Helping Hands – A global project

Get Pricing/Booking Information for Helping Hands 'Live'

Helping Hands™ is the award-winning project that is putting prosthetic hands on amputees in developing countries while building purpose-driven teams and leaders. Helping Hands is about changing lives. It’s about accessing the potential of your heads, hands, and hearts to build a better team, a better organization and a better world. Now, you are able to help in the funding and building of LN-4 prosthetic hands needed by tens of thousands of people in developing countries around the world. Together, we will provide these life-changing gifts at no cost to the recipients. The process has been crafted to teach collaboration, commitment and quality – born from a deeper sense of connection to your products, your colleagues, your customers, and community. With a focus on others it’s remarkable how much we learn about ourselves.

The Helping Hands 'Live' Process


We will help you identify the specific business goals and organizational values that Helping Hands ‘Live’ will deliver upon. This is done in a pre-program call between Odyssey Teams’ Lead Facilitator and key meeting stakeholders/organizers from your team.

At the program:

Phase I  – Opening/Introduction: Designed to set a powerful context for participation, engagement, and application related to the specific organizational values and individual behaviors as identified (see above). Collaboration, engagement, purpose-driven work, and customer mindfulness are a few of the underpinnings for success the Helping Hands ‘Live’ program is about.

Phase II  – Benchmark activities and the ART of improvement. ART™ is the Awareness of Reflexive Tendencies and is used to identify default (reflexive) strengths and places for improvement while under pressure. Participants are given a series of brief challenges to determine areas requiring a more deliberate approach to balance results, relationships, and process. These are out-of-your-seat activities and discussions that prepare them to deliver on-time, with quality and a deeper sense of purpose.

Phase III  – Practicing world-class performance: Up until this point, they do not know what their project will be. We recommend keeping it a surprise in order to ‘catch’ them in a more organic state. We show  the Pre-Build Video (see video on this page) to describe their ‘business simulation’ or ‘project.’ At this point, they understand the value of the project, the value of their time, and the value of your organizations commitment to doing something REALLY good. At a ratio of three participants to one hand, the entire group is given the over-arching challenge to:

  • Build ALL the hands in the room by X-time
  • Design the carrying case the hand goes in with color and creativity
  • DELIBERATELY practice and demonstrate the virtues and lessons derived in the beginning of the program
  • Take photo of your build team with your finished hand that will be emailed, printed and inserted into the carrying case with the finished hand and given to the recipient

Phase IV  – Debrief/Transference: At the conclusion of above, the Post Build Video is played (See video this page). This creates a powerful emotion and connection to what they have done, and how and WHY they have done it. The Lead Facilitator then asks them to connect these with who they are, what they do, and where they are going. Concepts such as collaboration, customer-mindfulness, quality, sense of purpose, etc. are brought up and galvanized in this final discussion/debrief. This is the most powerful part of the program/process.

Phase V  – Transference into work roles/functions for long-term results. The final ‘debrief’ creates a new paradigm of what is possible through specific actions and commitments made by attendees.

Phase VI  – Tipping Points™ – Tipping Points are original quotes and lessons authored by the attendees at the end of the program and are fed back to the entire group over a period of time for enhanced program benefits/shelf life.

Phase VII  – Close

The Back Story - History of Helping Hands

Industrial designer Ernie Meadows and his wife, Marj, lost their daughter, Ellen, to an automobile accident when she was 18 years old. In the wake of the tragedy, Ernie decided to create a legacy to their daughter’s memory.

Originally Ernie intended to design a functional prosthetic hand for children and adolescent land mine victims. Over time he developed a design for a low-cost, light, durable, and functional prosthetic hand. He knew that this would help those in need of a prosthetic hand, but unable to afford the available alternatives.

The LN-4 prosthetic hand is used by people injured by landmines, work accidents, electricity, acts of violence, or a congenital condition. The LN-4 hand is in the Smithsonian museum for its invention and innovation.

In 2008, Lain Hensley of Odyssey Teams was leading annual leadership retreats for high school leadership students sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Northern California. Club members and friends of Ernie shared the LN-4 story with Lain. He fell in love with this project and the rest of us fell right along with him soon after. Lain told Ernie that “we know how to get these hands on people” and described how we had created the Life Cycles program where our corporate clients had built over 10,000 bicycles for children in need all over the world. Immediately, we began designing the Helping Hands program as a business simulation to draw upon lessons related to collaboration, quality, and customer mindfulness. Within a few years, we had funded and built over 10,000 hands through the Helping Hands program. In 2012, Odyssey Teams unveiled the Build-a-Hand Teambuilding Kit to help companies deliver in-house roll-out programs and provide to alliance partners and resellers with a Do-It-Yourself option.

The Why of Our Work: Helping Hands

Half-way through the first time I assembled a LN-4 hand, a huge realization hit me. It dawned on me that I was using my hands to create something for someone who does not have a hand – a simple fact that I had forgotten while in the ‘doing’ of the assembly. From this moment on, my attention, compassion, and care for what I was doing was significantly amplified. This feeling continues to permeate in all of the little things I do each day in Odyssey; such as, writing a Helping Hands proposal, packing supplies for a program etc. For the past 3 years when facilitating Helping Hands sessions, I’m always on the lookout to notice people and when/if they have a realization similar to mine. In the midst of the fun, engagement, and learning people always leave our sessions feeling more connected and aligned as a team and ambitious for what’s next – in the Helping Hands session it seems they also leave with a profound sense of gratitude and humility – I like that.

Todd Demorest, Lead Facilitator,
Odyssey Teams, Inc.

