HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Dec. 12, 2005

Clinic staff builds bicycles, teamwork

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The Cokato Allina Clinic staff were busy building bikes and learning teamwork last Monday for a teamwork exercise.

Cindy Rick, the clinic manager attended a leadership conference last year and brought back the idea of building bikes blindfolded for an exercise to “build teamwork within the clinic and get to know colleagues better,” Rick explained.

“When we work as a team, we can benefit our patients better,” Rick said.

There were two groups set up with two people blindfolded on each team. The other teammates were giving instructions on how to build the bikes.

The only teammates who could touch the bike or the tools were the ones blindfolded.

Both teams were given a “disgruntled teammate” they were unaware of, who was hard to work with and preferred to do things their own way.

This teammate was meant to make it more difficult for the persons blindfolded to put the bike together, as well as allowing the team to take the necessary steps to make them cooperate. For example, the team could give them the choice to “get on board or lose their job,” Rick said.

The team had 60 minutes to build the bike and make sure it was put together properly.

Bob Tanner from Bikes by Bob in Litchfield, along with son, Kris, supervised the bike building and made sure they were assembled properly. The completely assembled bikes would then be donated to Toys for Tots.

After the bikes were assembled, the teams were to reflect on questions such as, “What can I focus on, continue growing in, or change to demonstrate courage and inspire high performance in my workplace?”

“They learned it takes courage to try something different and to trust in someone else,” Rick said.

“They got to know their co-workers better and interact in a different setting,” she continued.

The exercise not only was to help build teamwork throughout the clinic, but it was also a fun activity. “We do need to take time to have fun at our jobs,” Rick said.

The money to purchase the bikes was from the clinic’s “casual Friday” fund, in which Friday’s employees can wear jeans for a dollar.

The money is then used or distributed for a good cause.

In the past, the money raised from “casual Friday” was used to buy Christmas gifts to a deserving family in the community.

The employees had a good time with this exercise and hope to do something similar in the future, she said.

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