The Corporate Challenge
Innovations in Management Development

Corporate Challenge, Inc. has been developing teams, team leaders and team members using experiential methods since 1985. Training occurs at worksites, convention centers, retreat settings, and more exotic locations. Programs use indoor and outdoor mobile initiatives, backpacking, ropes challenge courses, rock climbing, mountaineering, rescue scenarios, water-based challenges, scavenger hunts, navigation activities, golf initiatives, Tyrolean traverses and urban zip lines.

Management Development programs are customized to accommodate most age and physical needs. Regardless of the sites or activities chosen, there are no limitations on where learning can happen. Participants are guided in transferring the skills they learned to their work situations.

Half-day or full-day programs are available for a combination of indoor and outdoor mobile initiatives, special obstacle challenges, and other adventure-related tasks. All provide a learning framework where teamwork, communication, and the spirit of adventure prevail.

Corporate Challenge can be the most successful component of your next meeting.

Adventure Mas! is a division of Corporate Challenge, Inc.

Adventure Mas! builds and designs ropes challenge courses, canopy zip line tours, aerial adventure parks, military reaction/obstacle courses and offers training in adventure-based activities. Corporate Challenge also uses this service.

Company Concerns and Overview

Do you have concerns about how your company works together?

If so, here’s a little exercise that will only take a minute or two of your time. Go ahead and try it. You’ll find it’s time well invested. Write a short list of the qualities that would make your work group and your company more productive and effective in the marketplace.

Of course, we have no way of knowing in advance what you’ve written down, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if your thoughts included ideas like “better teamwork,” “better communications,” “leadership,” and “quality decision-making.”

Now answer this: What’s the fastest way you and your co-workers could learn or improve on the qualities you’ve listed?

Here’s a clue: the fastest way is not by working in the office. That could take years, and you could still have the common problems of miscommunication, interpersonal conflict, lack of trust, and poor self-awareness that stifle the productivity of too many work environments.

The answer is refreshingly easy. It’s even fun. For a short while, you’ve got to change the environment and take a fresh, eye-opening new approach to solving complex problems you face every day.

The people at Corporate Challenge can show you how.

You can improve the quality of your work by working with us.

The people at Corporate Challenge are specialists in experience-based education, the proven method of improving the way people work together, quickly and efficiently. One of the beauties of experience-based education is that remarkable results can be achieved in a short time and learning sessions can take place virtually anywhere.

Effective programs can be designed for worksites, hotel conference centers, retreat-type settings, or a wilderness environment. We offer an array of conference sites throughout the Southwest, as well as specific domestic and international sites. We can design programs that use backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, sailing, and ropes challenge courses, or we can bring mobile initiative activities to your site. Regardless of the place or activity chosen, there are no limitations on where learning can happen.

The point is that it does happen: major companies throughout the world are discovering that experience-based education can be a shortcut to major gains in work quality and productivity.

Here is a brief description of how an experience-based program works in very general terms. Working in small groups, participants are exposed to a carefully planned series of challenges in an environment that is free of the trappings of the workplace. The experiences are structured to demand practical solutions rather than theoretical ones. The setting is non-threatening. Mistakes can be made safely, in a way that contributes to the learning experience. After each exercise, our staff leads your group in discussions of how the lessons can be transferred to improve performance at work.

We are not talking about “touchy-feely” experiences. We’re talking about a fresh approach to old problems that can generate positive change in the kinds of skills and attitudes that lead to the achievement of real-world business objectives. Areas such as interpersonal and inter-departmental communication, greater workforce retention, a growth in market shares and sales, and quality product-development are targeted.

These are the kinds of skills and attitudes we are talking about (maybe the list you created bears some resemblance to ours).

  • Trust building
  • Better teamwork
  • Quality decision-making
  • Group problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Risk taking
  • Effective communication
  • Leadership
  • Increased individual confidence for greater team contribution
  • Total quality management
  • Action plans
  • Reengineering
  • Effective delegation
  • Promoting creativity
  • Effective communication
  • Action centered leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Customer relations
  • Effectively managing conflict
  • Participative decision-making
  • Problem diagnosis and solving
  • Transitions such as dealing with change
  • Vertical and horizontal team functioning
  • Building trust and empowering work groups
  • Risk-taking in management team development

In just a few short days, the program we design for you can affect the kinds of positive change that might not happen in years at your worksite.

