JLL Infuses Workplace Training With Community Spirit in Dallas, TX

JLL’s team training event just prior to the holidays might have Christmas a little better for families in Dallas, TX.

JLL’s Team Event is an Investment in the Dallas, TX Community

JLL is a commercial real estate and investment management company that excels at helping clients make smart financial decisions. But their recent charity team building activity showed them a new way they can invest to see a positive ROI. With Christmas less than two weeks away, leaders from JLL saw the perfect opportunity to infuse their teams with the spirit of giving while also helping to give their company a positive outlook for the upcoming year.

This large group of about 80 team members gathered at JLL headquarters in Dallas, TX for one final meeting before the holidays. Things like team collaboration and communication can often wane when the holidays are near, and this event gave them a fun, engaging way to keep their momentum flowing.

A few warmup games helped set an upbeat, positive mood for the event, but when the group learned they’d be donating food items to Brady Social Service Center – Catholic Charities , their tone shifted from relaxed to motivated, knowing they would be using their workplace skills to provide hope and happiness to others. That was all the incentive they needed to jump in with both feet.

Puttin’ Pantry is a Hole-in­ One for All

Since they were donating to a food bank, the group chose the Puttin’ Pantry activity. This challenge divided the group into smaller teams that would work together to design and construct a mini-golf course using food items that would be donated to their selected organization.

While the team was excited to test each course, they recognized the real reward came from having a variety of food to offer the Brady Social Service Center – Catholic Charities. They knew that because of their team efforts, they were helping to make the holidays a little better for needy families and individuals.

The event was initially scheduled to last an hour, but luckily it was extended an extra 30 minutes, much to the team’s excitement. It was a quick event that had each person working fast and furiously to complete their challenge, and their friendly competitiveness only provided fuel for the fire.

Rolls-Royce Makes Dreams Come True for Kids in Indianapolis, IN

Team members from Rolls-Royce joined for one final event before the New Year, and its impact was felt by employees and local families alike.

Building Bicycles for a Brighter Future in Indianapolis, IN

Engineers and leaders of one of the world’s most beloved luxury automobile makers stepped up to a new challenge of sorts: building bicycles to benefit local children while also achieving company goals.

This team of about 65 participants gathered on a brisk Friday at their downtown Indianapolis location with a full itinerary ahead of them. A group meeting and luncheon were the precursors to the day’s team skills activities. While most groups would languish after a hearty Italian lunch, the entire ensemble had already divided into groups of about five or six members and was primed and ready for fun and games to round out their day.

The Magnovo Bike-a-Thon™ was the central focus of the event. This activity required small groups to play games and answer questions that would earn them the necessary components to complete their bicycles. The team learned they would be donating their completed bikes to Child Advocates, which is a non-profit ministry that caters to children who have been victims of neglect or abuse.

A total of 10 bikes were completed during this event, and were graciously received by Child Advocates representative Mary Sommer. Mary was eager to speak to the group before the day ended, giving them a little background information on their organization to let them know the difference they made that day.

She explained that Child Advocates had helped over 9,000 area children in 2017. The bikes would be a much­ appreciated gesture that would help them provide hope for a few kids in need.

Rolls-Royce Team Day is a Success

This was an attentive, intellectual group, and the Bike-a-Thon™  event was a perfect fit for their corporate culture. They were heavily focused on following the rules and asking questions to ensure they got the best possible outcome to the event.

The games throughout the event, like Flip Cup and Wordles, got this group thinking outside the box. Each activity had them working together, talking, laughing, and building on  new skills and strategies that would carry over well into the new year.

This group was the picture-perfect depiction of why strong teams continue to invest in team building. They proved that even though they’re intelligent and already capable of working together, there’s always something new that can be taken away from each event – especially when they can share those benefits with the community.

Aqueduct Capital Group Combines Team Training and Charity for Kids in Washington, D.C.