Videos: TV/Media Segments

Sunrise-News Program-Australia

Sunrise New Segment - Australia

Videos: Recipients around the world

LN-4 Prosthetic Hand fitting Battambang, Cambodia, 2014

Videos: Client Program Videos

Kaiser Helping Hands Program

Employ Bridge Helping Hands Program

Employ Bridge Helping Hands Program

Cox Enterprises Helping Hands program

Odyssey Czech Republic

Market Wired - Canada

Videos: Instructional - Build-a-Hand teambuilding kits

Instructional Video on how to fit an LN-4 Hand on recipient

Images from Helping Hands recipients around the world


As for the main benefits/take-aways, it’s hard to narrow it down to a few. Of course there were huge ‘Aha’s” for the group with regard to thinking outside the box and creativity. But there was also a vastly increased level of team cohesiveness. We really had an opportunity to know each other better and to have some fun together in a way that increases our commitment to work together effectively. But the biggest payoff of all was the combined feeling of having accomplished something with such an impact to people around the world. Knowing that we actually made a significant positive difference in the lives of people who so badly need it, was astonishing!

-Jean E. Deering, AVP Learning and Development Manager
Wells Fargo Bank

More Testimonials

Australia and New Zealand clients click here

Please contact Odyssey’s regional partner:



Other FAQ's

How much time does it take?
If you want a transformational experience count on three hours. See ‘Helping Hands process’ for details. If you have less time, not to worry, you can still build and donate the hands in as little as 1.5 hours.

What is the difference between Helping Hands ‘Live’ and the Build-a-Hand Teambuilding kit? The former is a turn-key program, expertly facilitated by Odyssey Teams, the latter is a do-it-yourself kit that includes everything you’ll need to facilitate on your own.

Should we keep the building of the hands a surprise for the attendees? Yes. It is not required but recommended. This allows us to use the process more powerfully as a business simulation.

How much space is needed? Enough to fit your guests in chairs and tables.

What else is needed for room set-up? Projector/Screen for PowerPoint, Sound, Lavalier Microphone for groups over 50. Handheld microphone(s) for groups over 50 for report-outs. A program summary/logistics document will be sent and reviewed with one of our Senior Logistics Coordinators.

How many hands will we build? The ratio we use and recommend is one hand for every three participants. If tables are set for six people, we put out supplies for two hands. A table of nine will have three, etc. Since one of the over-arching goals is to promote collaboration, the objective is normally set to operate as ONE TEAM, which includes EVERYONE in the room. To this extent, they may look at processes to build ALL the hands in the room with a variety of configurations, people moving, helping, etc.

Where do the hands go? Following your program, the hands are shipped back to our headquarters for another quality test/check. When complete, they are sent to the Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand foundation for distribution. The hands are sent to countries where residents do not have access to prosthetic devices. As of June, 2014, the hands have been distributed to over 70 countries.

Do we know who will receive our hand? At this time, we cannot track individual hands to recipients and provide information back to their makers. However, we ask people doing the fittings to take a photo, gather information and send it back to us. These photos are making their way to the photo gallery of recipients on this web page. There IS a possibility, though remote, that you might recognize the carrying case you designed being held by a recipient in the gallery.

Do you provide the Helping Hands program to youth groups and other non-profits at a discounted rate? Absolutely. Please inquire.

Can I make a donation? By all means. Your donation will go directly to the Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation (5013c) and help fund new design and distribution efforts.

Discover the power of Helping Hands

Four ways to participate in the Helping Hands project

1. Book a Helping Hands 'Live' turn-key program


In the Helping Hands ‘Live’ program you will be funding AND building one prosthetic hand for every three of your participants. It is a turn-key process delivered by Odyssey Teams’ expert facilitators in this award-winning program.

Get Pricing / Booking Information for Helping Hands 'Live'

2. Purchase a Build-a-Hand Teambuilding Kit - The Lead (Do)-it-yourself option


The Build-a-Hand Teambuilding kit gives you all the supplies and tools necessary to deliver the program yourself! Perfect for delivering to your clients, for internal facilitators/trainers or company-wide rollouts.

Buy a Build-a-Hand Teambuilding kit Now Download the Build-a-Hand Teambuilding Kit Facilitator's Guidebook

3. Make a donation

When you donate to the Helping Hands project you are enabling the distribution of hands around the world and supporting the mission of providing LN-4 prosthetic hands at no cost to recipients.

We are currently working on an online donation. In the meantime, please make checks payable to The Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation and send to:

Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation
c/o David Horn, Treasurer
1101 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
EMPHF is a 501c3 non profit entity

4. Become an ambassodor

Interested in helping distribute the hands in developing countries? Know of agencies who can use/distribute the LN-4 hands? Please contact us to discuss options.


Life Cycles Bike Building Program


The ‘team building’ paradigm was forever changed in 2000, when Odyssey invented Life Cycles – the original program where teams build a bike for a child. Since that time more than 80,000 employees of the world’s largest organizations from Australia to Russia have built in excess of 16,000 bikes for children, while transforming the way they think about ‘work’. Life Cycles is a perfect example of the ripple effect that comes from “paying it forward.” Through the ‘Life Cycle’ of creating something valuable and passing it on to the end user, your team will experience firsthand the value of collaboration, customer-centricity, and teamwork.

Get Pricing/ Booking Info for Life Cycles

Life Cycles Live Includes

Customized/Expert facilitation: A conference call will be set-up with one of our tenured facilitators to discuss specific messaging, desired learning objectives, interactive components, and pacing of the Life Cycles™ program.

