Team Building Thursdays 300

Team Building Thursdays: Harold S. Geneen

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.

~Harold S. Geneen

Mondelez Makes Company Teambuilding Sweet

For Mondelez International, company teambuilding is as important as their product lines. So naturally, they were eager to partner with Magnovo for a charitable teambuilding workshop.

Mondelez International is one of the biggest snack companies in the world. Their 800,000 employees produce delicious treats for customers in 160 countries.

Trident. Oreo. Chips Ahoy! Clorets. Dentyne. Toblerone. Sour Patch. From cookies and chewing gum to powdered beverages and candies, this portfolio is eye-popping and mouthwatering! And with $26 billion in revenues in 2017, Mondelez’s bottom line is pretty sweet, too.

Company teambuilding with a mission

They’ve earmarked $50 million to invest in 18 countries to improve the quality of life for millions of children. They are partnering with other organizations to support communities and promote nutritional education, increase access to fruits and vegetables, and other initiatives to promote good health.

And their sustainability goals involve the farmers who supply their cocoa, wheat, palm oil and other ingredients. Clearly, being a good corporate neighbor is one of the highest priorities at Mondelez International.

Company teambuilding with spirit

For the 35 staffers we met in East Hanover New Jersey our Wheelcharity Charitable Teambuilding Workshop was a top priority. They were engineers and technicians from around the country and the globe. And this competitive group definitely brought their A-game!

Magnovo believes that company teambuilding should always be loads of fun. And our other goal is that every participant should get loads of wisdom out of it. There should always be personal and professional takeaways.

Each team member should take away a deeper understanding of their own personality type–both strengths and weaknesses. Professionally they should also see more clearly how they fit into their corporate culture.

The Mondelez International workshop participants savored the whole experience.

And while each one had tons of fun, they realized that their work was going to make life easier for disabled members of the East Hanover community. This was both sobering and humbling.

The impact of company teambuilding

A wheelchair is a relatively small item that can make a huge difference in the life of a disabled person. Many disabilities not only cause physical pain but psychological turmoil and anxiety.

Lots of people who are living with a disability aren’t really living. Their handicap often defines who they are. Limits what they can do. Restricts how they can make a living.

The resulting isolation and depression make some people give up on living altogether. A wheelchair can eliminate every one of these limitations. That’s the magic of mobility.

The Hunterdon Medical Center received the 5 wheelchairs the Mondelez teams constructed. For over 60 years this small hospital has been at the heart of healthcare in Hunterdon County. Today they bring healing and restoration to nearly 9,000 inpatients and a quarter million outpatients annually.

They know and care personally about disabled patients in their community. Our wheelchairs were delivered to 5 people whose lives would be transformed forever.

From the Hunterdon representative to the Mondelez crew to our facilitators–we all knew something wonderful had just happened. Sweet.


Charitable Teambuilding with Fidelity Investments

Charitable teambuilding events are great icebreakers for company newbies. Just ask Fidelity Investments for whom we hosted a Bike-a-thon Charitable teambuilding Workshop in Covington, Kentucky.

The veterans on the team wanted the 2 new hires to feel welcomed and get to know them better. So 14 staffers spent the afternoon building bikes for needy kids in the community.

Charitable teambuilding business model

With 27 million customers and $6.8 trillion in customer assets, Fidelity Investments is a leader in the international financial services industry. Their product and service lines include mutual funds, stocks, bonds, online trading, annuities, life insurance, money management, and financial planning.

The company is also a philanthropic powerhouse. Their goals for inclusion and diversity inspired them to host events to introduce the industry to young women. And they launched a program that teaches teachers about financial literacy, so they can share what they learn with their students.

Fidelity regularly partners with non-profit organizations to donate computers to schools in low-income areas. And they’ve dispatched teams of technologists to help solve technology problems for non-profit groups as well. Example: for some organizations, the Fidelity techs increased their website speed. Others got help beefing up app security.

Bike building on a beautiful day

Both the weather and the setting for the big event were fantastic. The management at the newly-renovated Hotel Covington offered us access to the Duveneck Room. It was a cozy spot for our small group, and the hotel service was stellar.

