top of page

Using team building activities to better illustrate company values.

How We Win Together Expressed In Sabre Activities

We are often approached by senior managers who would like something that's fun, memorable and interactive at their national conferences yet can also powerfully re-enforce conference content and their own values.

This is always a balancing act as "overcooking it" can result in undermining the need for fun and interaction whilst "undercooking it" can lead to it being seen as just a bit of a "jolly" with no value to the business.

It's important to undertake a diagnostic process that can match the right team building activity (or activities) to the issues, values or learning points at hand.

This is a very brief insight into how Sabre matched some issues around company values (in this case the YUM organisation).

The Yum Strike Force

Believe In All People

Encouraging and embracing diverse skills and operating styles to help make good decisions and get within opponents decision making cycles is highly valued in a military environment. What the military refers to as an O.O.D.A Loop (Observe, Orient, decide, Act) is defined by the quality of how a team projects its skills into that cycle to make it shorter and of a higher quality than an opponent. During the Strike Force such diversity and realisation that all people in the team make a difference is a constant. One person alone simply cannot get the job done here.

We Are Customer Maniacs

The military has vital concept known as the “Centre Of Gravity” (COG) construct. Your Centre of Gravity (and that of an opponent when you can identify it) is that single thing that sits at the heart of your power, ability to act, move or have freedom of movement and dominance of a Battlespace. For most successful commercial enterprises “Customer Satisfaction) is the COG. This can be referred to easily in the formatting for the event and activities.

Go For Breakthrough

The encouragement of and regular use of “initiative” to see individuals constantly seeking and stepping up to the plate for ways that they can positively and decisively influence their part of an operation is a hallmark of 21st century military thinking with far less centralised command structures, and far higher scope for empowerment, mission based command etc. In the Strike Force activities regular opportunities exist for team members to “step up” and be the catalyst for breakthrough ideas, acts or initiatives to overcome obstacles and innovate for success.

Build Know How

The value of not only identifying “Lessons Learned” from all levels of daily execution, but more importantly of actually rolling these out into real world execution, is well known to the military. Sabre has created the military 4 R’s Model that we often use during Strike Force to identify the value of honestly seeking and dealing with real learning issues (Remove rank and personality for true honesty / openness, Review honestly what we do well and what we don’t do well, Root causes need to be dug for and identified, Roll out lessons learned so that impact is made on real world execution).

Take The Hill Teamwork

Teamwork in the military is all about maintaining an open and frank environment where people can be blunt and honest with a view to be able ask a lot of one another, and be able to discuss the undiscussable to genuinely improve capability. During Strike Force the proper use of team skills to achieve genuine “Action” (that is to say real and measureable results and progress in their execution) rather than “Activity” (looks like lots happening, but actually just going in circles) is measurable in real time challenges and tasks that teams must achieve real “Action” to solve / achieve. Verbal contracts need to be followed through, as the results of not doing so are very obvious in this activity.

Recognise, Recognise, Recognise

High levels of unit morale and spirit are maintained by celebrating success, particularly in elite units as a mechanism for identifying and celebrating the success of individuals and teams who are regularly recognised and held up as examples of excellence.


Staircase of Commitment

This is reminiscent of Officer training with regards to clearly stating, documenting and committing to your intentions with the troops. The Military Appreciation process (MAP) also deals heavily with steps that allow you to define The Mission Clearly, Develop Written Plans and Commitment, Brief Others Clearly, Listen for Feedback and What If’s. Action versus ActivityThe very first “Principle of War” is the maxim “Select and Maintain The Aim”, that is, very clearly identify what it is that you are being asked to do and then constantly cross check that all of your efforts and plans are actually contributing to the attainment of that aim. Distractions that are not supporting attainment of the aim need to be spurned and time and energy devoted to those genuine “Actions” that support the Aim.

Discuss the Undiscussable

Commanders and elite units specialise in holding very open and blunt “no punches pulled” reviews and debates of previous missions to get at genuine root causes and lessons learned, and also in scoping the “What If’s” for new missions. A supportive and open environment built on trust must exist to enable commanders to have professional differences of opinion and professionally seek “Truth over harmony” without hanging on to grudges where such differences are essential to get the job done right. Bold RequestSun Tzu spoke of asking big things of your troops, and that if you do this atop of good training and giving them the right resources, they will follow you boldly into dangerous territory. Another military maxim to have in mind is “don’t ask the troops to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself”.

Military leaders daily ask big things of people and make verbal contracts that they also make sure both parties follow through upon, especially on real operations where the consequences of failing to can be dire indeed.

Take The Hill

Military commanders are always very careful to ensure that the general overall “Visions and Strategies” are not confused with the very pragmatic and detailed individual “Missions” that need to be enacted one at a time and step by step to achieve the overall strategic objective. The only way to win both the battles, and the war itself, is to have very well planned and executed “Missions” that are carefully devised and “bite sized” chunks in support of the strategy. Missions need to be specific, measurable, achievable and time lined.

bottom of page