When the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education asked us to put together a charity team building workshop for a diverse group of faculty and graduate students, we couldn’t wait! The school takes a forward-thinking and inclusive approach to leadership education. It’s consistently top-rated among graduate programs conferring MBA, BBA, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees. Our Bike-A-Thon™ challenges participants’ leadership skills and provides a pathway for on-going growth. Because it’s a charity team building workshop, we arranged for the completed bicycles to be donated to the local Peace Neighborhood Center. This nonprofit organization assists children and families experiencing socioeconomic challenges.
Ann Arbor Faculty and Students Unite for Local Kids
There were roughly 45 participants who met up at the school’s Wylie Hall. Because this workshop was a stand-alone program, we got right to work. It was the beginning of the semester, and so we opened with a couple of ice-breaker games. Even though folks had previously met, it was nice to give them a chance to interact socially before we arranged teams of 5. Our facilitator provided a brief overview of how our Bike-A-Thon™ works. Teams compete for bicycle parts through interactive games and activities. Once teams have acquired the necessary parts, then they move onto assembling the bicycles for kids in need. Our assembly component is enhanced with additional challenges that stress qualities like leadership, communication, and embracing diversity so that a team can utilize everyone’s talents toward a common goal.
Customizing a Bike-A-Thon™ for Everyone
There was some concern about communication (several participants were non-native English speakers). Our facilitator circulated around the room during the assembly part of the Bike-A-Thon™. He chatted with each group, taking extra time to provide additional instruction as needed. Overall, the teams finished at roughly the same time, and everyone’s bicycle looked great! There were lots of smiles as teams packed up tools and wheeled their finished bikes over to an open area where we could line them up.
University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education Shows Local Support for the Peace Neighborhood Center
When B. Billups of the Peace Neighborhood Center arrived to accept the donated bicycles, there were cheers and applause. Everyone was very happy to contribute to the well-being of local kids. B. Billups thanked the participants and the Ross School for being such good neighbors. We took a lot of photos, and there was a lot of hand-shaking and thanks being given as we prepped the bikes for transport. Despite one or two bumps along the way, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education Bike-A-Thon™ rolled along smoothly. Program organizers were highly satisfied.