Odyssey youth coordination: Odyssey Teams has developed relationships and partnerships with virtually every Boys and Girls Club and YMCA throughout the US, and several youth organizations abroad. We partner with them to identify those children in most need of a new bicycle. We arrange their arrival, on-site coordination, and departure.

Top of the line bike sets: Raleigh/Diamondback bicycles, helmets, and locks at a ratio of one for every five of your team members. This ratio ensures a highly interactive and engaging experience for all participants.

Bike quality control: Expert bicycle technicians will ‘wrench-on’ every part of every bicycle immediately following the program and prior to being delivered to the children.

Tipping Points: – Developed at a previous program with Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”, this process will continue the learning and inspiration. At the end of the program, each person will be asked to write an original quote, insight, or words of encouragement on a card with their e-mail address.  Each workday we will send one of these messages to everyone in the group. This helps ‘tip’ individuals and teams into the behaviors that drive better performance in all areas and will reconnect them to the power of the Life Cycles™ experience.

The Why of Our Work: Life Cycles

Bill John, President/CEO explains:

Life Cycles was a game changer in our company and industry. My Odyssey colleagues had thought of an idea of building bikes as a metaphor for product in the workplace – a chance to demonstrate teamwork and collaboration and then donate the bikes to kids after the program. As the lead facilitator for this first program, I was learning more about the challenges and marketplace of the client. In my discovery, it became clear they had lost sight of the customer. They were so focused on systems, they had forgotten the fundamental purpose that drove their results, processes, and relationships. The lightbulb went on and I knew it would not be powerful enough to just donate the bikes. This client, these participants, needed to see the face of their customer.

I arranged to have the children enter the room – to the complete surprise of the group. The results were profound. In the debrief, participants discussed lessons that went beyond all of our greatest expectations.

We have continued to shape the Life Cycles experience to yield ever more powerful lessons. And it never gets old hearing the hundreds, if not thousands, of people coming up to us after the program explaining: “I have been with this company for X years and have seen everything, I was thinking ‘another teambuilding, ugh’…this was such a great surprise – the best program I have ever been through. Thank you.”

People were ready for something more relevant, memorable, and lasting. Life Cycles. What a great part of our client’s Odyssey. If it has not been a part of yours yet, contact us and see what all the talk is about.

Results so far


Over 16,000 bicycles have been built by more than 1,000 clients since Odyssey invented this first-of-its-kind build-a-bike program in October of 2000.


“Our Summit last week was extraordinary. The Life Cycles program completely hit the mark on all that we talked about at the summit before you and your team came in. I greatly appreciate the investment of our time the week before to tell you how our event was coming together and what we wanted to accomplish. I have been continuously receiving feedback about our event being on point and on message at every turn.”

-V.P. Marketing


More Testimonials

Other FAQ's

How much time does it take? Two hours = Minimum. Three hours = Powerful context, ample integration and application. Four hours = Transformational.

Should we keep the bikes and children a surprise for the attendees? Absolutely. Because we use the experience as a simulation for business the surprise element allows the experience to more powerfully reflect the metaphor of product and customer.

What time of the day should we do the program? Afternoon whenever possible. This will avoid complications and the challenge of having children miss school.

How much space is needed? The ideal set-up is 30 square feet per participant with chairs in theater/chevron style. We have worked with a multitude of venue sizes and spaces with more and less than the ideal of 30sq. ft. per participant.

How many bikes will we donate? One bike set (Raleigh/Diamondback Bicycle, Helmet and Lock) per five participants.

What is the min/max group size? We’ve done Life Cycles for as few as 15 and as many as 1,500 and could go higher with the right combination of venue/space etc.

DIY Life Cycles Teambuilding Kits now available!

You now have the option of delivering Life Cycles yourself. WE provide all the supplies, facilitation materials and back-end support. Contact us for more information.

Videos: Client Program Videos

WePay Life Cycles Program


Playhouse Challenge


There is a certain satisfaction that comes with building something from the ground up. Whether it is baking a cake or building a company, creating something – from concept through design and into execution – exercises your mind in a left-right-left march toward completion. It’s like boot camp for your brain. In our Playhouse Challenge™ workshop, your group will cooperatively imagine, design, and build custom playhouses to be donated in your organization’s name to nonprofit youth programs, children’s hospitals, or low-income housing in the local community. Past participants have described it as a sort of Habitat for Humanity experience, except that we bring the project to you, and the houses are completed before you walk out the door. We combine this “concept-to-completion” building exercise with keynote addresses, team building activities, and a mix-match of ice-breakers to get your team thinking, well, like a team. Your group will discover the joy of building something real. You will find that the gifts your team take away are as significant as those they leave behind.

How It Works During this Philanthropic Team Building, we bring in all the supplies and materials for your group to design, build, and showcase one playhouse for every ten to fifteen participants. Participants are divided into specific roles including Chief Marketing Officer, Quality Assurance Manager, Building Manager, Architecture/Design Manager, Procurement Manager, etc. Then it is about managing process, time, teamwork, and results. Odyssey facilitators set up the context of the exercise beforehand and follow through with a debrief afterward to overlay team and leadership developmental content, allowing participants to practice and integrate these values into their roles and responsibilities.

Why It Works You want an intense project that highlights what can happen when you are all firing on all cylinders – making measurements, swinging hammers, puzzling together the pieces…and doing something good for someone else. It’s a great way to maximize only 2-4 hours without the transportation time and costs of leaving the hotel/venue.

Business Application The Playhouse Challenge is about seeing each other in a new context where the values of trust and collaboration are built, literally.