As a company well-versed in fundraising and community improvement, Aqueduct Capital Group is already heavily invested in improving the lives of others. But their last team training event showed them a new way they can help fulfill the needs of others.

Finding Strength in Numbers in Washington, D.C.

It was a chilly week in Washington, D.C., with the end of the year holidays just around the corner. Congress was in session deciding on some very important national bills that would influence the country. But the folks at Aqueduct Capital  Group  were busy making their own important decisions, ones that would determine how quickly they would be able to build a bicycle from the ground up.

This small group of about 15 participants decided there was no better time than just before the holidays to spend a little time with each other while also helping their community.

They convened at the Ritz Carlton, which offered a cheerful, upscale, pleasant atmosphere for the day’s activities.

After a day filled with year-end meetings, the group members enjoyed a few libations before transitioning into the highly anticipated team event – the Magnovo Bike-a-Thon™.

This event focused on teams playing games, answering questions, and working together to build bicycles from the ground up. The icing on the cake was when the team learned that local children from Houston Elementary School would be receiving these bikes.

Though their numbers were few, the day’s agenda would soon prove that their strengths were far greater than their individuality.

Aqueduct Gives Back During the Holiday Season

Fun games and trials filled the air, giving team members a challenging yet rewarding activity. Though never backing off from their competitive spirit, they knew that the children receiving the bikes would be the true winners.

Darryl Webster from Houston Elementary School stopped by the event before they adjourned. He wanted to deliver his personal thanks and let the group know that the bikes would be going to children from traumatic backgrounds. MrWebster shared a powerful speech on mental illness to bring awareness to the cause he so fervently believed in, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

The team was all the more gracious to donate the bikes to the school, knowing that they were able to make a difference this Christmas.

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Team Building Thursdays: Eleanor Roosevelt

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.


~Eleanor Roosevelt

HP’s Holiday Party Doubles as a Bike-A-Thon™ for Local Kids

When HP called us to come back for a holiday-themed  charity team building workshop, we were thrilled! There was such a great connection with this company the last time we were there, and all of the participants were highly motivated to help local kids, especially during the holidays.

A Custom Bike-A-Thon™ in Plano, TX

HP’s Bike-A-Thonworkshop was customized according to the needs they communicated to us before-hand. We were going to help a large department work on its communication skills. HP also wanted us to assist team members with conflict resolution skills, and delegation skills. The company also wanted participants to have a good time, and spread some holiday cheer at the same time.

There were about 100 participants, so we had two facilitators on-hand. That worked out especially well because there was a minor issue with the sound in the Hilton Plano Granite Park in Plano. Once our facilitator found the sweet spot, though, and managed to have his voice carry well when needed.

A Bike-A-Thon™’ Is Fun and Games

We divided everyone into groups so that we could get started. Fortunately, the ballroom space in the hotel was perfectly adequate for all of us to spread out. We played some ice breaker games, and then got into some physical games, like Flip Cup. It was nice to have room to work comfortably!

Teams were certainly competitive; however, they were also clearly supportive of coworkers and cheered them all on. There was a lot of laughter and high-fives throughout the games. It may have seemed like just good fun, but each activity was actually carefully chosen to elicit real learning. Games gave participants a chance to practice key hands-on skills in a neutral and safe environment that made the experience enjoyable and low-stress.

The Boys & Girls Club Is Gifted with Dozens of Bikes

By the end of the program, about 25 bicycles were assembled. When Debra Sweezer from the Boys & Girls Club  arrived, she was shocked and thrilled! These bikes would make a huge difference in the lives of kids at the Club. Ms. Sweezer shared several first­ hand stories with us. Participants heard about the positive impact of donations like bicycles to area kids.

HP employees felt great about their hard work and doing good. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. People were glad to make a difference for local kids, and also enjoyed the chance to brush up on practical workplace skills while having fun.

Wagon Builders Workshop Helps Valeant Management Team See the Big Picture

Once you reach a certain level of management, the soft skills so critical to early-career success might begin to feel rusty.

