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The Trial and the Tribes Challenge, 2000


MAY 19 - MAY 21

Interaction have the interesting and somewhat challenging task of organising the Bacon & Woodrow Trial of the Tribes 2000. Although Interaction are known primarily for training and developmental consultancy, they have been asked to design and stage a weekend extravaganza that will be lots of fun but also communicate more serious messages about the B & W change strategy.

Interaction are involved in a number of training and development activities with B&W and organised a similar event for them 2 years ago. Paula Cook, Personnel Director for B & W explains why she chose Interaction, "We chose Interaction because they understand our business, our culture and our vision. We share a very similar perspective on developing and investing in people which has matured over the years into an exciting and productive partnership."

The 1998 Challenge was a great success. In fact, it is still something of a talking point and served to loosen up the life of the actuary! The Bristol B & W team won that year and are eagerly awaiting this year’s event, Tim Lunn, Associate in the Bristol Office enthuses, "The 1998 event was terrific ....Our training this year has been a well kept secret, but we’re up for it again."

His colleague who is a Partner in the Bristol office, Simon St.Leger-Harris said he had been very disappointed to miss the 1998 event. But he's convinced this year's will be as good as he has worked with Interaction on two other projects and even admits to cribbing some of interaction's brilliant ideas for his local scout troop. "We’ve all been fitness training, but all attempts to find out the precise nature of this year’s activities have drawn blanks. Some are concentrating on what it takes to bribe a marshal, but overall there is an eager buzz of anticipation as the weekend draws near."

Interaction came up with the idea of a tribal theme because it offered great potential for fun - each team will be creating their own tribal costume, with a prize for the best - and also it provided a relevant analogy for corporate life. With many organisations operating like competing tribes, the challenge is cleverly structured to inspire participants to move on from a competitive 'tribal' mentality to co-operate and develop a sense of inter-dependant community. This directly mirrors the change initiatives that are taking place within Bacon & Woodrow, to encourage employees to develop greater multidisciplinary team working.

Organising the Trial of The Tribes is no mean feat. Interaction have a dedicated team of ten who have been working for over 12 months to create an experience that will be etched in the history of B & W. The entire village of Castleton has been taken over for the weekend and will be witness to, well I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but let’s just say that there might be a few raised eyebrows.
Interaction are experiencing rapid growth, with this event one of the larger of 5 new projects already started this year. The client base has expanded too, with 3 new clients on board since January 2000. It will be interesting to see where the company will go from here as the Trial of the Tribes Challenge has inspired Interaction to set up a new business, JollySerious headed by Simon Maddison, senior member of the Challenge 2000 team. The new company will focus solely on organising and staging company events that are fun, creative and impart more serious corporate messages. It has involved restructuring the company, with Interaction and JollySerious becoming subsidiaries of a new holding company, OtherGroup Ltd.

"It is a very exciting time for us," comments Richard Emerson, MD of Interaction, "we are experiencing huge growth and the new business, JollySerious promises yet more, with many companies realising the value of intelligent, creative events that enthuse as well as communicate with their people. We are looking forward to this year’s Challenge and in the months leading up to the event there is a great sense of anticipation and, in the weeks following it, the stories flow and e-mails buzz. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the positive effects the event has had on the entire firm."

So let the games begin.....


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