Get Pricing/Booking Info for Playhouse Challenge

Program Process


We will help you identify the specific business goals and organizational values that The Playhouse Challenge will deliver upon. This is done in a pre-program call between Odyssey Teams’ Lead Facilitator and key meeting stakeholders/organizers from your team.

At the Program:

Phase I – Opening/Introduction. – Designed to set a powerful context for participation, engagement and application related to the specific organizational values and individual behaviors as identified.

Introviews™ – e.g. Last thing you built with a hammer was…; what is the most important structural element to a house? Why? What similarities to your business?

Instructional review and safety briefing.

Assign roles: Team Lead, Safety Guru, Procurement and Cleanup, Design, Quality, and Sage.

Establish timeline.

Phase II – Get Busy. – Building begins.

Phase III – Finish Building. – Clean-up begins, preparations to present finished house.

Phase IV – Surprise Guests. – Surprise visit by representatives from agency/shelter, etc.. The Neighborhood Stroll (teams parade around to view/celebrate all Playhouses with guests).

Phase V – Debrief/Transference. – ‘Sages’report out on observations of their teams related to: Collaboration and teamwork, quality, sense of purpose, on-time delivery, and more related to the main objectives of the session. The larger group is invited to add additional observations time-permitting.

Phase VI – Tipping Points™. – Tipping Points are original quotes and lessons authored by the attendees at the end of the program and are fed back to the entire group over time for enhanced program benefits/shelf life.

Phase VII – Close.

The Why of Our Work: Playhouse Challenge

The Playhouse Challenge was inspired by our original service project ‘Habitat for Hounds'(soon to be resurrected). We just love the chaos of this program. With hammers pounding, people running around for supplies, and insane creativity that blossoms within the last 30 minutes of the build. It is astounding to see teams all start with the same supplies, but each end up with such unique Playhouses.

What kid doesn’t love a good Playhouse? The younger kids love receiving them as much as we love building them. There are so many metaphors for building a good house and building a good team/business. It’s a lot of fun listening to the ‘Sages’ (participants designated to make observations and extract lessons from the experience) at the conclusion of the program.

Impact so far:

While we have not been keeping actual records of the number of Playhouses built in the Playhouse Challenge, we estimate over 200 going to shelters, schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, and more from coast-to-coast.

Other FAQ's

How many Playhouses will we build? One playhouse for every TEN participants.

What is the duration of the Playhouse Project? Ideally, four hours, though it has been done in less time. If you have limited time, it is possible to pre-fab the houses a bit more to save time.

Indoors or Out? The ideal venue set-up is to start the session indoors to set context, give instructions, etc., then build and finish outside – weather permitting. We have done the program indoors (additional cost may be required to cover floors)

How big are the Playhouses?
56 inches long, 37 inches wide and 60 inches tall.


I couldn’t be more pleased with the training team you assembled, the content and how the material was received by the participants.
– Christine Stout, Premier Retail Network

More Testimonials

DIY Playhouse Challenge Teambuilding kit COMING SOON

We are close to releasing the Playhouse Challenge in a self-facilitated DIY kit. Let us know if you’d like this option for an upcoming event. We may have it ready by then!


Executive Coaching


We will coach your team’s performance and increase your leadership presence while creating ambition and accountability.

Odyssey Coaching – A neutral view, a keen eye for what’s possible, a supportive voice and a pension for results – based on honesty, compassion and competence.

• Increase your leadership presence/identity
• Optimize your team(s) performance
• Expand your awareness and options
• Create moods of ambition and accountability

Odyssey coaches see the world with a set of very powerful distinctions that, when shared and embodied by our clients, create new choices and new action. Coaching is availalbe one on one or in small groups, and in person and/or remotely (phone, video/skype).

Get Pricing/Booking Info for Executive Coaching


Peter Yaholkovsky, MD

Peter Yaholkovsky, MD has over twenty years experience consulting and coaching managers and executives in leadership, effective coordination (Commitment Based Management), open and effective communication, and in building trust within and between teams, suppliers, and clients. His work addresses leadership development issues, team performance and morale, project management, process design, and the successful implementation of change and innovation. He has a special interest in producing resolution in situations where trusting relationships are jeopardized. Coaching teams to build trust is his special skill. His experience in coaching and consulting in a broad range of industries includes information technologies, finance / banking, energy, insurance, engineering, and health care. He has provided leadership and management training and development and process design for clients ranging from sole proprietors to global corporations such as Citibank, Cisco Systems, ABN-AMRO, TransAlta Utilities, Allianz, Nova, ATP, Peace Health, and Capital One.

Sue Staker

Sue Staker is dedicated to professionals realizing their highest potential in effective leadership and in high performing teams. She is committed to creating independence and sustainability in her clients through capability transfer. Her focus is in leadership development, high performing teams, and project management. Sue has coached business leaders and their teams in the domains of clear and inspiring communication, building trust within teams, suppliers and clients, and in effective coordination of work (Commitment Based Management). This includes team & corporate alignment, mood/morale, project management and the design and successful implementation of change & innovation. Her clients span sole proprietors to global public corporations – including Amgen, Allianz, TransAlta Utilities, Cisco Systems, UMS Group, Neenan and Associates and GPU Energy.

