Posts Tagged ‘team building event’

Blue Cross Blue Shield Build-A-Bike Team Building Event in Chicago, IL


In a fantastic high rise building in the heart of downtown Chicago, 40+ enthusiastic team members of Blue Cross Blue Shield gathered to perform cheers, solve puzzles, and build bikes for kids. It was a busy time for the group but they cleared two hours from their calendars to learn more about each other and have fun, and they chose to conduct a Build-A-Bike® team building event in Chicago as the backdrop for their activities.

As they arrived, some were nervous about building a bicycle but everyone soon found that working as a team meant having many new skills.

Dan, a representative from McCormick YMCA, accepted 14 bicycles on behalf of their children. Some of the kids in the Y programs had never had a bike. Dan said they were eager to get riding on a brand new trail nearby.

The Leaders Institute® has offered several Build-A-Bike® team building programs at BCBS. We look forward to visiting them again.

This event was held at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois office at 300 E Randolph, Chicago, IL 60601. For details about conducting a Build-A-Bike® team building event at your office, visit the webpage at https://www.leadersinstitute.com/team-building/bicycle-team-building.

Laura-Lewis-BarrLaura Lewis-Barr is president of Traning4Breakthroughs, and she is an expert presentation skills coach based in Chicago, Illinois. She teaches team building events in Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, St Louis, and other cities in the Midwest, and works with clients all over the world.

For details about a team building event in Chicago, Illinois, click here!

Verizon does another Build-A-Bike Team Building Event in Phoenix, Arizona

Verizon  Build-A-Bike Team Building at RenaissanceVerizon Wireless has worked with The Leader’s Institute® for several years for their team building events, so they contacted us for their summit in August of this year. Chris McNeany worked with Verizon on an event in Denver in June, so they asked for the same team building event in Phoenix. The Phoenix group was very enthusiastic and had lots of fun with high energy activities. As with most groups, they were a little anxious as they walked into the room — not sure of exactly what was going to happen, but McNeany was able to sweep them in with a fun icebreaker activity that got them laughing and having a blast. Then, they had to work together to earn their bike parts. Once a group builds the bikes, Chris conducted a thorough safety check to make sure the bikes were built properly. These particular bikes were donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Phoenix, who very graciously received them.

“Just wanted to let you know that we partnered with he Leader’s Institute® for the team building activity for my DM/GM Summit this past week. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Thanks for always providing first class service to our organization. We‘ve always had a great experience with TLI and I look forward to working together again next year.” – Director at Verizon Wireless

This event was held at: Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel 50 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

Chris McNeany
Chris McNeany is a Vice President and Instructor for the The Leader’s Institute®. He is based in Los Angeles, California, but he teaches classes in San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Seattle as well.

JDSU-Lumentum Rescue Bear Team Event in San Francisco Bay Area, California

JDSU-Rescue-Bear-Team-Event-in-San-FranciscoJDSU/Lumentum wanted to give their employees a chance to interact with people they may not normally have a chance to mix with, so they held a Rescue Bear® team event in San Francisco Bay Area. Actually, the event was held in Napa, just north of San Francisco, CA. It was a beautiful setting in wine country, allowing people to enjoy their surroundings while accomplishing the goals of their 3-day conference. The group had to work together to build stuffed animals that were donated at the end of the event, while learning about different personality types and how they affect the way people will thrive and face challenges in the workplace. These stuffed bears were donated to the Napa County Fire Department, and the Fire Chief who received the donation was thrilled with the generous gift. The bears are used to help children relax when they are being rescued from a fire or other traumatic situation, and are also used as a donation to children from under-resourced areas as part of the fire department’s annual toy drive. The group had a great time and Napa County Fire Department was very grateful for the donation. Chris McNeany was the instructor who led this team building activity, and this was Chris’ second year in a row to work with this group.

“Chris did a great job, and the team building was a great success! Thank you Chris!” -Nancy Perkins, JDSU

The location for this event was: The Meritage Resort and Spa, 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, CA 94558

Chris McNeany
Chris McNeany is a Vice President and Instructor for the The Leader’s Institute®. He is based in Los Angeles, California, but he teaches classes in San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Seattle as well.

For details about Team Building in San Francisco, California, click here.

