Welcome to the jungle!
On November 3rd, our operations team descended upon London to take part in the inaugural Adventurist competition. The concept was cooked up by Regional Operations Director, Robert Jessey and involved our unique take on that British business TV institution – The Apprentice.
Those of you who watch the programme will undoubtedly remember the task where the budding Apprentices have to race around London looking for various weird and wonderful things, and that was exactly the blueprint for our team-building day. Our operations team, from Operations Managers to members of the support team came from far and wide to spend the day together; something that with our national reach is a logistical challenge in of itself.
Our team were split into four teams and were assigned two chaperones from the Senior Management Team to ensure that everything was above board and shipshape. The first task was to get names for the teams, so, in typical Apprentice style, we ended up with; Team Dominate, Team Rumble in the Jungle, Team Jurassic and Team Four Corners.
The teams were given a list of tasks, with a differing point value attached to each one. There were some big points on offer for getting on television or radio, for example, less so for grabbing a photo of different tube station signs. There were also some red herrings thrown in there, as one team found out by waiting quite some time for Tower Bridge to open up! Strategy also played a key role, with a meagre amount of points on offer for going as far west as the tube goes, it wasn’t a simple matter of working down the list and ticking things off.
Good teamwork, solid logical planning and time management were the keys to success; exactly the type of skills needed in our line of work. So, while the day was a great deal of fun for everyone concerned, there was also a very real lesson to be learned from the day’s activities.
Once everyone was back at the designated meeting point, and with a pre-planned shortening of the deadline having been imposed by the chaperones, there was a full debrief to go over the strategy and to evaluate the teams’ performance – and add up all the points, of course. Following this, there was a ‘boardroom’ style evaluation. Luckily, Lord Sugar’s index finger and famous phrase remained confined to the television screen and everyone left the room still in their job!
John Hamill, our Managing Director, then gave a talk to the team, emphasising the value of the day and underlining the principles that we can take back to our day-to-day roles. It was the perfect end to a hectic but thoroughly enjoyable session, with combined walking distances well into the hundreds of miles, certainly time for a bit of R&R. So the team decamped to Brick Lane for a well earned rest, a curry and a mingle; the cherry on top of a productive and exciting day.
It was great for everyone to be able to get together and, for the newer members of the team, put a face to the name and have a chat with people they’d only ‘met’ via email. With such busy day-to-day roles, encompassing the entirety of the UK, it’s absolutely vital to bring the team together on a regular basis and continue to develop and refine the teamwork needed to successfully deliver complex contracts for our clients.
The main question of the day? I wonder what they’ll come up with next..