AbbVie uses Stuffed Animals In Chicago to Help Trans-Atlantic Teams Find a Common Language

Turns out a lot can get lost in translation between North Chicago and Belgium. That’s what the AbbVie home office team found when working with their Ablynx counterparts.

Their managers came to Charity Team Building Events for help and we suggested the Rescue Buddies™ Charity Team Building Workshop.

We Love a Challenge!

abbvieDuring the initial consultation with AbbVie, we learned that team members on both sides of the pond were expressing frustration with the language and cultural barriers between them.

That meant our workshop developers gave special care to creating a non-threatening environment during the workshop. Why? Because the first step in improving communications in cases like this is to create a supportive atmosphere. That way, the group has the chance to voice concerns.

An open environment also gives our facilitators the chance to see for themselves the areas of tension. In fact, each of the morning activities during AbbVie’s workshop was chosen specifically to highlight team dynamics.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Rescue-Buddies-Stuffed-Animal-Team-BuildingOnce they got things out in the open, participants were ready to think positive. That’s when the real work began! The challenge was to establish stronger personal relationships and address some communication and collaboration issues.

Workshop Activities Mirror Workplace Scenarios

Air Counting was the first activity. One person mirrors another as the leader ‘writes’ numbers and they count to 15. Guess what? Europeans write their numbers differently from Americans!

This engaging, hands-on activity emphasized from the outset the need for understanding, adjustment and patience as well as recognition of simple differences in procedure. As it turns out, these were the very same issues AbbVie teams were dealing with at work.

The North Chicago Police Department & a Perfect Ending

Rescue-Buddies-Stuffed-Animal-Team-Building-Corporate-Social-ResponsibilityThe excitement and fun of Charity Team Building Events’s Rescue Buddies event and the presentation to Lt Theis of the North Chicago Police Department made the perfect finale to a great morning as the group heard exactly how the Rescue Buddies make a huge difference to the hard work Police officers perform with families and kids.

“When you hold out a new stuffed animal to a child in crisis, it immediately builds a bridge of friendship and trust.”

Lt. Theis, North Chicago Police Department


Thank you AbbVie for a great morning and a great gift to the community. Perhaps it helped that AbbVie’s workshop event was held on St. Patrick’s Day- things really went well, and although we know it was due to the hard work of of the AbbVie participants and our facilitator, it’s always fun to think the Luck of the Irish played a small part too!