We’ll work together on the issues you choose.

Here are a few typical areas of concentration for Corporate Challenge workshops. Each workshop is specifically structured to meet your needs and achieve any one goal or a combination of goals.

  • Action plans
  • Effective delegation
  • Promoting creativity
  • Effective communication
  • Action centered leadership
  • Goal setting and clarification
  • Effectively managing conflict
  • Participative decision-making
  • Problem diagnosis and solving
  • Transitions such as dealing with change
  • Vertical and horizontal team functioning
  • Building trust and empowering work groups
  • Risk-taking in management team development

Experience-based education isn’t just for the outdoors person.

And it won’t cost big bucks! Although they are often taught in an outdoor setting, the kinds of lessons we teach do not require exceptional physical ability. They are not so much physically challenging as they are personally challenging. In fact, being physically fit is no guarantee of success and is of no particular advantage. We are not learning to play games, but to solve problems. And as we do so, we are growing individually, and together, in ways that pay off both in our business and personal lives.

The learning experience we offer is not financially challenging, either. In fact, given the benefits of a successful experience-based program, the cost is remarkably low. You’ll find it compares favorably to a conference at a good hotel. You’ll also find the rewards are many times greater and far more lasting.

We’ll help you design the strategy for your success.

When your program is designed with the group’s needs in mind, you will have a better transfer of learning to the workplace, and it will be successful. That’s why time spent with you in preparation for your session is so important. We’ll want to be fully acquainted with your goals, your unique situation, and the specific issues you want to address during your time with us. We’ll look at factors like current management issues, pressures operating on management and staff, personnel responsibilities, and your decision-making structure. Then we’ll design your program accordingly, to maximize the experience.

We believe you’ll appreciate our attention to detail and the flexibility that allows us to accommodate your needs. After your experience-based education session, we’ll follow up to be sure the lessons you have learned are paying off. We’ll continue to work with you on the procedures that help your people get the most out of their experience over the longest possible time.

Our experience-based education programs are designed to fit your needs and your time frames. They may occur in a matter of hours or days. A typical program lasts one to five days, based on the goals and the requirements of the participants.

Make the call that makes all the difference in the way you work.

Contact Corporate Challenge, Inc. today. Learn more about the benefits of an experience-based education program designed specifically for your company’s needs.

Why Use Corporate Challenge for Your Training?

How We View Training

What is training?

Training is an investment, rather than an expense.

Why use our trainers?

Our trainers have experience. They teach skills that an expert might know but have a hard time teaching. We teach effectively and do this regularly.

Why conduct a needs assessment?

A needs assessment enables us to gather information and then design the most effective, efficient program for your company.

Choosing the correct type of training and skill level will help you accomplish your goals. For example, do you want to offer a program that helps your employees acquire knowledge, build skills or change attitudes? Or will the training program include a combination of these basic categories?

Why evaluate the training?

We believe that learning that doesn’t change behavior or improve the company is not useful. Thus, we measure the training in several ways.

We evaluate the results through surveys at the end of the training, after several weeks and, perhaps, several months.

Surveys handed out to participants at the end of the program are not as helpful in determining their impressions of the training because participants are often enthusiastic immediately following completion of a program. That is why we evaluate the results not only at the end of the training but after several weeks and, at times, several months.

We measure return on investment from the program and believe corporations should obtain results on the basis of what the training did for their company. Did attitudes improve or change for the better? Have improved skills positively influenced the mission of the organization?

Why use experienced-based training and development methods?

Participants learn when they interact with one another. Some additional reasons why an interactive experiential approach results in effective learning include:

Cognitive Science Research

Studies indicate that people learn more and apply their newly learned knowledge and skills more effectively through games and initiative activities. Research on diverse areas such as stress, anxiety, creativity and self-efficacy reinforce the generalization that people need to play more to improve their learning.

