There is more to management than overly heard motivational speeches. Whilst some companies hire masseuse, psychoanalyst or yoga teachers to help bonding between colleagues and strengthen team spirit, others take it to another level. Here is a round up of the most unusual team building experiences leaving no room for boredom or the expected.
Secret Me is a UK based company offering full time training to become a spy, inspired by old-school glamour espionage as embodied by Ian Fleming’s James Bond and Le Carré. Over the course of a few days participants fly on board helicopters to secret locations around the world whilst being trained by former members of UK Special Forces and intelligence services.
The programme is simply business as usual in a spy world: recognizing poison, hostage negotiating, surveillance techniques and cyber security hacking, surviving an aggressive car race and planning an evasion. Secret Me wants people to apply mindsets acquired in intense situations to their office’s daily-life challenges, such as leading a tough negotiation or making hard decisions under great pressure.
Get through any deals with flying colours
MiGFlug, a company born in 2004 in Switzerland, hosts military jet flights all over Europe and the US. Working alongside defense departments, airforces and military or warbird pilots, MiGFlug arrange training and demonstration flights in two-seated fighter jets. One seat is taken by the pilot while the participant fly from the second cockpit just like an active crew member without any previous experience required.
One of the most fun and exhilarating of these team building experiences, this supersonic flight is also a way to learn how to keep a cool head in any circumstances. The company also offers the opportunity to operate the jet and perform manoeuvres such as loops, rolls, immelman turns and split-s. We can’t really tell when you will use those skills at the office, but it is definitely a conversation starter.
Your entire company held in a Hunger Game
Sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? Well, this is one of the many sets of live immersive games held by Rabble Games in the UK, USA and Australia. Each session is one hour long and includes a variety of games to cover different fitness areas and skills including speed, endurance, co-ordination, agility, reaction times, and strength. After some easy warm up, the games evolve gradually by getting more challenging over the course of the session.
The experience incentivises competitions, builds trust between teammates and externalizes all that stored energy. It is also a way to loose “800 calories and running up to 8K in the one-go without really noticing it”, Charlotte Roach, ex-international triathlete and founder of Rabble points out.
Be ahead of the pack
Supreme Sharks collects guests from Cape Town where they embark on a 2 and a half hours drive to Gansbaai and Kleinbaai, home to a large population of great white sharks. Once all are aboard, the shark crew chums the area and looks out for the first fin. When the sharks’ presence has been confirmed, guests drop into the cage, ready themselves and their cameras, and wait for the sharks to breach nearby.
Besides the unforgettable experience and, for some, unparalleled fright, Supreme Sharks promise its dive helps teams with problem solving, planning and collaboration, decision making on the go, critical thinking and managing stress. Shark attack happens everyday in competitive work environments. Dealing with a real one first hand sounds like the appropriate rehearsal.
Executive Oasis International specializes in effective corporate team building with a luxury twist. The company based in Toronto, Canada, schedule trips for companies. The one titled “Desert Survival: in search of the Golden Camel” can host up to 100 people and focuses on managing change during times of turbulence and uncertainty.
This is done in the settings of the desert near Dubai, in a secluded oasis owned by a sheikh. The team follow clues to find the ‘golden camel’, which includes outdoor challenges to familiarize with brainstorming and decision-making in group. After a long day of problem solving in the heat, the after work activities turn out to be a little bit more interesting than the classic cocktail drinks. The team is invited to explore a private conservation area and spot gazelles and Arabian oryx, enjoy a sunset dune and savour a scrumptious 6 course gourmet feast under the stars. All you need then is to get back to (real) work.
Writer: Lorelei Mihala
Follow Lorelei @loreleimihala