Joel Kimmel

Joel Kimmel has focused his career on building teams and organizations grounded in efficient, powerful, and effective communication technology. His consulting has included start-ups and long-term management of viable, successful small businesses, franchises and international organizations. Joel has worked with numerous leading edge consulting firms and has extensive experience leading corporate trainings, consulting on problem solving, team intervention, and coaching individuals on personal performance and authentic action. He is an experienced one-on-one coach for executives and their teams on Innovation, Identity, and Design. Joel’s coaching has encompassed a broard spectrum of life, from corporate executives to outreach programs for inner city youth. His perspective brings a fresh new approach to individual change. His promise to his clients is that they will experience the benefits of individual and team creativity, an intimate sense of personal and corporate community, and a personal commitment to building honest and authentic relationships in their lives and in the work place. Joel’s diverse background includes being a small business owner, seminar leader, a keynote speaker, ultra marathon runner, world-rowing champion, Vietnam veteran and recent recipient of the “Presidential Call to Service Award” for his volunteer work with the National Park Service.

Susan Nichols

Susan Nichols utilizes a somatic approach in her work with individuals, teams and executives. She works through “the body” (i.e. the whole self – mind, body, emotions and spirit – vs. just cognitively) to assist people in developing their leadership presence, their capacity for new action and their ability to stay present, grounded, effective and generative inside of conflict, uncertainty and quick change.

Susan received her Master Somatic Coach certification from Strozzi Institute where she is also a lead facilitator of public and corporate leadership development programs. Prior to her leadership coaching and consulting career, she held leadership positions in Brand and Product Marketing, Business Development and Key Account Management. She has a broad range of professional experience having either worked for or with large global organizations (adidas, Nike, DDB Needham, Allianz), local and international non-profits (Outward Bound, Self Enhancement Inc. Portland Oregon), Government Agencies (NASA) and a successful internet start-up (@Once, now Yesmail).

Her work was recently published in the 2008 Pfeiffer Annual Compendium of leading ideas in the field of Leadership Development entitled, “Somatics and Leadership”. She received her undergraduate degree from Amherst College and has been learning ever since.

John Testement

John coaches senior leaders and leadership teams to mobilize effective action while inspiring the best out of every teammate. The pursuit is to help leaders create healthy and productive workplaces by bringing awareness to the results of current behaviors and the possibilities of creating new patterns.

John’s approach to coaching is pragmatic – there must be a value contribution to the business. He uses a proven methodology that produces long lasting performance enhancement with the least amount of time investment. He will ask powerful questions, listen for what is not being said, give honest feedback, challenge, encourage, and support. He brings the qualities of rigor, compassion, presence, commitment and deep listening to the relationship. The goal is for the client to achieve the intended outcomes, sustain their enhanced performance, and become self-correcting and self-generating.

John has coached dozens of senior leaders and managers at Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and high-tech startups. John’s clients have included companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Capital One Financial, and Owens & Minor. He has coached executives in senior roles including CEO, CFO, VP Marketing, VP Human Relations, VP Engineering, General Counsel, and Directors of MIS, IT, and operations.

Susan Mantis

To inspire: the Greek definition says “to breathe life into”…that speaks to what Susanna Mantis’ intention is in every interaction in her life. From corporate coaching, to being their for her grandchildren, to multiple fund raising projects, to being with people who are dying in her hospice work, to teaching yoga to seniors; Susanna brings an exuberance to the lives of all who know her. With 33 years of coaching experience, she is committed to empowerment and being true to your Self, while bringing awareness and passion to our most mundane tasks. Her coaching moves people to action. Coaching is available one on one, in small groups, in person and/or over the phone utilizing emails/blogging.

Paul Templer

Paul Templer began his career leading safaris in Africa until a “bad day at the office” – a deadly hippopotamus attack – forced him to rebuild his life and his career. An experienced Business Coach with a diverse global background, he has worked in a range of fast-paced, highly competitive business environments; specializing in leadership and high performance team development, conflict resolution and guiding organizations so that they can better navigate the turbulent waters of the ever-changing business world. Paul’s global client roster includes US Bank, General Motors, Amgen, Allianz, RSA and Scottish and Southern Energy. His career has been heavily influenced by the works of Fernando Flores, the leading pioneer of Commitment Based Management. He is also a sought after keynote speaker who inspires audiences from all walks of life with his riveting, dramatic and uniquely humorous story of how we create the life we want, one decision at a time. A dedicated husband and father, Paul and his family live in Michigan USA where they have established the Templer Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting disabled and terminally ill children.


Odyssey for Youth

Odyssey Youth logo Final
Click Here for Odyssey For Youth

Odyssey for Youth is a division of Odyssey Teams that designs and offers programs specifically for youth! Check out the Odyssey For Youth site for information on an array of programs that help students, teachers, and administrators work and live to their maximum potential.


Experiential Keynotes


Now, we’re talking. Our keynote presentations are experiential, interactive and memorable. We’ll get your group engaged and knock their socks off with humor, relevance and insight. We’ll also tailor our presentation to your occasion, emphasizing your mission and enlivening your goals.

Looking for someone to pump up your convention, meeting, or celebration? We love these gigs and are comfortable with groups – large and small. We won’t steal the show, because the show will be as much the presenter as the participant. Hear some stories. Tell some stories. Create some new ideas.



Pre-event We’re going to learn a lot about your group and the message you want to deliver. We’ve got the chops for a wide-range of topics so we’ll dig around with you to find what will knock them alive. At event We’ll deliver the message from an intellectual, emotional and physical level. They’ll be engaged because they’ll be engaged. We’ll use a wide range of interactive components and leave them wanting more…of the things that matter…in their life, their work. The end Not really. It feels like a beginning.