The participants broke into 4 teams and competed against each other to win the bike parts for their assembly. The smallest group–a team of 3–turned out to be the toughest competitor. Each competition forced team members to sharpen their problem-solving and communications skills. We geared the workshop to let everyone’s ingenuity and quickness shine, even as they blended into one team. In the end, the 4 newly minted bikes rolled out in style, ready for their new owners.

The charity we worked with was Brighton Center, Inc. It started in 1966 and became a safety net for people in the Covington and Newport Kentucky region. Their staff offers over 40 programs including job training, substance abuse recovery, financial literacy, and youth services.

The Fidelity team was surprised and grateful to meet two single moms whose 5-year-old youngsters received 2 of the bikes. For our client, the charity, and the kids, our charitable teambuilding workshop made their day.



Team Building Thursdays 300

Team Building Thursdays: Colin R. Davis

The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.

~Colin R. Davis

How Our Team Building Ideas Worked for Dechert

The strongest team building ideas change how people see their role on a team. That was the goal our client  Dechert, LLP  set when we met them in New York.

They asked us to facilitate a Rescue Buddies Stuffed Animal Team Building Workshop as part of their summer intern orientation.

The Dechert, LLP law firm opened shop 143 years ago. Today their team includes 900 lawyers around the world. And they play hardball in areas including international arbitration, real estate, financial restructuring, antitrust/competition, and intellectual property.

Even more impressive, Dechert LLP lawyers put their time and money where their hearts are through pro bono work.  In 2017 they clocked in 82,000 hours of pro bono work.

That equals 9 years of work in a 12-month period! They’re ranked #1 for International Pro Bono and #7 for National Pro Bono. Providing legal services to folks who can’t afford it is their passion. When they “give back to the community” they do it in overdrive. 

And so does Magnovo. Our best team building ideas involve charitable donations –bikes, wagons, food, and our Rescue Buddies.  We met at the Dechert offices overlooking Times Square in Manhattan to work with 70 Millennials interns or “summer associates.”

Millennials make up a third of the American workforce. Their dominance overshadows Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. This generational clash can heighten tensions at work. Some CEOs are reluctant to take them on.

They can be intimidating especially when it comes to corporate social responsibility. They understand the importance of the bottom line. But Millennials want their bosses to do the right thing in the community.

Team building ideas for Millennials

Dechert CEO wanted to work with Magnovo because we’re known for our expertise in working with  Millennials. Our workshop was designed to make sure they understand how important community outreach is to the law firm. It also challenged them to develop and use communications and collaborative skills as they worked together.

Each Rescue Buddy was assembled to include a birth certificate and a backpack.

They were donated to the Ronald McDonald House of New York. Their Rep explained that each toy would go to a critically sick child at a particularly crucial time.  These kids and their parents have to respond quickly when there’s an opening at a hospital specializing in their illness.

There isn’t always time to pack toys and personal items that would comfort them. These stuffed animals can fill that void. They can provide comfort and security when life seems so uncertain. And when everything around them is unfamiliar, they know at least that “this Rescue Buddy is mine!”

The summer associates were genuinely grateful to help gravely ill children. Dechert was reassured that their message to their interns came through loud and clear. And we proved again that the best charitable team building ideas teach leadership skills and the importance of serving others.

The Best Ideas for Teambuilding Start with Charity

Medtronic believes that the best ideas for teambuilding involve community service and charitable works. And this conviction is reflected in their mission statement: It guides our day-to-day work and reminds us that our efforts are transforming the lives of millions of people each year.

Medtronic is a forerunner in the healthcare industry. And they are leaders of good corporate citizenship. Per their website, they also strive to:

  • recognize the personal worth of employees by providing an employment framework that allows personal satisfaction in work accomplished, security, advancement opportunity, and means to share in the company’s success, and 
  •  maintain good citizenship as a company.

Medtronic embodies the best ideas for teambuilding

Medtronic summoned 40 of its best sales reps and clinicians for a series of high-level training sessions and a high energy Rescue Buddies Charity Teambuilding Workshop.

