What are the Hercules Trophy labours 2013?

We are in the middle of selecting new labors for Middle East, Europe and USA 2013. It’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it. The mix of the right labors for a Hercules Trophy is one of these things that makes the Hercules Trophy so attractive. We have to make sure it’s safe, everybody can participate and most of all: it has to be fun and competitive in less than 15 minutes.

We organised well over 70 different labours already. It’s not always the most expensive ones that get the highest customer satisfaction by the way.

We know our fans scan the internet to be the first to find out. No guys, you’ll have to wait for the announcements. But you can definitely find clues in the next video.

And if you don’t believe that, I’ll make up something else. Smile

Have a Herculean Day!

How about putting People First in 2013?

Running a company is about creating stakeholder value. All the CEO’s in the world know that. But there are many stakeholders and is there any order? I believe in the following order:

  1. Happy employees believing in the company
  2. Produce awesome customer experiences, through great suppliers, that generate profit
  3. Of which part should be given back to society
  4. And all this will eventually create shareholder value in the long run

O yeah, before the Unions become fans of my blog post or you think I’m some kind of anti-globalist: YOU NEED ALL 4, not only the happy employees…

I’ve been in many businesses, profit and non-profit, in many sectors and I can’t find examples where the order should be different. If you do, let me know!

I’m even convinced that changing the order won’t create ANY value.

  1. Customers first? Of course listening to customers is crucial, but they are not always right and they definitely don’t have all the info at hand to give the right feedback. It needs to be interpreted by employees. Customers come second, because without them, it’s impossible to make any money.
  2. Society first? Without profit, you shouldn’t give back. It would be ridiculous and very short-term. 
  3. Shareholders first? I guess we all saw the effect of that in the past years. However, shareholders are crucial. I’ve been in business with good ones and bad ones. The good ones invest for the long run and help to push the company forward. The good ones believe in the order above.

Through my work at Special Olympics I’m even more convinced that people and volunteers come first. You first need a great team that believes in the project, you then need “customers” buying into the project and then you can start giving back to people with an Intellectual Disability. And that’s what will make the Board very happy.

Here’s an inspiring video on the volunteers, the employees, of the Olympic Games 2012 in London.

Every company will probably say they put their people first. But do they actually? We have a great barometer for you: the Hercules Trophy. It’s all about Employer Branding and if you don’t understand that, you probably don’t understand the order above. On one day we can easily tell which ones care and which ones don’t.

God, help me :-)

Love the picture below. O yeah, for the record, after a test by the Hercules Academy I’ve moved from being ENFJ to ENTJ and Inge moved from ENFP to ENTP. Close call, but it looks like the profiles match us more in this stage of our life. Guess we have to change our company from ENF United to ENT United now Smile  So God, help me slow downand not rushthroughwhatIdoAmen! (easy for you to say God, you’re not on a business tour around the world in 13 days)

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/304053_2489078303984_1205680563_n.jpg

Thanks for sharing this Koen Blanquart.

Are we cute or what?

We just released the official after movie of Hercules Trophy 2012 in Belgium. Great to see all these happy faces. Soon we will launch the 2013 editions. I promise you: we’ll set the new Olympic record in our industry. You’ll be surprised!

Sports for all

Last week one of the Hercules Trophy contestants told me what she liked the most: “I was so scared before the Trophy, but after half an hour I experienced that anybody could compete! I didn’t need to be scared at all! I joined the competition with people I work with on a daily basis, not a team of top athletes. And you know what: we had a blast and ended higher than expected. However, it was all about having fun! The party and the connection with other contestants was amazing! It was more important to participate than to win.

I love to hear that, because that’s the whole point!

So now you understand why I’m such a fan of Special Olympics? Because they do exactly the same thing. Sports for all people with an intellectual disability, regardless of “level”. It’s not about cheating. It’s not about egos. It’s about the love for sports. The love for people. It’s about uniting people through sports. It’s about fun. It’s about making people better through sports.

UnifiedLast Saturday we did a great experiment: a Special Olympics Unified Team competed for the first time in the Hercules Trophy. They had a blast and did the most crazy sports!!! And you know what? They never trained with the “partners” who played with them: some fabulous MBA’s from the Antwerp Management School.

