Successful Meetings - October 2008 - (Page 16)

Planner Spotlight > Lain Hensley Odyssey Teams Inc., Chico, CA Hands Across America her leadership summit at the Le Rivage Hotel in Sacramento, CA, last March. “We’d done Life Cycles for a sales meeting, and it was great,” Welch says. “When the kids who were going to receive the bikes walked into the room and surprised our team, these big, tough salesmen actually had tears in their eyes!” The prosthetic hands get shipped overseas, however, so attendees don’t get to meet recipients. Instead, they watch a video showing how to put the hands together and who receives them (Xyratex’s went to Colombia). Then they divide into small groups and start assembling. THUMBS UP Hensley likens learning to assemble a prosthetic hand to a product launch, or anytime a company undergoes rapid change. “Participants A teambuilding project that go from being neophytes— offers children a helping hand is a satisfying choice for groups no one’s ever built a hand before—to experts in maimed children in developing countries. Odyssey about an hour,” he says. The hands are deliberately likes to take teambuilding literally—“It’s building, low-tech, so they’ll be easy to repair later: “Anyone right?” Hensley asks—so in no time at all particican make one.” pants in Odyssey’s workshops were making hands Not that it’s easy; Welch admits she saw “some to send to needy kids. frustration” in her group, especially among the com“There’s a magic to having people build somepetitive types. “But it was all in good fun, and it thing of value instead of, say, a tower of straws or meant a lot to the participants that they were actualpaper that you just throw away,” Hensley explains. ly doing something to improve a person’s life, rather Indeed, one of Odyssey’s most popular programs is than, say, a scavenger hunt.” Life Cycles, in which participants assemble chilHensley agrees. “The challenge of building datadren’s bicycles and then get the surprise of their bases, as Xyratex does, is that employees don’t see lives when a group of kids comes into the room to their customers and get distanced from the meaning receive the bikes. of what they do,” he says. “This activity brought peo“Once I learned that LN-4 needed volunteers to ple together quickly and gave them a deeper look at build prosthetic hands, I thought we could build an the purpose of their work. It reminded them that what experiential learning program around it,” Hensley they do is beneficial to others.” says. “We build bikes—why not hands?” —By Sara J. Welch MAKING GROWN MEN CRY Meanwhile, at Xyratex, a Does your meeting deserve to be in the Spotlight? Write data storage manufacturer in San Jose, CA, Becky us at, and you could be profiled Welch was looking for a new teambuilding activity for in SM. OCTOBER 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS Whether you’re reading this article on paper or online, you’re no doubt using your hands—something we all do every day without even thinking. But imagine if you were one of the thousands of children worldwide who have lost hands because of landmines, but are too poor to afford prosthetics. Enter Lain Hensley, COO of Odyssey Teams Inc., a teambuilding company in Chico, CA. A few years ago, Hensley met some folks from the LN-4 Foundation, which partners with Rotary International to manufacture and distribute prosthetic hands to ODYSSEY’S HELPING HANDS PROGRAM Participants: Up to 1,000 Xyratex paid: $225 per person Goal: 10,000 hands by 2010 16

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - October 2008

Successful Meetings - October 2008
Editor's Note
Supplier News
On the Record
Planner News
Planner Spotlight
Personal Success
Technology Talk
Food &Beverage
Tools of the Trade
On Site
Technology for Modern Meetings
A Tale of Two Cities
A Cast of Thousands
Places & Spaces
Mexican Destination Resorts
New Orleans
Lake Tahoe / Reno

Successful Meetings - October 2008

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