We met at the Doubletree Hotel in Holland, Michigan and these 40 staffers showed up with energy to spare. Maybe it was the intensity of their daily work on juvenile diabetes and their quest to find a cure for this chronic disease. Or perhaps it was the Rescue Buddies’ positive impact on children in crisis. Whatever the case, they came fired up and ready to work, and that level of commitment made our facilitators’ day.

And no doubt their long hours and drive to succeed left them in need of some serious stress relief. So in a way, our Rescue Buddies came to their rescue, too. Each one is an adorable toy—a bear, a lion, a bird, a porpoise, a turtle–that they assemble and stuff themselves. One young lady asked for a pig and promptly named it Petunia.

The Medtronic execs donated note cards for their staffers to write messages of hope and encouragement which they attached to each toy and put into Medtronic blue bags which looked exactly like our Magnovo bags! Great minds think alike, I guess.

A worthwhile workshop

The 40 Rescue Buddies were donated to  JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. T1D or Type-1 diabetes affects 1.25 million American adults and children. JDRF is the largest global organization seeking a cure. To date, they have contributed more than $2 billion dollars to T1D research.

A rep from JDRF brought her 6-year-old son who was diagnosed with T1D when he was only 2. Her personal story helped to drive home the importance of the work the Medtronic company does.  And she assured them that the Rescue Buddies would be donated to kids with diabetes at an upcoming fundraising walk-a-thon.



Team Building Thursdays 300

Team Building Thursdays: Les Brown

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

~Les Brown

Corporate Team Bonding Workshop With CDW

It’s always gratifying when a corporate team bonding workshop is such a perfect fit for a client. Our recent Hospital Helpers Charity Workshop with technology giant CDW was a match made in heaven.

The first clue: on the company website they refer to their 8,700-strong workforce as “coworkers.” This speaks volumes about their corporate culture, and our experience with them bore this out fully.

Compassionate corporate team bonding

CDW is a Fortune 500 industry leader in the sale of technology products and services. They are on the cutting edge of  hardware, software, and integrated It solutions–the operative word being “solutions.” They serve a loyal customer base in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Their philanthropic passions lean toward supportive programs for military personnel, and education and job readiness for youth. And for the community at large, CDW provides technical support for regional health and human services projects.

In the education arena, they champion science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM] programs for students from kindergarten through high school. CDW invests time, energy, and resources in technological solutions that also provide emotional support to military families–particularly those deployed overseas.  

And their commitment to health care also resonated with the Magnovo team. CDW execs are strong advocates for easier access to affordable health care through innovative technology solutions. So they leaped at the chance to help sick youngsters at a regional children’s hospital.

We met in the Philadelphia Room on the CDW campus in Lincolnshire Illinois and divided 19 staffers into small groups. Magnovo facilitators customized strategic thinking and problem-solving techniques designed to strengthen their teambuilding skills. Each group navigated through a series of competitive activities to “earn” the gifts they’d donate.

Corporate team bonding that makes a difference

Each gift became part of a hospital care package–comfort for seriously ill babies in need of some fun-therapy. They included interactive and educational games, toys, cuddly stuffed animals, and coloring books with crayons or markers.

The recipients were patients at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. This amazing facility provides technologically advanced but tender care to sick children. It is also a national leader in pediatric research, education, and advocacy.

Our workshop ticked all of the CDW staffers’ emotional boxes and met their corporate team bonding goals. The hospital’s technological savvy and their compassion for sick babies were a perfect match for the CDW team. Both organizations are the epitome of corporate social responsibility.  We hope to work with them again soon.


Company Teambuilding with MGT Consulting

In the midst of a daunting schedule of marathon meetings and training, the MGT Consulting staff in Tampa needed a serious company teambuilding reboot. That’s when our Mission: Kids Care Workshop came to the rescue.

Mission: Kids Care is reciprocity at its best. Workshop participants are transformed from “coworkers” into friends, who get to know and understand each other a little better outside the corporate setting. And needy children in the company’s community receive school supplies their parents can’t afford to provide.

Of course, the idea of helping kids inspired all 40 members of the MGT Consulting team,  but their energy levels were low and in need of a boost. Our high energy activities broke the ice and gave them a reason to laugh and relax–an opportunity they eagerly embraced.

