In Houston Texas CSM Bakery Products brought their plant managers from all over the United States for an operations meeting. Scott Chaney, the plant Manager of Houston decided to end the day with the Build-A-Bike program to benefit some kids in their community. CSM Bakery Products is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amsterdam-based CSM, the global leader in the bakery products and natural food preservation/green chemicals arenas. CSM operates in 60 locations with over 9,500 employees worldwide. The North American division, Bakery Supplies North America (BSNA), is active in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. BSNA operates 21 factories in the U.S. and has two production locations in Canada. The plant Managers had no idea what was planned for them and the end of the plant tour. Build-A-Bike uses a series of challenges and activities to encourage team building. Meant to be something of a caricature of behavior we can see in the workplace, teamwork and communication.
The team building activities imply competition even though we tell them this isn’t a competition it is meant to show the importance of working together, “we build teams by building bikes”. When the group is split up into teams they each created a silo in their own little group and just tried to win. At the end of the event the grouped discussed what they saw, some groups were very competitive and didn’t work together. “this was eye opening and a great way to learn the importance of working together”. The contact person, Scott was involved in a Build-A-Bike team building event before and he wanted this group of plant managers to experience the “WOW” effect he had when the kids came to pick up the bikes, “that made the event”. The director of the Boys & Girls Club Stafford branch showed up to the event with these very eager kids from the area to receive the bikes that the CSM Bakery Products plants managers built for them. The CSM group also provided snacks for the kids, they made them right there in the plant.