Autodesk, a software company, was about to kick off a 2-day summit for its field marketing department. In order to foster a spirit of collaboration, they arranged for a WheelCharity™ team building workshop as a pre-meeting event. We helped the company welcome about 90 attendees from across the country to the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel in Millbrae, CA.
The Autodesk Team Pulls Together in Millbrae, CA
Because of geography, Autodesk’s field marketing employees rarely worked together in person. So this event was a great way to establish and strengthen those personal connections that would serve folks well back in their territories. We opened with a few warm-up icebreaker games. Autodesk’s event organizer had arranged teams of 8-1O ahead of time, so we got started on the wheelchair assembly activities pretty quickly. In a WheelCharity™ workshop, teams compete through games and challenges for wheelchair parts. Teams are then tasked with putting the wheelchairs together as a group.
Fast-Paced Fun and Team Building
One of our most popular activities, a “commercials” game, gave folks a chance to show off strong creative and collaborative skills. Everyone laughed and had fun as each team came up with new products on the fly and tried to convince other teams to “buy” them. That enthusiasm carried over into wheelchair assembly activities, too. For every challenge we gave them, these teams excelled!
Participants were especially diligent in making sure the chairs were put together well. Regardless of where each team member came from, they worked as teams as if they’d known each other for a long time. That level of commitment and dedication from a group that’s so new to hand-on collaboration together is rare!
Lifesteps Foundation Benefits from WheelCharity™
The local nonprofit Lifesteps Foundation was the beneficiary of these wheelchairs. We invited Stephen Victoriano, a representative of the organization, to attend the workshop. He arrived towards the end of the event to accept the donation. His kind words of thanks and appreciation touched everyone. People were rapt as he spoke of how much a donated wheelchair could change someone’s life, and how important independent living was. There were cheers and applause, and we took a lot of smartphone camera pictures of the group!
A quick debriefing session at the end reinforced workplace skills. People spoke of ways to transfer these skills and techniques back to the workplace. The ideas of simplification and streamlining of processes and procedures were popular.
While the time we had together for the WheelCharity workshop was short, the feedback we received made it clear that these concepts will resonate with Autodesk employees for a long time to come.