By Beth Buehler
Plus a few tips for arranging activities that will truly impact attendees.
There are a variety of ways to incorporate memorable and impactful team-building activities into a Colorado meeting or incentive trip itinerary. Among the big questions are who are the Colorado team-building companies, what will it cost and how will it tie into the purpose and goals of the gathering?
For some groups, the definition of team-building is just getting out, doing an activity together and wearing the same color of shirts, but Scott Miller, a senior partner and principal at Colorado-based Action Learning Associates, believes that is a missed opportunity. “It may fill the need to do something together, but the nutritional value to the individual and team is low,” Miller wrote in a recent guest column about team-building in the Winter 2020 issue of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine.
“Getting the most of that time together is the goal of every learning and development professional and meeting planner. You invested in the time, travel, facility, décor and elaborate meals. Follow through on that investment by giving attendees a nutritious team development experience that is aligned to the company values, drives change and has a lasting positive impact for both the individual and the organization,” says Miller, who is based in Crested Butte.
So the important thing for planners and their bosses to understand is what they are trying to achieve through team-building and the benefits of finding Colorado team-building companies to partner with who can help make it happen. Here are some ideas.
Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides in Boulder specializes in working with teams through experiential adventures. The company utilizes Colorado’s wilderness areas and outdoor spaces as a tool to enhance communication, collaboration, trust, leadership development, and problem-solving skills and has designed more than 75 unique activities that are custom-tailored to meet a groups’ specific needs. The basic philosophy is that team-building activities cultivate, shape and instill the idea that people can achieve more together than by themselves. After working with numerous groups, CWRAG developed a new segment of the company, Colorado Wilderness Corporate & Teams, in 2013 to further develop its team-building and leadership development programming.
Since 1994, CBST Adventures has been creating innovative team-building adventures that inspire individuals and groups to step outside of themselves and strive for higher levels of performance and development. CBST, a team-building and leadership development company with offices in Denver and Summit County, strives to create experiences, activities and exercises that directly transfer to everyday dynamics in both professional and personal settings. There are more than 50 strategic outdoor and indoor team-building, experiential leadership and community impact engagements to choose from that are customized to support specific meeting themes and agendas. CBST’s aim is to combine detailed execution of the business world with the infectious enthusiasm of the outdoor and organizational development industries.
In a Destination Colorado blog, “5 Top Performing Summer Team-Building Activities for the Colorado Mountains,” CBST Adventures CEO Jay Irwin emphasizes the importance of knowing what your team wants to get out of a team-building experience. “The Colorado mountains are a beautiful setting for a fun afternoon outside, tackling problem solving or a communications challenge. It’s also a great place for a group of senior leaders to hone their leadership competencies or innovation skills while bonding in the backcountry for multiple days, far removed from the busyness and boxed-in thinking of everyday life.”
Liz Hafer created Golden-based Corporate Teams in 1995 after a successful career as a sales executive with Digital Equipment Corporation. She also spent 12 years on the faculty at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business teaching marketing.
Several destination management companies with headquarters or offices in Colorado also organize team-building or partner with entities like those already mentioned. Check in with ACCESS Colorado, CSI DMC, E5 Events, Imprint Group, Operation Altitude, PRA, Realize Colorado and RMC to see what they offer.
Well-known Colorado resorts such as The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs also believe in the value of team-building and provide planners with a menu of options by working in tandem with their on-site DMC partners, PRA and Imprint Group.
In addition, The Broadmoor Leadership Center specializes in adventure activities that are geared toward creating experiences from which a team can learn team-based skills that can be implemented in an office setting. A few examples of options that Broadmoor Outfitters can provide through The Broadmoor Leadership Center include Cheyenne Canyon Quest, The Broadmoor Adventure Race, Creative Constructions, The Battle of the Bridges, Firequest, and Out of the Park.
Colorado is a perfect place to integrate team-building into a meeting. Not only is there a whole host of partners that stand ready to assist and offer more than fluffy together time, there are many fun activities to integrate and beautiful places for attendees to savor quiet time and ponder what has been learned.
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.