Bimbo Bakeries Rescue Bear Team Event in Birmingham, AL

Bimbo Rescue Bear

I recently traveled to Pelham, Alabama, just outside of Birmingham, to work with Bimbo Bakeries on a really fun Rescue Bear® team building event. Bimbo Bakeries US is part of Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company, and although many American’s are not familiar with their name, the brands that they represent are iconic. Sara Lee, Boboli, Ballpark Franks, and Mrs. Baird’s Bread are just a few of the well-known brands that make up their large assortment of bakery items that are found in stores across the USA.

The Rescue Bear® team building event was for a group of their sales, manufacturing, and distribution managers from their Southeast region. With bakeries in Atlanta and Meridian, Mississippi, the Pelham sales center is centrally located as a great distribution point for the area.

Bimbo Rescue Bear Team BuildingThe typical Rescue Bear® event is designed for a two-hour time frame, but Bimbo’s HR team decided to have us customize the delivery to add in more team building principles and learning, so during the standard exercises, I was able to add more teaching and team development along the way. We focused a lot on personality temperaments. Although a lot f team building companies teach DISC profiles and Meyers-Briggs assessment workshops, I find many of those types of activities to be overly complicated and — dare I say — boring. So, instead, helped the entire group quickly self-organize into groups that had particular strengths and skill sets, which, very accurately, organized the group by personality temperament. Once in their groups, we had each new team accomplish tasks geared toward the natural strengths of each group. Once all of the fun activities were completed, they had every item they needed to begin building the stuffed animals, but of course, they had to share resources with the other groups to accomplish the final task.

We were able to show the group how every team had their strengths, but when all of the strengths come together, the esprit de corps of the entire company is elevated.

The event was a blast, and everyone had a lot of fun. At the conclusion, Patrol Sgt Roberts of the Pelham Police Department dropped by to accept the stuffed animals on behalf of his police officers. His officers will keep the toys in their patrol cars for instances where children or their parents have been injured, and a comfort item like a soft toy is welcomed.

Given Imaging Build A Bike Team Building Event in Los Angeles, California

Given Imaging was looking for a way to break up some of the compartmentalization that has happened within their company, so they held a Build-A-Bike® Team Building Event in Los Angeles, California.  They wanted to give employees a chance to laugh and smile outside of the daily routine, while also giving back to their community.

IMG_0067One of Given Imaging’s core values is the belief that giving back to the community is not just a responsibility; it is an honor.  They regularly participate in global disease awareness initiatives, along with events that give back to local communities and schools.  When they found out that the bikes in the Build-A-Bike® program would be donated to children from under resourced communities, they were on board.  At first, the smaller teams of five-six people tried to solve their clues solely within their team, but soon realized that they needed to branch out to other groups in order to find all the answers.  Once they started to work together, they were quickly able to find the answers they needed in order to receive parts to build their bikes.  The exercise is a microcosm of the work place, where we can often be more effective by reaching out to others to problem-solve.  This silo effect often occurs within companies, where individual departments become isolated from the rest of the company.  Managers were thrilled to see the silo effect start to break up in the exercise.

“This was EXACTLY what we were looking for.  Managers from other departments were asking about other events that you have.”  Eric Finkelman, Given Imaging

If you are looking for a fun, exciting way to reward your employees for their hard work, while also managing to break up the silo effect, or isolation, in the workplace, consider adding a Build-A-Bike® team building event to your next convention!

Chris McNeany
Chris McNeany is a Vice President and Instructor for the The Leader’s Institute®. He is based in Los Angeles, California, but he teaches classes in San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and other west coast cities.





StubHub brings Build A Bike event to San Francisco, California

StubHub was looking for a way to bring together its employees in a meaningful way, so they chose a team building event that would leave a lasting impression with participants to its office in San Francisco, California.   In addition to selling tickets for the SuperBowl, StubHub has been providing a secure, easy way to buy and sell tickets for sporting events, theater, and concerts since 2000.

IMG_0063The group for this event was primarily from their corporate office in San Francisco, California with some participants coming in from Boston, Massachusetts as well.  The Build-A-Bike event consists of a series of tasks to be completed by the group, that can only be achieved by working with the members of their teams, and the other teams around them.  Some members of the group tried to work by themselves or only with their team to complete the tasks, but they soon realized they needed to branch out and work with other people from other teams, providing the take-away that often we can accomplish more as a collective group than when we isolate.  By the end, the participants built 6 bikes and had a lot of fun in the process.

