An interesting mix of people from the Salesforce team attended this Bike-A-Thon Workshop in Chicago, IL. It was a small group of only 14 people, with representatives from both the sales and technical departments of their company. This combination was intentional, as the Salesforce managers wanted the different departments to see things from a wider perspective when they returned to work.
The end goal of the workshop was to donate the assembled bikes to the dedicated people at Chicago Youth Programs, a local organization that works to “change the trajectory” of the lives of underserved young people through education and support. Along the way, however, we also wanted the Salesforce team to learn nuanced communication skills and to see the way their individual work links up with the rest of the group’s.
A Diverse and Productive Workshop
For such a small group, the Salesforce team brought a ton of energy to the workshop. We harnessed their energy right away with a variety of “warm-up” activities. We put “warm-up” in quotes because these activities are crucial aspects of the learning process. What looks like fun and diversion on the surface are actually important tools in and of themselves, not just ways to prepare for the Bike-A-Thon.
We transitioned quickly between activities like Say What I Say, Air Counting, and what we call ‘Mini-Games’ throughout the morning. We maintained this quick pace for a specific reason– to keep an energetic group engaged and focused. We even used a mini-game to divide the group into teams. This proved to be a wise move. By the time we got to the actual Bike-A-Thon, the Salesforce team performed like they’d worked together for years.
The Big Winners Were Salesforce and Chicago Youth Programs
This turned out to be an incredible day of growth, learning, and giving. The growth of the Salesforce staff was apparent right away. They had a lot of fun during the morning activities, but our facilitators could see that they were learning long term teamwork skills at the same time. We incorporated some more cerebral type activities for improved problem solving during this workshop and they proved very effective.
The Salesforce people were a different group when they left the workshop. We could see the transformation as it took place, as well as in the smiles and positive comments from everyone toward the end of the day. The representatives from Chicago Youth Programs left happy and grateful too, with four brand new bicycles their clients could use to feel more included.