Hercules Trophy supports Special Olympics through the Herculix Foundation. On Christmas Evening, we will anounce “The Kindest Team”. That’s the team who raised the most funds through their teampage. Thanks Ammado for the great support!

Improve Camaraderie

2 weeks after an amazing Hercules Trophy in Dubai I’m sitting at the airport after a follow-up day with our team in Munich. It’s true what they say about Germans…

Before you start your weekend, you should first end your hectic week with a funny video.

Time to talk a bit about “camaraderie”. This word popped up in our 10sec pitch a few years ago. It’s probably one of the most important words that characterizes the Hercules Trophy and many people don’t understand why it’s so important within business teams.

Camaraderie is crucial to build great teams. If you don’t connect on an emotional level, you won’t achieve smashing results together. Believe me, people won’t go the extra mile for your company, no matter how much bonuses you promised them. A few weeks ago I met a funny manager at a reception who said: “We don’t celebrate great results of teams. We pay our people more than enough.” He was serious. Hope he reads my blog and sees how shocking this statement is.

Gostick and Elton talk about 11 areas to focus on to build camaraderie in your business teams. It’s amazing to see that Hercules Trophy actually helps in EVERY single area!?!

  • shared experiences: a lot of experiences on one day
  • shared symbols: participants are proud to defend company colors
  • shared challenges: a lot of hurdles and milestone on one day
  • shared rewards: everybody’s a winner, we all celebrate like never before
  • personal balance: Hercules Trophy takes you outside the business environment
  • shared voice: no-brainer
  • shared skills: you learn a lot about each other on one day, after one hour the curtains are gone
  • shared competitors: o yes, you’ll meet a lot of them on one day
  • shared fun: not too much Smile
  • shared environment: yep
  • shared relationships: check

Gostick and Elton give great tips to work on every single area. I have one tip: join the Hercules Trophy with your team and you’ll work on every single one of them on one day!!!

Dear funny manager, if people really are your biggest assets, as you tell them in your yearly evaluation chat, INVEST in them to get a higher RETURN. It’s a pretty simple equation to so many of you just don’t understand. Try it, you’ll be amazed!

So that was the secret mission

Those who follow me on Twitter know that for weeks now I’ve been preparing for a new and exciting mission.

The Special Olympics Summer Games 2014 are coming to Antwerp and I will take the role of CMO (Chief Marcom Officer). In the next days and weeks I will create a dream team of professionals who will work on this exciting mission for the next 3 years. As I will remain President and CEO of Hercules Trophy I will divide me time between both challenges.

Why I’m so excited? How many reasons do you need? For me, the video below was crucial to understand I want to be part of Special Olympics.

Special Olympics

In 2007, Special Olympics Belgium with the assistance of McKinsey and company developed a bid document to bring the games to Belgium. They succeeded. In September 2014 the Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia Games will come to Belgium for 9 days. Special Olympics specifically target athletes with a intellectual disabilities. Antwerp, one of the 22 Olympic cities, will host the event for 2,000 athletes and their delegations from 57 countries. More than 4,000 volunteers will help to make the multi-sport event unique and unseen.

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

  • “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”, that’s the Special Olympics athlete oath.
  • “Everyone can be a hero”, says Herculix.
  • All sports for all people. This is surely a phrase that people will consider foolishly utopian. That prospect troubles me not at all. I have pondered and studied it at length, and know that it is correct and possible.”, said Pierre de Coubertin.
  • “Sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” That’s what Nelson Mandela taught us. At Hercules Trophy, we use this statement to make people understand the value of sports for teambuilding.

Understand why I’m so excited about this?

I hope we can make you all fans of Special Olympics in the years to come.

Fans of Special Olympics

 

You can find the press release here.

Individual sport vs team sport

Dubai MarathonMarathons, 20 miles, 10 miles, 1 mile,  Ekiden, mountainbike races, climbing mountains on a bicycle, triathlons, golfevents… I just love it when people participate in sporty challenges for individuals!!!

Going to sportevents, cheering for your teams, inviting customers in business seats: again, great stuff!

I love endorphins. I love people who try to stay healthy. I love people who train for a sport event. I love people who love sports. I love companies who see the value of wellbeing for their employees!