When Valeant Pharmaceuticals  saw that members of their leadership team could use a refresher on good communication strategies and collaborative skills, they asked for a customized Wagon Builderscharity team building workshop. We planned an afternoon that would give folks a chance to work together in a fun, low-pressure way that allowed them to re-connect organically.

Circling the Wagons in Bridgewater, NJ

The 15 people waiting for us in a large meeting room at Valent Pharmaceutical offices in Bridgewater, New Jersey, were clearly not a tight-knit group. Folks looked pretty stiff, and there was minimal small talk. We got to work right away though, assigning people to teams, and then running through a few ice breakers, before we moved on to wagon assembly.

Teams were each given a set of tools to work with. In order to get the parts needed to put wagons together, teams competed in simple games that encouraged teamwork, communication, and a little luck. Teams picked up the parts they needed by winning games. Once teams earned their parts, we issued a few activity challenges, too. What seemed like fun was really a chance to work on critical interpersonal skills in a low-stakes environment.

Next Steps for Valeant’s Team

As the afternoon progressed, each team’s participants loosened up and really pitched in, helping each other meet a shared goal. While we laid a good foundation here, the group’s work continued after our Wagon Buildersworkshop.

The members of the leadership team decided to organize a company book drive to fill the wagons. After that, they’d arrange to donate the books to local kids in need. This allowed for on-going opportunities to minimize the silo effect of working in separate departments and maximize reinforcement of the skills we worked on as a group. So instead of filling wagons with donated toys, books, and school supplies like we normally did in a Wagon Buildersworkshop, the Valeant participants  wrapped up their program by decorating wagons with the creative supplies we brought in.

Making Real Change for Kids (and Workshop Participants!)

The feedback we received from participants was overwhelmingly positive . Folks were honest with us. They admitted that at the beginning of the workshop, they were  not sure how much they’d get out of it, but by the end of the day, they were eager to continue working together on fulfilling the charity mission of Wagon Builders™, plus meeting their organizational goals, together.

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Team Building Thursdays: Oprah Winfrey

I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.


~Oprah Winfrey

Janssen Research and Development’s Mission: Kids Care™ Program Supports Puerto Rico Recovery

Months after two major hurricanes hit the island of Puerto Rico, kids and families are struggling to regain some normalcy. A recent Janssen Research and Development summit gave staff an opportunity to make a practical difference for those folks. We designed a Mission: Kids Carecharity team building workshop.

Janssen Research and Development to the Rescue

The inspiration for this program was a recent visit to Puerto Rico by a couple of Janssen employees. They returned highly motivated to do something to help their fellow Americans.

We came up with a customized workshop that fit within the single hour the group had during a day-long series of meetings. There were about 300 people in attendance. It was a big group, and with Mission: Care Kids, they made a big impact in a short period of time.

Sending Love from New Brunswick, NJ

Because this was a big group, it took a few minutes for everyone to settle down. Thankfully, being at the New Brunswick Hyatt Regency meant there was plenty of room for everyone to work comfortably. The Janssen employees who’d visited Puerto Rico said a few words about their visit, and shared several powerful photos using a multimedia projector we’d set up for them.

Then, we stepped in to run some games and activities that resulted in more than 20 boxes full of backpacks jammed with school supplies and hygiene products. People worked hard and they worked fast. Several of our most popular charity team building workshop games were modified for the size of the group and the time allotted. We developed activities that reinforced important workplace skills while still fostering an environment of fun and camaraderie.

Heart to Heart International Helps Families in Puerto Rico

We were fortunate to have Jillian O’Connor from Heart to Heart International on­ hand during the event. It was her organization that would be taking the donated backpacks to Puerto Rico. At the end of the workshop, Ms. O’Connor spoke for a few minutes about the work her charity does in Puerto Rico. She talk about how much of a difference these school supplies would make in helping kids get back to “normal”. We were unable to hold our typical debriefing session at the conclusion of the program because of time constraints. But, all of the feedback we received was positive. People really felt good about helping their fellow Americans in a time of need, an idea very much in keeping with the work of the department.