The Why of our work: Experiential Keynote

We’ve been talking with groups for so long – presenting concepts and providing experiences for them to come to life. The experiential keynote has been a part of virtually every program we’ve delivered. It’s been the first hour of our sessions. It’s not about trying to lead the audience to water but to make them really thirsty. It’s about sparking a hunger to learn and throwing the fuel of humility on it. We are deliberate about the power in the experiential keynote as a stand-alone offering. So buckle up.


Your session was truly phenomenal!
Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., Women Presidents’ Organization

More testimonials


How much time should we carve? One hour. We’ve got enough material for twenty but ‘aint nobody got time for that’! Will they laugh? Yes, at themselves and each other, definitely at us, and in no particular order. Do you travel all over the world? Regularly. What is your availability? Limited. Please inquire.


The Ropes Course Odyssey


Something happens to people who are challenged to go beyond their fears to a place of trust. They walk a little taller. Laugh a little easier. They instinctively choose not to sweat the small stuff. The Ropes Course Odyssey combines engineered structures specifically designed to challenge participants with “back-to-life” training and workshops led by skilled facilitators. Want your team to experience an empowering breakthrough? Show ‘em the ROPES.

Get Pricing/Booking Info for Ropes Course Odyssey

Program Process


We will help you identify the specific business goals and organizational values that the Ropes Course will deliver upon. This is done in a pre-program call between Odyssey Teams’ Lead Facilitator and key meeting stakeholders/organizers from your team.

At the Program:

Phase I – Inroduction/Context.
Participants are given an understanding of the experiential program and how it can benefit their team. Additional topics focus on safety, importance of support, how to enter the learning zone, and other key points that invite participation.

Phase II – Icebreakers/Mixers.
People are up and moving, as they wake up and include their body in the ‘game of learning’. With purpose (rather than ‘cheese’) this component enables people to start stepping out of the comfort zone in doable doses. This allows them to see some of their patterns and if any tune-ups may be worthwhile for an outstanding day.

Phase III – Experiential Assessments.

Communication/problem solving team challenges that take place on (or near) the ground. We pull from over 20 different challenges as we design a day that will bring your values/outcomes to life.

Phase 1V – Safety Protocol.

On our courses, participants are asked to be accountable for the many different safety aspects of the day. Thus, the group is instructed how to … 1) put on the redundant full body harnesses on their teammates. 2) belay (hold and maneuver the safety lines) their teammates. 3) spot people if ropes are not required. 4) coach and verbally support their team.

Phase V – Time to climb!
It’s on to one or more of the following classics:

High V’s: With safety gear and systems in place, participants climb 20-35 feet off the ground with a partner. The pair then stands on two separate wire ropes and hold onto each other for balance. They then move farther apart (the ropes form a “V”) along the ropes. This causes the partners to rely on each other and to commit to the partnership. As the pair walks out along the ropes, they eventually fall and are immediately caught by the team’s support system. This event provides the experience of working closely in a partnership where communication and commitment are paramount.

Pole: Geared in a parachute harness and locked into two safety lines, participants climb a 25 foot pole and attempt to stand on the top of a small platform. The notions of choice and commitment are very present. Once standing, the person jumps for a trapeze. Whether the bar is caught or not, the person is instantly caught by the safety lines and slowly lowered to the ground. Participants may gain increased self-confidence and experience giving 100% effort as their team takes on the crucial coaching and supporting roles.

Flying Squirrel:
The unexpected and elated faces of people when they go ‘weightless’ is priceless! This event is made possible by the effort and enthusiasm of the team as they pull and propel people to heights of their choice – with a super swing too. While typically done with individual ‘flyers’, in some cases this can be done in tandem.

Phase Vl – Debrief and Close
Debrief: At the conclusion of each simulation the team is given an opportunity to assess their performance. Discussions involve the poignant insights they gained and how they relate to their work environment and personal development.

Sharing/Close: A final opportunity of the day to share and connect about key learnings and critical points (i.e.: leadership, communication, teaming, and shared successes) that were experienced during the program.

The why of our work: Ropes Course Odyssey

In 1987, Odyssey Founder, Bill John, and Lead Facilitator, Todd Demorest, were traveling across the USA facilitating a large scale roll-out for the nations largest telecom company that included 1.5 days of a ‘ropes course’ in their 5 day leadership off-site. The value and positive impact of those 1.5 days with thousands of people from diverse backgrounds was profound. In 1991, Odyssey began creating similar opportunities for their client partners and continue to do so today.

If fear is the mind killer, then heights is the great equalizer. We are not designed to be 20 feet above the ground; leaning off cliffs, perching on platforms, balancing on aircraft cables etc. and putting ourselves in (what seems to be) harm’s way. Thus, in these deliberately crafted scenarios, people are basically beginners. They are beginners at supporting each other in ways needed to achieve the ‘impossible’. They are beginners as they feel butterflies in their stomach and/or mental and physical contractions in the midst of something new. In this place, they are coached to pause, center, choose a new thought or behavior that will get them to the other side; which usually includes ambition, confidence, team cohesion, unconditional support…and some ridiculous fun along the way.

Ropes courses (when properly facilitated) create an opening in individuals and teams to see things (and each other) in a new light. All of this is anchored by a visceral emotion to the experience of which they just took part – something we call The Ropes Course Odyssey.

Ropes Course Odyssey Locations

Saratoga Springs, CA – Built in the majestic redwoods. Twenty minutes from San Jose, CA.

Paradise, CA – Built in a pine forest. Twenty minutes from Chico, CA, Odyssey’s global headquarters.

Westwood, CA – Combination of pine trees and poles on the UCLA campus.

Malibu Mountains, CA – Made of huge telephone poles, located at the beautiful Calamigos Ranch.

