and was cut across the back of her neck and left shoulder, he swung again and she put up her hands to shield the blow and he cut both hands off. She ran out into the woods, passed out, and was found by some hunters who knew her situation and took her down the river in a dugout canoe for care. She was fitted with a conventional prosthesis at the state hospital but cannot use it because of the scarring on her neck and left shoulder. She cannot tolerate the pressure of the suspension straps and control cables.
This hand looks perfect!! It is just what I have been looking for to help her situation.
I am so grateful for your help with this. I am more than willing to go where needed for training for myself if necessary. I am really committed to finding the right device, taking it back down to Bluefield to fit her with the prosthesis and train her in using it. I want to "close the loop" and complete this project with a positive outcome for everyone.
Thank you again for your help with this.
For more information on Helping Hands and all other things Odyssey, please visit our website at www.odysseyteams.com and call 800-342-1650.