Fortive Has Fun with WheelCharity™ That Sends Kids with Muscular Dystrophy to Summer Camp

Fortive’s Everett, WA, offices were the site of a day-long series of meetings that ended with WheelCharity, a team building event where wheelchairs were assembled and donated to a local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

A Productive Day in Everett, WA

You’d think that after a full day of meetings, everyone’s energy level would be down, but not so with this group! We saw a level of enthusiasm that easily matched any group we’ve ever seen bright and early in the morning. The 90 employees who joined us were a good-natured group who looked forward to a little friendly competition. We upped the  motivation factor by announcing that their wheelchair­ building sprint would help local kids attend summer camp. From then on, it was game on!

Fortive’s WheelCharity™ Success

Teams had already been arranged by program organizers, so after a few quick ice breakers, we started issuing challenges and obstacles. Each team competed for the parts they’d need to complete a wheelchair, and then we also threw a few wrenches into the assembly process! Teams took it all in stride. They worked together, demonstrating communication, delegation, conflict resolution, and of course, team building.

This was the second time we ran a WheelCharityprogram for Fortive. This group was even more successful than the last one. A handful of participants were repeat attendees. They remarked at how different the program was this time, and how much they were enjoying it all over again. With the few minutes we had to spare at the end, we encouraged everyone to add a few handwritten notes to each chair. These cards wished kids well during their summer camp experience.

Helping the MDA Help Area Children

Wayne Johnson, a representative of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, arrived to accept delivery of the wheelchairs. He spoke movingly of these kids, and how much attending summer camp meant to them. For many, having one of these wheelchairs would be the difference in going or not going; truly, there was barely a dry eye in the room. Johnson also spoke of how much the MDA was able to accomplish with the generous monetary donations the organization received, such as the one that came from Fortive.

Our debriefing session was just as energetic as the rest of the workshop. Participants’ feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Both our team and the Fortive team are hopeful that we’ll do it again next year.

Crowe Horwath Uses Team Building Event to Spread Holiday Cheer

Crowe Horwath employees have enjoyed Magnovo team building events  before, but their recent Bike-a-Thon™ charity event just prior to Christmas included a heaping helping of holiday cheer for both participants and local kids.

Crowe Horwath Invests in the Future of Oak Brook, IL

What started as a cold, windy, sunny day in Chicago for Crowe Horwath leaders would end with warmth, cheer, and good feelings about the future.

This group of 100 participants gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Oak Brook, IL for a team building event just a few weeks prior to Christmas. Despite having participated in several Magnovo team events before, the leaders from Crowe Horwath already knew that each experience is different than the last, and this day’s event was no exception.

The group chose the Magnovo Bike-a-Thon™ charity event as their central focus. The team warmed up with a few fun activities that helped to set the tone for the main objective. Throughout the event, teams were handed challenges and games that required them to work together to complete the construction of bicycles that would later be donated to their selected charity, the True Value Boys and Girls Club.

This event served as an investment in Crowe Horwath leaders, but equally important it provided goodwill in the community.

Spreading Holiday Joy Through Charity

Leaders often recognize the importance of their role in the workplace, but don’t always realize their influence extends beyond the boardroom. Crowe Horwath members were able to see firsthand how their communication skills and team efforts benefit others both inside and outside their company.

This particular event couldn’t have occurred at a better time. The group gained valuable insight into their fellow team members, while also helping to make Christmas a little brighter for area children.

The event concluded with a visit from Ayala lrela, a representative of the True Value Boys and Girls Club. She was as excited to collect the bicycles as the employees were to donate them. The team agreed that there was no greater joy than spreading holiday cheer to those in need. Not only did they put smiles on several children, they were also able to offer those families hope and comfort during the holiday season.