Polycom held their annual partner’s meeting in San Jose, California and hosted a Build-A-Bike &reg: Team Building Event to have some fun and give back to the community.  Polycom is a global video conferencing company headquartered in San Jose just south of San Francisco.  The Build a Bike ® was part of a four day meeting for their partner’s who sell their products.  It was to learn about all the new products that are coming out and to get the most up-to-date information on their products as well.  Together, there were over 100 Polycom employees and partners participating in the team building event.

This was a unique team building event in that it was for their partners who actually compete against each other in the market place.  The organizers wanted an event to end their meetings on a fun note but getting the group to work together was against their nature.   At the beginning, the various teams were trying to “win” and be the first to complete their bikes.  They were wondering why they were not just given the parts outright to be able to build the bikes.  Each team is given a set of questions that they have to answer to earn their parts. Despite not wanting to work together their commitment to build the bikes properly was evident throughout.  Eventually they saved their competitive spirit for the field and worked together brilliantly to build 20 bikes that were donated on behalf of the Polycom Foundation.

The children were not able to be there but Joe Lopez of the Boys and Girls Club of San Jose received the bike on their behalf.  He brought a DVD that showed the kids participating in some of their activities.  After the video, I asked for the group to help with the bikes.  I have never seen so many men hop to action to help out!  They grabbed two bikes at a time to get them to the van.  Their rough exteriors belied their soft cores and how moved they were by what they accomplished.  At the end of the night Joel of Polycom exclaimed “Tonight the Polycom partner’s put aside their competitive differences to make a difference for kids!”