BUT. Sometimes you see fancy marketers trying to sell these events as “team building”. Please guys, give me a break and stop doing that because you are overpromising and under delivering. Team dynamics is much more than a bunch of individuals performing well in sports or watching sports together. Stick to your core business and that is: organising sport events for sporty individuals or for people who are interested in sports. And you are doing a great job by the way.

If you really want to start building a team,  this requires at least 5 people achieve something together.

No, not the 5 best runners of your company you selected and trained to win a race

No, not the 11 people you selected to form a football team for your company

No, not the top notch CxO’s who play golf with customers

…but 5 people who work with each other on a daily basis, all have their strengths and weaknesses, and are in the teambuilding activity together with a chance to win something because they are an awesome team.

Not everybody loves sport in a way all these individual athletes do (the world would be a boring place wouldn’t it?), but sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does! You feel the important difference? If you really want to organise a sporty teambuilding, EVERYBODY should be able to participate and everybody should be able to win!

You don’t have to believe me, as I’m only in the teamsport industry for 12 years Glimlach.

By the way, I think team building is not the best word for it. Improving team dynamics is probably a better one. I like even more “Improving Wellbeing of Teams”, but for a lot of people that’s still a bit difficult to grasp.

Look at how the famous Six Sigma describes team building, but I think it’s originally coming from Tuckman. Read the text and try to find the individual athlete in there…

There are five typical stages in the team building process. Each team passes through these stages as they start and proceed through the project. The various phases of the team building process are as follows: Forming, Storming,Norming,Performing and Adjourning.

The first stage in the team building process is called the Forming stage. In this stage the team comes together and begins to formulate roles and responsibilities. The team leader is identified and he/she starts directing the team and assigning responsibilities to other team members. Most team members at this stage are generally enthusiastic and motivated by a desire to be accepted within the team. The leader employs a directive style of management which includes – delegating responsibility within the team, providing a structure to the team, and determining processes needed for the smooth functioning of the team. Towards the end of this phase the team achieves a commitment to the project and an acceptance towards a common purpose.

The second phase in the team building process is called the Storming stage. As suggested by the name itself, in this stage conflicts start to arise within the team. It is responsibility of the team leader to coach and conciliate the team. Team members often struggle over responsibilities and control within the project. The leader employs a coaching style of management which is reflected through facilitating change, managing conflict, and mediating understanding between different parties. Towards the end of this phase, team members learn to voice disagreement openly and constructively while staying focused on common objectives and areas of agreement.

The third stage in the team building process is called the Norming Stage. In this stage, relationships gel and the team develops a unified commitment towards the project goal. The team leader promotes the team and participates actively in the team activities. Team members look up to the leader to clarify their understanding as some leadership roles begin to shift within the lower rungs of the group. The leader employs a participatory style of management through facilitating change, working to build consensus, and overseeing quality control. Towards the end of this phase, team members accept individual responsibilities and work out agreements about team procedures.

The next stage in the team building process is called the Performing stage. In this stage, team members manage complex tasks and work toward the common goals of the project. The team leader supervises and lets the team lead the project on more or less an automated mode. This is the most productive stage for the project team. The leader employs a supervisory style of management through overseeing progress, rewarding achievement, and supervising process. When the project has been successfully completed or when the end is in sight, the team moves into the final stage.

The last stage of team building is called the Adjourning stage. In this stage, the project is winding down and the goals are within reach. The team leader provides feedback to the team. During this stage, team members are dealing with their impending separation from the team. The leader employs a supportive style of management by giving feedback, celebrating accomplishments, and providing closure.

You will notice that each stage of team, the team leader needs to adopt a different style of leadership. It is therefore important for a leader to understand these stages and identify the current stage that a team is undergoing. The success of the team depends on how well the leader can guide them through these phases.

I wish you all a Herculean Day!

Rugby will be big in Brazil

Since the Rio 2016 Olympics announcement, Brazil started a campaign to promote other sports most unkown for Brazilians. Just like Rugby. Those broadcasted nationwide are quite funny.

Thought it would be great to share them with you before the start of the weekend.

Brazillian Rugby Funny Ads

 

Follow the Rugby Worldcup in New Zealand here http://www.rugbyworldcup.com