Monday, May 21, 2007

A Bike

I heard about this from Marc Epner who works for Kronos. A company that makes employee time management software. Marc is one of their sales people.

Marc recently told me about a team work activity they did at Kronos recently that I thought was really cool.

The Kronos sales team was assembled for a typical sales meeting I believe in Chicago. One afternoon was dedicated to a team work exercise. The employee’s were divided into teams of five. There were one hundred teams and each team was given a box with a number on it. In the box the teams found bicycle parts and some assembly instruction. Each team had 2 hours to do the best job of putting the bike together.

About an hour into the exercise the doors of the hall they were in opened and one hundred underprivileged kids from Joliet walked in. Each was carrying a sign with a number on it corresponding to one of the bikes. These were kids from poor families that can not afford to get their kids bikes.

It was announced that each child was to get one of the bikes and the kids were to find the team that was working on the bike that had their number on it.

Once the teams met the kids who were going to get their bike their attitude changed completely. Before they where trying to be the fastest and were trying to keep what they had learned a secret from the other teams. Once the learned about the kids they started sharing between teams. So, they could all make sure that they got the best bike possible for their kid. They consulted with the kids to find out exactly what they wanted for their bike.

Their attitude be came one of service instead of competition.

Marc said that afterward almost everyone was overcome with emotion and he wasn’t sure but thought it might have been a life changing experience. Some kids who needed bikes got them and hopefully the employees learned to be better team players.

Think of how much more productive we might be if we always kept an attitude of service.

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