Tag: team building case study

Case Study: Skyrocket Engagement in Your Learning & Development Programs

One of the world’s oldest companies isn’t what you’d expect; it’s a small hot-spring hotel in Yamanashi, Japan, called Koshu Nishiyama, and it has existed since the year 705. It’s changed a lot since then.

And really, all business has. Even small, local organizations compete globally for relevance and profits. One of their most powerful tools? Storytelling.

Stories are even older than that little Japanese guest house, and for thousands of years have been a primary mode of communication, relationship building and legacy. Today, stories are still a powerful way to engage an audience, but the rules have changed a little.

We teach modern storytelling techniques that are like a magnet for attention. Today’s case study is about how we taught our foundational program, the Five Elements of a Hack, to a global organization’s senior management team.

Here it is…

How to Bring Culture Change to 300,000+ Employees

Chris leads the Learning and Development department at a Fortune 500 Company; an organization that is going through a global organizational shift.

“Like a lot of corporations, we are making some really significant cultural changes, and for us it’s a worldwide initiative with over 300,000 people.”

As part of this investment in change, Chris developed a leadership training program called Authentic Change Week, a 4.5 day commitment to developing the organization’s large senior management team.

“It’s about helping them find their voice and view, because they have to lead this change and be able to communicate that point of view in a compelling way. It’s the concept of change starts with me and then we get support from the team.”

The program was going well, with a total of about 200 attendees on four separate occasions, but Chris saw an opportunity to optimize it further:

“I assign an exercise that asks participants to write a point of view summary every day. Usually, I’d see a big shift on Wednesday; these would become more purposeful and clear. I thought if we could accelerate that shift then we would could have even more impactful learning throughout the week.”

That’s where Museum Hack comes in…

Why Chris Chose to Work With Museum Hack

Late last year, a colleague introduced Chris to our Experience Consultant.

“We are always looking for interesting vendors for experiences outside the classroom. I was initially in contact with Mark. I visited the Met in NYC for an open tour just to get a feel for it. Then we had a couple of conversations about my specific needs.”

We tailored a custom quote and sent it to Chris for review.Chris has a budget, of course, so he did consider the return on investment.

“I wanted to set a foundation for this program. I decided It was well worth the cost to set that foundation right on day one of the program. If it was a one time thing we do and then don’t come back to then it would be a different story, but I knew this would be something we would come back to frequently.”

We committed to 20 training sessions over the next 12 months.

What Happened at Authentic Change Week that Changed Everything

Authentic Change Week is the type of program that many Leadership & Development professionals dream about; it’s supported by the executive team, mission driven and includes top performing participants from all over the world.

“Each session has 14 different countries represented, with 50 some participants.”

Chris has developed best practices for this program, and is committed to not just breaking outside the box but creating a whole new experience. “We are encouraged to be innovative and creative, and it pays off. Attendees that go through an unconventional training program like this don’t forget it, and they are more likely to practice the skill and keep it in mind.”

So, what makes Authentic Change Week unconventional? The first step is a change of scenery…

“I didn’t want this to start in a classroom. Our classrooms are beautiful and non-traditional, but I wanted the attendees to go somewhere and do something completely differently from day one, hour one. That is a strong foundation for a transformational learning experience.”

On Monday morning, we brought the attendees to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a customized, renegade tour experience. Museum Hack tours include unconventional stories, activities in the galleries and sometimes wine.. Our guides are master storytellers – they’ve honed their craft by telling dozens or even hundreds of stories every day — so this tour was a great opportunity to expose Chris’ group to a new mode of communication.

After the tour, we switched from experience focussed learning to a more traditional storytelling workshop format. Our facilitators taught the Five Elements of a Hack to the company’s group of senior managers. This format is the same technique we use on tours to maximize engagement. This workshop is very hands on, with opportunities for participants to practice and get direct feedback on how to improve.

Here’s what Chris said about it:

“We go out and experience something fun, unrelated to the job, and then we start dialing it back in. This helps build confidence and openness with the groups, and gets them out of their comfort zone. From a business perspective, it gets them to practice and learn to develop a skill that is exactly what we want them to do at the end of this experience; communicate better with their teams.”

But Does This “Experience Stuff” Really Work?