The bikes were donated to the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, who was able to bring the kids in at the end of the event to receive the bikes.  The participants had no idea the kids were coming, and were thrilled to see their smiling faces.  They helped them adjust the kids’ helmets and made sure their tires were fully pumped so that the bikes would be ready to ride!  The kids were selected through a raffle conducted at the Boys and Girls Club, and were very happy to get a brand new bike.

“The event was GREAT! The participants really enjoyed it and I’m sure we’ll see you again. “ Misti Reynolds, StubHub

If your company is looking for a fun way to bring your team together, while also giving back to the community, Build-A-Bike is a great way to do so at your next convention!

Chris McNeany
Chris McNeany is a Vice President and Instructor for the The Leader’s Institute®. He is based in Los Angeles, California, but he teaches classes in San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Seattle as well.

For details about Team Building in San Francisco, California, click here.

Alcoa Build-A-Bike in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Alcoa included a Build-A-Bike ® team building event in their annual Best Practices conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week. They wanted to give the participants a fun, energetic team building experience that included an element of philanthropy. Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics, and industrial markets over the past 125 years. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 30 countries across the world. This group of 250 people gathered from four major business units across the globe.

Build-A-Bike is a series of activities, challenges and exercises that test a group’s ability to share information and resources, as well as their ability to approach problems from different perspectives. This event proved to be a real challenge for some of the more linear thinkers in the group, but once they could see that there is more than one way to solve a problem, they were successful in completely the task. At the end of the event, the group had built 40 bikes and had a great time together.

The bikes were donated to the Sarah Heinz House, which is a Boys and Girls Club in a neighborhood of Pittsburgh to which Alcoa has strong ties. The event was held in the convention center in downtown Pittsburgh, in one of the exhibition halls. As the group was gathered for a group photo and some closing remarks from their CEO, the rolling door at the far end of the hall began to slowly go up, and a school bus with 40 ecstatic kids on it came driving right into the hall! The looks on the kids’ and adults’ faces alike were priceless. The kids didn’t know what they were getting, and the adults had no idea that kids would be there! It was one of the best endings we’ve seen to this event.

In nearly every community across the country, there are kids whose families aren’t able to provide new bikes for them. If you are looking for a powerful way to give your team a really fun experience while giving back to the community, Build-A-Bike is a must-have team building event for your next conference!

Ellen Patnaude

Ellen Patnaude is Vice President of Instruction for the Northeast region. She is based in Detroit, Michigan, but she also teaches in Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toronto, Baltimore and other Northeast cities.

Interested in a Team Building Event of Your Own?

A.M. Castle & Co. Build-A-Bike near Chicago, Illinois


A.M. Castle & Co. included a Build-A-Bike ® team building event in their recent conference near Chicago, Illinois. A.M. Castle & Co. is the foremost provider of specialty products, services, and supply chain solutions. They are recognized as a leading distributor of carbon, alloy, stainless steel, nickel alloys, aluminum, titanium, cast iron, brass, copper, and plastic, as well as a global resource for complex supply chain solutions. This group of 75 sales, operations managers and senior leadership gathered for this conference to solidify some of the recent changes they have undergone, and strengthen their bond as a group.

Build-A-Bike is a high-energy activity that uses a series of activities and exercises to get people to interact, play and compete with each other. Each exercise builds on the previous one, and teams get some gentle reminders of the importance of cheering each other’s successes, sharing information and materials, and communicating clearly. The A.M. Castle team was a very energetic and creative group! They met all of the challenges with enthusiasm and played hard. Once it became clear that working together was the way to be successful, they jumped right in and helped each other out without hesitation.

They donated the 12 bikes built in the event to the Indian Boundary YMCA in nearby Downer’s Grove. The participants had no idea that the kids were going to come to the event! The workshop’s meaning was made even stronger for the participants when the kids walked through the doors.

“This was a great event! And having the kids there at the end was really exciting!” — Anne Scharm, A.M. Castle & Co.

Teams that play together often work harder and more effectively together. Consider including a Build-a-Bike team building workshop in your next conference as a great way to give your team that opportunity. It will create a memorable and meaningful experience for everyone.