Other locations – Odyssey has access to other ropes courses around the country. Please inquire.

Other FAQ's

How much time does it take?
A ‘typical’ day is about 6-7 hours.
Half-day options are also available.

What size groups?

Minimum group size is 12 people.
Maximum group size depends upon time allowed, venue and program design. We’ve done programs for group sizes well over 100 people many times.

What should we bring/wear?

Once your program is confirmed you’ll be sent a Welcome Packet that includes what to bring/wear and directions. Please be prepared for being outside for an extended period of time in the weather/temps for the day of your event.

Do people ‘have to’ do everything?

While the day is designed for people to go outside their comfort zones (in a variety of ways on and off the ground), the day is also based upon a foundation of choice. People get to choose their level of engagement and participation.

What fitness level is required?

We’ve had many participants with significant health challenges (blind, amputees, etc) have marvelous experiences on our courses. However, it is ideal if you can be be on your feet for a couple hours at a time and climb a flight of stairs.

What age groups?
We’ve had participants from 7 years old to 85 years young. Junior High school age and above usually works well for attention span, ability to focus on safety and support etc.

Where are your courses located?
See previous link.


This thinking (Odyssey Teams) has propelled our team to the number one position in our franchise for the past three years. I can’t state my opinion of your company enough-your professionalism, your creativity and your passion for what you do comes through loud and clear.
– Craig Moraes, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Yesterday, I felt like we were all a part of one huge clique or group. No one was excluded, it was as if we had never had problems getting along, everyone was treated with respect and each person worked to help everyone succeed.

– Menlo-Atherton High School

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Superhero Workshop

This unique workshop helps teams and participants unlock the mysteries of their true nature to discover their inner super powers. We’ll show you how to connect with your inner Superhero and use it to improve your life, organization or business. We all have a pocketful of Kryptonite. It’s our past. We can’t change it. And it can either make us a powerhouse or it can bring us to our knees. Every single person has super powers. We fully believe it. We’ve seen it in action. We’ll show you how to connect with yours. And how to use it to improve your life, organization or business. We’ll even address the villains: the obstacles, thought patterns, negativity or competitors that are keeping you or your organization from launching to infinity and beyond!

Get Pricing/Booking Info for Superhero Workshop

Program Process


We will help you identify the specific business goals and organizational values that The Superhero Workshop will deliver upon. This is done in a pre-program call between Odyssey Teams’ Lead Facilitator and key meeting stakeholders/organizers from your team.

At the Program:

Phase I – Opening/Introduction – Video & commentary, set context, purpose, value of the Superhero metaphor to tap into human, team and organizational potential. Through dialogue, the foundation will be explored and the case made that each of us are not that different from Superheroes in movies. ART, Introviews and Clockwise are introduced.

Phase II – Special Power – Explore personal power. How was it acquired, developed and how to access. Deliberately. Partner discussions, journaling, report outs from/to the group to help people recognize these talents and opportunities as the building blocks of heroic results.

Cause – Superheroes must be clear about their Cause – something that drives you to be a Superhero when Villains are trying to discourage you. Your Cause (individual, organizational, community) must be clear and personal for it to generate super-heroic results. Partner discussions, journaling, report outs from/to the group to help people recognize these talents and opportunities as the building blocks of heroic results.

Kryptonite – Like Superman, we also have special powers gained from our unique origin; however that past can work against us and render us powerless. Work as a group to identify common Kryptonite and potential strategies to leverage the past so not to be rendered powerless.

Villains – As leaders you must face your villains. Who are the Villains in your life or work and are they getting in the way of all that is possible?

Phase III – Answering the call – Deliberately and heroically. ‘Little Voices’ activity to put it all together.

Phase IV – Transference into work roles/functions for long-term results – The final ‘debrief’ creates a new paradigm of what is possible through specific actions and commitments made by attendees.

Phase V – Tipping Points™ – Tipping Points are original quotes and lessons authored by the attendees at the end of the program and are fed back to the entire group over time for enhanced program benefits/shelf life.

Phase VII – Close

The Why of Our Work: Superhero Workshop

Odyssey Sales Facilitator, David Ferrera, introduced us to the idea of using Superheroes as a metaphor for becoming super-powerful. At first, I felt skeptical. Not being a Superhero comic or movie junkie, I was lukewarm at best. Then Lain Hensley got a hold of the concept and started adding his metaphoric genius. The result has been a program that speaks to many people and teams in a powerfully fun, save-the-universe, heroic kind of way. If you’re lucky, you’ll get Lain, or David to facilitate. And if you get me, don’t worry, I’ve got you in my big super-hero hands.


Other FAQ's

How much time is required? Three hours +/- with options for customization.

How much space is required? Sufficient for participants seated at tables.

What is included/not included? Includes all materials and facilitation. Does not include Odyssey travel/living.


The Superhero Workshop was a good start for leadership camp and I think that many of his points were like reminders of what we plan to achieve and overcome this year as superheroes! It gave inspiration to me.

Very valuable, I thought it was fun! Captain Eutopia was full of enthusiasm.

The Superhero program gave us a lift! A fun, relevant and unique series of exercises. I recommend it!

– MSLPR, Inc.

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Odyssey Teaming Event


The Program

Team. Group. People. The art of people connecting, conversing, and contributing to each other, their teams, and their business. Designed with a particular intent and with a bit of space left open for some magic to occur. To shift engagement levels, team cohesion, and what is possible for the team. No one is on one team anymore. People are on multiple teams at work, at home, and at play. The Teaming Session provides skills and awareness that is generative – skills that can be applied to most any team to create a shift regarding process, relationships, and results.