We asked Chris to share the specific outcomes he has seen with his team, and why we’ve been able to expand from one workshop to twenty over the next year.

“With their exercise to share a point of view each day, I’d look for it to become more purposeful throughout the week, with clearer messaging and confidence. Before Museum Hack, that shift would usually come on Wednesday, and now I’m seeing this happen a full 24 hours earlier. The only difference is we’ve added the activity at the museum. They are picking things up faster, getting better at all modes of communication, and having a great time with it. It really has given us a higher return on learning for the rest of the week.”

If you are still on the fence about training with Museum Hack, Chris shared these thoughts:

“For me, a big part of this was just intuition. I had a feeling it would work out as well as it did. Culture plays a role, but if you are open to a new approach then I’d say just try it. You’ll have a great experience.”

Ready to give your team and organization a communication refresh? We’d love to work with you. Contact [email protected] or 1-800-210-9676 to get started.

A Custom Day Of Team Building To Bring Harmony To An Unhappy Team

What do you do when you’ve got a team that has to work together but doesn’t like each other?

A large life insurance company based in upstate New York was having some trouble with one of their departments earlier this summer. The team of about 20 employees just wasn’t getting along; most of the staff members didn’t like one another and that was wreaking havoc on the office. Energy and morale were down, and it made going to work more of a chore for most of the team than the department’s managers wanted it to be.

So they gave us a call!

We were excited to put our methods of team building and bonding to one of their toughest tests yet as we went to work with this group. To combat the office unhappiness, we put together a full day’s agenda for the team designed to hit on their specific goals, beginning with our Storytelling Workshop and ending with a fun tour and Happy Hour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Another team has a great time engaging during a storytelling workshop.
Another team has a great time engaging during a storytelling workshop.

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A Custom Scavenger Hunt Of NYC Streets

Often, our team building activities are held in museums across New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. But “location: museum” doesn’t always have to be the case for us to put together an incredible team building event. We are just as at home hosting team bonding competitions in a company’s office, designing breakout games for conferences, or planning, designing, and executing an entire conference for your company.

We love facilitating conferences for other companies or industries, like this one we did for the Florida Museum of Natural History.
We love facilitating conferences for other companies or industries, like this one we did for the Florida Museum of Natural History.

A few months ago, the organizers of the EmpireJS conference asked us to create a custom scavenger hunt of the Financial District as the fun final event for their two-day convention. The conference planners wanted our help to end the workshops with a celebratory activity their guests, some 200 to 300 Javascript programmers from around the world, would really enjoy.

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NYC: Host Your Own Team Building Olympics In The Museum

Yogurt. Dogs. Technology. Beauty. Sports.

While these five things may not seem like they have much to do with each other at first glance, there’s one key thing that unites them.

They all have a rich, incredible history hidden in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

We’ve spent hours discovering the best-kept secrets of the museum’s halls. We put together a custom tour on the history of yogurt for Dannon, gathered the best stories about dogs in the Met for BarkBox, crafted a technology through time tour for Google, and dug up amazing medieval and modern beauty practices for Elizabeth Arden.

Recently, we decided to turn our attention to sports.

The inaugural archery competition at the First Ever Museum Hack Team Building Olympics.
The inaugural archery competition at the First Ever Museum Hack Team Building Olympics.

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Custom Company Team Building Tours At A Historic NYC Landmark

The Fraunces Tavern is a really, really cool spot for team building in New York City. It’s an American Revolution icon with a rich history. To take a walk through the museum today is to take a walk in the footsteps of George Washington during the American Revolution.

It’s a legendary building in New York City’s own backyard and it makes for an amazing evening at the museum with your staff.

As with our team building tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, we can completely customize our events at the Fraunces Tavern to company values and expectations. Emphasizing communication in the workplace? Our games and activities will help promote that. Focused on meeting deadlines and growing together as a team? We can plan an entire event around those principles. Or maybe your group just needs to blow off some steam and have a great time; we can do that, too.

Fraunces Tavern team building

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A VIP Team Building Experience In NYC

More and more, companies are expanding their operations and hiring individuals across the globe. This presents new challenges for cohesiveness within and between departments in the company. These challenges are not impossible to overcome; with a little commitment to team building, your employees can be moving along smoothly and productively. Check out how Museum Hack’s team building activities at the Met worked for global cosmetic giant Shiseido.