Company teambuilding fun

The Grand Hyatt Hotel facility was the ideal venue for this team. There was plenty of room to spread out or huddle and strategize as needed. They were a pretty competitive crew, too, so it wasn’t long before their adrenaline was flowing at full bore.

With each fun-filled challenge, team members learned to communicate and collaborate more efficiently.  And at every step along the way, they earned more goodies to donate. Pens, paper, spiral notebooks, calculators–all put into colorful backpacks for some grateful students.

For this charitable teambuilding workshop, MGT Consulting partnered with The Collaboratory Preparatory Academy, and it was a perfect match. That’s because both organizations are committed to collaboration, diversity,  leadership development, and adding value to their community. Plus years ago one of the MGT executives helped get the Academy up and running! So the whole day was particularly special.

It’s not surprising that one of the MGT participants stepped up and challenged his colleagues to up their game. He appealed to them to stuff those backpacks with a lot more than school supplies! And true to their competitive natures, they took this philanthropic opportunity very seriously and gave with all their hearts.  Results: each backpack was also filled with a gift of cash.

This was one of our most memorable and poignant workshops. We’ve enjoyed collaborating with MGT Consulting in the past. We look forward to our next company teambuilding adventure in the future.



Charitable Teambuilding in the Arizona Desert

In the heat of the Arizona desert, we conducted one of our coolest Bike-a-thon Charitable teambuilding Workshops ever. Our client: LeadMD based in Scottsdale. They’ve got the right prescription to generate leads for businesses that want to maximize their marketing dollars.

We arrived on a Friday and found these laid-back, lead-generating rock stars in full Millennial mode. Translation: the atmosphere was both relaxed and competitive.

Friday at LeadMD is “movie day.” Big screen TV monitors streamed hit flicks all day long. Magnovo workshops are always fun, but this turned into a party with food, libations, and non-stop good times.

Where other companies dread dealing with Millennials, Magnovo actually enjoys working with this generation. They generate lots of energy, are always innovative, and love a good challenge.

New beginnings, new challenges

They’d just moved into a new building a week before our arrival, and some areas were still under construction. New digs for a new company. This was their first charitable teambuilding workshop and they were stoked. Already close-knit, the CEO wanted the newbies on staff to see their colleagues on a more informal, personal level.

Of equal importance, their main interest in working with Magnovo was to build their philanthropic muscles. Our reputation had preceded us, so they were excited about our training and about giving back to their community.  

The 30 participants divided into small groups. They upped their competitive game as they strategized to “earn” the various components needed to assemble the bikes. And they improved their communications and problem-solving skills during each step.

Charitable teambuilding at its best

The recipient was Family Promise of Greater Phoenix headed by Lisa Randall. Magnovo has had the pleasure of working with this charity dozens of times. We count it a privilege to partner with them because of their mission. Equally impressed were the LeadMd employees. They were riveted to and inspired by Randall’s presentation.

Family Promise provides a hand up instead of a hand out to homeless families, and their success rate is phenomenal! They “adopt” a family for two months, taking care of their basic needs for food and clothing. Through their partnership with local shelters, they also provide a place to stay at night.

During the day, they offer job training and vocational resources. The ultimate goal: to help families secure new jobs and new homes. Those are the ingredients for a fresh start. Their work makes charitable teambuilding workshops like ours worthwhile.

Top marks all round

During the post-workshop survey, LeadMD CEO Justin Gray posted 4’s on everything–which means on a 0-to-4 rating system, we got top marks on every aspect of the event. Gray said, “Having a charity leader come in and reinforce the meaning of the exercise on several levels was impactful. The bike assembling was awesome and well facilitated.”

A participant commented, “I enjoyed that there was not a prize at the end,  as I had expected, because it reminded me that there was an intrinsic reward to be had for the charitable work we did.”

Our facilitator was a Magnovo veteran who has conducted hundreds of Magnovo workshops over the years. He claimed that this was absolutely one of the most enjoyable workshop experiences he’d ever had with some of the nicest people he’d ever met.