Ellen Patnaude

Ellen Patnaude is Vice President of Instruction for the Northeast region. She is based in Detroit, Michigan, but she also teaches in Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toronto, Baltimore and other Northeast cities.

For details about a team building event in Chicago, Illinois, click here!

Fire Rock Casino Build-A-Bike Creating a Team Culture Gallup, New Mexico

Fire Rock Casino  Gallup, New Mexico


Build bike nmFire Rock Casino, Gallup, New Mexico chose the Build-A-Bike and Creating a Team Culture events to build cooperation and effective communication among its employees. They found exactly what they were looking for at Leader’s Institute. Sandi Tobey was in charge of requesting the Build-A-Bike and Creating a Team Culture, both of which proved to be enlightening and exciting experience for her staff of accountants. The Build a Bike event was the first of the two day team building events. The group was not sure what they were in for as they were split into teams by a fun team exercise  in which they had to scurry around the room like a modern version of musical chairs. The participants had to run around the circle upon answering some fun questions then land back into position  in order to not be the last man out. This was fun and energizing for the participants as you could see their competitive nature come into play.  When the teams were formed, the Build-A-Bike fun began as the teams raced to create their team cheer and team flags. After their exciting performances to be voted the most creative team, more fun began when they were tasked with solving clues to come up with answers to obtain the bike parts necessary to complete a bike. The groups got real competitive, but realized that in order to be successful to answer the clues they had to cooperate with the other teams.The satisfaction of completing the bikes and giving to a local charity proved rewarding for the employees at the Fire Rock Casino.

After they had experienced the rigorous Build-A-Bike event the day before, the group at the Casino spent an enriching day with the Creating a Team Culture event. The group was tasked with exercises and activities that proved to be revealing of their current habits and showed them more successful techniques of dealing more effectively with each other. Fun classroom team building is a fantastic way to generate a “behavior change” and build teamwork in a group of coworkers. If your company is looking for fun team events to boost your productivity and team cooperation with fun team events and a charity component, the Leaders Institute has many programs that will provide a positive and energetic learning experience.

Mars Chocolate Rescue Bear in Newark, New Jersey


Mars Chocolate recently included a Rescue Bear charitable team building event in their annual meeting of Human Resources personnel near Newark, New Jersey. Mars Chocolate is the famous maker of M&Ms, Snickers, and many other well known, delicious treats. Headquartered in Mount Olive, New Jersey, Mars Chocolate is one of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers and employs more than 15,000 Associates across 19 countries. Mars Chocolate is committed to leading the industry in sustainability and responsible communications. This gathering of Human Resources personnel from various locations was an opportunity to celebrate 2012’s victories, look forward to 2013, and enjoy some camaraderie and fun together!

Rescue Bear is a workshop that is designed to help people see the importance of matching a person with the right talent for the right role within the company.  It helps participants identify the strengths of themselves and others and rely on those strengths when under pressure.  It shows how/why “Silos” are created and how to deal with the “Silo” effect more effectively. Human Resources personnel are more familiar than most in a workplace with the ways in which personality styles and “silo” tendencies can hurt us, and they had a great time poking fun at various personality styles that emerged during the program, and drawing on each group’s strengths to solve various riddles and challenges. As each group acquired different materials needed to build the stuffed animals, the trading began so that the task could be completed.

At the end of the workshop, the stuffed animals that are put together and dressed in fire fighter uniforms are donated to a local organization that helps kids. In this case, the donation was given to the Saint Barnabus Burn Foundation for the many children that come to their facilities to be treated either short term or long term for burn injuries. The Director of the Foundation came to speak to the group about their work, and gave a very powerful speech that moved many of the participants to tears.

“This was a great program! We’ve done Build-A-Bike in the past, and this program was a great way to build on the charitable theme while still having a great time. Thank you!” –Kelly Carpenter, Mars Chocolate

Rescue Bear is a great event for giving people a chance to see how their natural strengths can help them be stronger communicators and better co-workers, while giving something back to the local community. It’s also just a lot of fun!

Ellen Patnaude

Ellen Patnaude is Vice President of Instruction for the Northeast region. She is based in Detroit, Michigan, but she also teaches in Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toronto, Baltimore and other Northeast cities.

Interested in a Team Building Event of Your Own?

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