Vesture is one of our larger clients. They run a couple of multi city events with us a year. They have realised one of the most important parts of running a high performance team and improving staff retention is to allow space and time for fun. We help turn that realisation into a reality.
This year they wanted the first round of events to reflect on their new SMARTER core values. To Improve, Innovate and to focus on Lifestyle. We had facilitated the Apprentice program before and in various forms. This time we figured we would we would keep it simple whilst choosing a format that reflected on their core values.
Over four weeks we delivered this program all over the country. In Brisbane/Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
- The idea was to take teams out of their comfort zones by giving them a fun creative challenge.
- With this particular challenge teams were to create a breakfast cereal for any given target market.
- They had to come up with a way of improving existing cereal products, different ingredients, practical packaging.
- They had to approach the task with an open creative and innovative mind.
- What was the point of difference of their cereal?
- What market did it speak to?
- How could they involve an app or social media so customers could engage with the product?
- They also had to think about the lifestyle of their customers and how it would fit in with particular people with certain lifestyle choices.
You could see the fear in the eyes of participants when they were told that in teams they were all bidding for a pretend 1 million dollar breakfast cereal contract. They had 1.5 hours to brainstorm ideas and draw up their marketing plan and to create their pitch.
With the emphasis was put on the innovation of the product. We supplied actual ingredients that they could touch, taste and involve from the inspiration table. They were also encouraged to include ingredients beyond the boardroom.
They also had a huge range of packaging; bowls, jars, bags, arts and crafts and were encouraged to think “outside the box” when it came to the packaging and presentation of their cereal.
The ideas and products that were presented across the states blew us away. From cereal for dogs, to cereal killer bacon and egg bars we had the market covered.
The innovation expressed through the various app ideas had many teams thinking they should actually start up a real cereal brand! All pitches were smart and explored a new lifestyle.
But most of all people had fun. They were able to get to know other people in their team they never get to talk to and they learnt the power of clear communication and the importance of being united on new ideas.
In a recent study it was discovered that 95% of people rated happiness as the most important virtue in their lives yet sadly 90% of those people said they were the least happy at work.
Why is this? Have we just decided we are unhappy at work because that’s what we are conditioned to think? What if we change the way we think? What if we alter our lifestyle at work and focus on being happy?
These sorts of programs bring us closer to our colleagues, they keep our minds active and they make us laugh which helps to humanize the relationships we have at work. Maybe by opening up at work, encouraging innovation and constantly improving processes and products we will feel better connected and happier at work. The Vesture Apprentice team days were a perfect example of how we can think ‘outside the box’ on how to do this.
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