Shiseido is a large, international cosmetic and fragrance company with hundreds of subsidiaries and thousands of employees. The business aims to inspire a life full of culture and beauty. With such a rich commitment to embracing global cultures, we couldn’t think of a better place for team building than the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

George Washington Crossing the Delaware, Shiseido Style.
George Washington Crossing the Delaware, Shiseido Style.

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Taking Team Building Outside The Museum

Here at Museum Hack, we love taking the traditional and adding our own unconventional twist.

A few months ago, we were approached by Gravitas, a top company in business IT infrastructure and support with more than 275 employees among their five international locations. Gravitas was organizing their company-wide quarterly Town Hall meeting and wanted to do something a little different. Gravitas executives wanted to host a great event to help bring their huge team together. The catch? They weren’t looking to bring the group to a museum; they wanted us to bring our team building expertise to a venue of their choosing to shake things up and help everyone have fun and connect.

Another group enjoys one of our favorite off-site team building activities.
Another group enjoys one of our favorite off-site team building activities.

Not sure team building is right for your event?

It took some time for us to put together the perfect custom event for Gravitas. We first traveled to their New York offices to meet with the company’s CEO and show off our storytelling and games. Though initially hesitant to work with us, skeptical that our eclectic mix of games would resonate well with their team, we met their doubts head on and crafted an event at which the entire team had a blast.

We designed a competition unlike any other: the Gravitas Olympics.

Small teams of four or five employees worked together to complete different games, activities, and challenges, all while accruing points. They competed in games like “Liar, Liar” (in which all team members tell a story about a time they failed royally, the team then votes on the best and memorizes it before they tell it to the whole group as if it was their own and the group votes on whose story they think it actually is), a photo scavenger hunt, and a four-person chair hack (team members sit on chairs and lay their heads in their partners’ laps in a square shape and then work together to support the group once the chairs are removed).

Converting skeptics into believers

The Gravitas group also worked with a musical director to create a polyrhythm together on drums and other percussion instruments, learning to play and hold two conflicting rhythms in their bodies, as well as hold these rhythms against their teammates’. By the end of the day, everyone was jamming in synchrony with other another, both musically and otherwise.

Despite their initial reservations about working with Museum Hack, Gravitas had a super successful Town Hall meeting! The event’s coordinator had this to say:

“Everyone had a really great time. Numerous people came up to me to let me know how much fun they had and specifically mentioned that they really loved the Museum Hack team!”

Whether inside or outside of a museum, we’re always ready to hack your event and prepare a custom set of activities matched to your company’s mission and values.

Do you have a company event you’d like to hack? We’d love to talk to you about our methods of supercharging events and customizing our tours for your team’s goals! Give us a call at 1-800-210-9676 or send us an email at [email protected]

A Night of Team Building at the Fraunces Tavern

Plans. They’re always changing, but luckily, our guides are great at improvisation and turning even the most unexpected situations into something awesome.

We recently had the pleasure of working with a team from RMS – Risk Management Solutions, a company founded in 1988 at Stanford University that helps financial institutions and other public organizations with risk recognition, planning, and management. What started with a few individuals has grown to a company of over 400 employees in 100 countries. With as many employees as RMS has, they understand the value of investing in team camaraderie and they wanted our help planning an unforgettable custom team bonding event for one of their departments.

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A Leadership Summit for Knewton, Museum Hack Style

Customization and engagement are at the heart of everything we do.

While we love creating exciting, unusual museum tours, over the years, we’ve found that our methods of engagement that work really well inside the museum are also incredibly effective outside the museum.

A few months ago, we had the opportunity to demonstrate what we do both in and out of museums when we helped plan a day-long Leadership Summit for Knewton, a leading company in the personalized learning and education field. Knewton had reached out in the past about a team building tour with us and we believed that our methods of sparking excitement in museumgoers would align seamlessly with their company’s goal of increasing passion for learning.

A smaller team from Knewton enjoys a tour with Museum Hack.
A smaller team from Knewton enjoys a tour with Museum Hack.

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