Inspiration is needed at times, like a cup of coffee in the mid-afternoon, to dust off an old belief and/or pattern. To get a fresh perspective and to remember what is important…which is often the little things.

Business simulations. We believe that people learn and retain skills and insights best when they are involved in an experience that may be challenging, though non-threatening and neutral. A safe place to be a beginner and practice a new thought or competence and then once having that ‘experience’ being able to discuss observations and correlation’s.

Accountable communication is paramount for a leader. A leader must be aware of their preferred style of communicating, how they may create roadblocks for others, and what may trigger conflict and how best to deal with it when it is present. Authenticity, acknowledgements, and inclusion are in the mix too.

The Process


We will help you identify the specific business goals and organizational values that the Odyssey Teaming Session will deliver upon. This is done in a pre-program call between Odyssey Teams’ Lead Facilitator and key meeting stakeholders/organizers from your team.

At the Program:

Phase I – Opening/Introduction. – Designed to set a powerful context for participation, engagement, and application related to the specific organizational values and individual behaviors as identify in the Pre-Program.

Phase II – Benchmark activities and the ART of improvement. – ART™ is the Awareness of Reflexive Tendencies and is used to identify default (reflexive) strengths and places for improvement while under pressure. Participants are given a series of challenges to determine areas requiring a more deliberate approach to balancing results, relationships and process. These are out-of-your-seat activities, experiential assessment tools and discussions.

Phase III – Debrief/Transference. – At the conclusion of each experience and in the final debrief is a process for transference of lessons, insights and application. This is done through individual reflection, small and large group discussions that connect to the accomplishment of individual, team and organizational goals.

Phase IV – Tipping Points™. – Tipping Points are original quotes and lessons authored by the attendees at the end of the program and are fed back to the entire group over time for enhanced program benefits/shelf life.

Phase V – Close.

Other FAQ's

How much time is needed?
Two to five hours is the usual range.
What size of group?
We’ve done programs with anywhere from 10 to 500 people.
How much space is needed?
Chairs only – approximately 15-20sqft per person.
Indoors or out?
90% of our programs are indoors…outside works too.
What else?
Lets talk about it.

The Why of Our Work: Odyssey Teaming Session

Discover Why: The back story

Way way back, prior to ropes courses and embedded philanthropic components in our programs; people, teams, and organizations were gaining insight and positive results from time focusing on the human element of teaming. Storming, Forming, Norming and such …and the beat goes on. It’s a staple like milk and butter…or a cup of ‘joe’ in the afternoon.


89% of our employees indicate that communication at PRN improved in the past year. I believe that Odyssey PEN was a big part in helping us achieve this success.
– Christine Stout, Premier Retail Networks

More testimonials
Get Pricing/Booking Info for Odyssey Teaming Event

The Board Meeting


This is The Board Meeting. Now take off the suit, kill that PowerPoint and lube up your bearings cause you’re gonna build skateboards for kids. Wait…not just FOR kids…WITH kids.  Yep, you’ll help them in the creative and mechanical aspects of their ride. And as you’d expect from all things Odyssey, we’ve packed it with metaphors and meaning so you can learn new tricks and nail your craft. The Board Meeting is rad!

Get Pricing/Booking Info for the Board Meeting

Program Process

Pre-Program: We will help you identify the specific business goals and organizational values that The Board Meeting will deliver upon. This is done in a pre-program call between Odyssey Teams’ Lead Facilitator and key meeting stakeholders/organizers from your team.

At the Program:
Phase I – Opening/Introduction. – Designed to set a powerful context for participation, engagement and application related to the specific organizational values and individual behaviors as identified. Introviews™ – A series of questions/ice-breakers in pairs to get to know each other and discuss some of the above topics inside and out of business. Instructional review and safety briefing. Assign roles which may include: Team Lead, Safety Guru, Procurement and Cleanup, Design, Quality, and Sage. Establish timeline.
Phase II – “Customers” arrive. Time to get busy.
Phase III – Customize with/for recipients, Finish Building. – Clean-up begins.
Phase IV – Recipients depart with their new customized board and gear. Phase V – Debrief/Transference. – ‘Sages’report out on observations of their teams related to: Collaboration and teamwork, quality, sense of purpose, on-time delivery, and more related to the main objectives of the session. The larger group is invited to add additional observations time-permitting.
Phase VI – Tipping Points™. – Tipping Points are original quotes and lessons authored by the attendees at the end of the program and are fed back to the entire group over time for enhanced program benefits/shelf life.
Phase VII – Close.

The Why of Our Work: Board Meeting

We were all skaters growing up. It’s a part of us just like bicycles. So, after great success with our Life Cycles program we decided to have a ‘Board Meeting’ and sketch it out. The result is a cool event that has kids become part of the process. And because skateboards are like a blank canvas, the creativity and personality that goes into the design says a lot about the rider…and your team. The creative aspect is similar to the Playhouse Challenge but in a bite-size version. The Board Meeting combines great aspects of both Life Cycles and The Playhouse Challenge in a simpler logistical process as well. This allows us to pass along some savings to you. If budget is a concern, perhaps it’s time for a Board Meeting.

Other FAQ's

How many Skateboards will we build? Two for every group of six participants. What is the duration? Ideally, Three hours though it has been done in less time. Indoors or Out? Indoors. Outdoors…if you really want to be…outdoors.

DIY Board Meeting Teambuilding Kit COMING SOON

We are close to releasing the new DIY Board Meeting Teambuilding kit. Stay tuned and let us know when your event is and we might have it ready to launch by then.