General Merchandise/HBC

The Teamwork Cycle

S. Abraham & Sons charity bicycle-building event teaches communication, planning, more

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- In December, the S. Abraham & Sons Inc. (SAS) sales and marketing management teams came together to take part in an activity to help build teamwork and to give back to their community.

S. Abraham & Sons SAS

The first portion of the workshop focused on improving communications. The facilitator, Ellen Patnaude, from The Leader's Institute, walked the group through how to use a memory picture technique that assists with recollection. They then used these memory skills to interview another team member and to learn additional information about them.

Next, the participants in this team-building program used various bicycle parts that filled the room. Three people were selected to operate as "judges"; the remaining attendees were divided into six groups. Each team had puzzles to solve, codes to decipher and secrets to unlock in order to earn various bicycle parts from the "judges"; such as the frame, tools, handlebars, seat, pedals, helmet and other bicycle accessories. They discovered many challenges along the way. Each group held brainstorming sessions and collaboration between the groups ensured the program's success. The groups all learned that communication, and listening in particular, is a fundamental part of any endeavor. Amid the chaos, teams began to figure it out. Everyone successfully accomplished the ultimate goal of building a bicycle using their newly improved communication, planning and teamwork skills.

Once these bicycles were assembled, they were inspected to ensure its safety and proper construction of the bicycle. Representatives from a local YMCA were on hand to accept the donation of three boys-style bicycles and three girls-style bicycles to be given to a child in need as part of their Christmas giving program.

This event built camaraderie among the participants and made a difference in the lives of six children.

In addition to this charitable event, SAS coordinates four blood drives annually and donations from Friday "jeans day" go to Kids Food Basket, providing nutritious lunches for school children and the American Cancer Society.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SAS is a wholesale distributor specializing in the convenience food industry, servicing retail stores throughout the Midwest. It distributes 12,000 items to approximately 3,600 convenience store and other retail customers in nine states, from two distribution centers.

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