Multiple Intelligences

Recent studies on the nature of intelligence have eliminated traditional IQ measures as the sole indicator of effective performance. Newer frameworks emphasize that there are several avenues to learning other than the conventional use of language and logic. Games and initiative activities tap into alternative intelligences.

Adult Learning Theory

Most adults bring a rich store of experiences to the learning situation. The primary task of the facilitator is to help them, through collaborative efforts, to derive generalizations from this base of experience.

Emotional Learning

Events that are accompanied by emotions result in long-lasting learning. Boredom is not conducive to effective learning. Games and initiative activities that include appropriate levels of cooperation within teams and competition across teams add emotional elements to learning.

Practice and Feedback

Learners cannot master skills without repeated practice and feedback. Games and initiative activities provide opportunities for practicing interpersonal skills and for receiving immediate feedback from peers.

Why does effective facilitation make or break a program?

We take the strong position that it is not helpful, and perhaps irresponsible, to use an initiative activity without a period of time for debriefing the activity. The team must be taken from the impact of the game to the stages of identifying the learning and generalizing to their back-home situation.

One helpful mode is called Act, Plan, Do and Check:

Act – Experience the game, initiative activity or real-time event. Something happened. This is the beginning of experiential learning.

Plan – Take some time to identify what happened so everyone begins on the same page.

Do – Doing the action a second time, analyzing and trying to understand what happened, why it happened, how it helped or hindered the team and what can we learn from it, the second time around.

Check – Review it again and generalize. Use the learning to generalize to a broader context such as – how can we use this to increase our team (or individual) effectiveness, change our norms or solve a similar problem in the future? It’s the “So what?” of learning.

Corporate Challenge Models Used in Training

Leadership

Leadership is a process of mutual influence. The effective leader influences and is influenced by a team and its members in pursuit of a common purpose.

Excellent leadership enables a team to achieve superior results while si­multa­neously building that team into a more cohesive unit and empowering individuals to make unique contributions. Leadership at its best uses each task as an opportunity to develop the organization’s human resources.

Action-Centered Leadership Model

Adapted from John Adair

A critical role of leadership is to assure fulfillment of the task, team, and individual needs. Task needs relate to development and implementation of plans to achieve specific outcomes or results. Team needs relate to the process of developing and maintaining a strong, dynamic working group. Individual needs relate to team member satisfaction and a sense of belonging.

Although, task, team and individual needs can be viewed separately, they are highly interdependent. The Action-Centered Leadership Model represents this relationship by three interconnected circles. The role of leadership then is to balance these needs to Achieve the Task . . . Build the Team . . . and Empower Individuals.

Task

Leadership actions to Achieve the Task include:

  • Defining the task and keeping it clear
  • Clarifying fit of the task to the more global vision and mission
  • Identifying resources and developing options
  • Establishing priorities, time frames, and specific plans of action
  • Establishing systems for communication
  • Implementing plans and responding positively to change
  • Assessing progress and considering contingencies on an ongoing basis

Team

Leadership actions to Build and Maintain the Team include:

  • Involving team members to generate alignment
  • Soliciting ideas and building on them
  • Establishing roles
  • Optimizing the exchange of information
  • Monitoring the team’s process and dynamics
  • Resolving conflict
  • Recognizing team successes
  • Building esprit de corps

Individual

Leadership actions to Empower Individuals include:

  • Encouraging varying viewpoints
  • Harvesting ideas
  • Allocating responsibilities to capitalize on individual strengths and develop individuals
  • Listening
  • Facilitating and giving feedback
  • Delegating when it can be effective
  • Counseling and encouraging individuals

Essential Factors for Establishing Trust

Researchers at Brock University’s Corporate Training Institute in Toronto, Canada, have been studying the qualities that influence trust within working teams. Five factors have been demonstrated as essential for establishing trust.

  • Acceptance of ideas within the working team
  • Encouragement of each other’s efforts
  • Confidentiality within the team
  • Dependability of team members
  • Believability of managers

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