What do bikes have to do with real business? Why build bikes for children? Why the big surprise? These are some of the common questions that we are asked during the planning phase of our Life Cycles (TM) bike and teambuilding program. The question is easily answered with one word…emotion. People learn when emotion is present. They are more receptive to feedback, open to self-examination, and willing to talk openly with co-workers.
Everyone remembers their first bike, so there is an instant connection to the value of the product being built. Due to the intrinsic value of the product, participants can easily assimilate the emotional connection of their everyday job to the value that this new product will bring to their “customer”. Like no other product, a bike creates a viable link to the real work that people do. When the children enter the room the product-to-market experience is complete – and the learning is abundant.
After the participants have built, customized and delivered the bikes to the children, the experience becomes less about the bikes and more about the lessons of the process. With their hearts open and endorphins pumping participants reflect on their communication, collaboration, and effectiveness with teammates. They are more willing to assess their level of commitment and attention to detail. They develop a deeper appreciation for their team and company and find new connections to the work they do and the customers they serve. This is not smoke and mirrors. It is a real-life experience that transforms a team building program into a profound and lasting encounter. Unlike any other “team building” experience, the Life Cycles program delivers.