The company offers a range of custom-made programs to fit clients’ needs
BlueSky Team Building has been around since 2001, with a mandate of promoting lasting organizational change by developing effective leaders and creating healthy teams. “We started as the only organization doing recreational programs for school going teams and corporates in the Kenyan market and east Africa at large,” recalls Michael Maina, programs director at BlueSky.
Recreational programs and activities entail learning by doing through various programs. According to Maina, BlueSky uses ‘Experiential Learning Cycle’, a well-practiced tool that has been tested and proved working in the rest of the world. The company uses obstacle courses to bring out the practical aspect of it.
In the same vein, BlueSky was the only one doing team development back then, such as the use of challenge courses.
“This is where we saw a need that existed in the market, and in 2008, BlueSky Adventures was formed. It incorporated three main arms: team building, camp, and climb,” says Maina.
Team building is an arm that deals with team development, from a personal, to a corporate, and to a company growth perspective. These improve work performance and relational interaction among employees.
The programs range from half-day programs, to one-day programs, to several-days programs depending on the teams need.
Climbing gym is the newest baby at BlueSky. Launched in 2012, it is the only indoor rock climbing gym in east and Central Africa. “The idea behind climb stemmed from the need to create a space where indoor and outdoor rock climbing can also be practiced by the local people.”
Over and beyond, it is used as a recreational space. It helps people to challenge themselves as individuals, friends or as a team that wants to tackle some of the greatest hurdles such as mistrust or miscommunication, and work on its fundamental core of existence.
The company’s team development facilitators are internationally trained under a body called ACCT (Association For Challenge Course Training). It is an American certification body that governs the use of programs on recreational facilities across four continents of the world.
“The beauty of our programs is that they are follow-up programs. They are a buildup of where you left from,” offers Maina. Having that model in place, promises growth, not only from a personal perspective, but also from a productivity view of the organization
BlueSky targets corporates, schools, churches, NGOs, ministries, Embassies, or any other given person who has a need of elevating the status quo of where they are to become more effective and create an impact in an organization setting.
So far, the company has made an impact on over 1,000 organizations and in a city of over 3 million people.
At BlueSky, programs are customized to meet the needs of every client. “Through our needs assessment, we determine the type of programs to build for each client,” says Maina. The needs assessment is a simple evaluation of what the client actually needs. On top of that, the company goes ahead to find out more what the client really wants in order to build an effective program.
This stems from the understanding that compromising on the quality of service kills the client’s productivity.
“We also have different models that have been used by very successful organizations.” They include the S.E.R.V.E Model and the High Performing Teams Model. BlueSky brings these into perspective and match them in an experiential way.
Why organizations should engage in team building activities
BlueSky believes that all play with no work makes Jack an ineffective boy, something they refer to as sharpening of the soul, adapted from a book called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
Investing in team building increases organizational productivity. It helps to rejuvenate employees’ working skills, enhances their working relations, their personality (why people behave the way they behave), besides strengthening the mission and vision of an organization.
Maina however reveals that some organizations do not understand the importance of investing on their staff. This is one of the major challenges facing the industry.
In spite of this, BlueSky has created an impact over the many years it has been in operation.
“Over the course of the years, we have brought on board many individuals, who we have sharpened their practitioner skills. These people have in turn established their own ventures.”
Being ahead of the curve, the company promises to continue providing tangible results for its clients. “We will continue impacting more people and make them more productive.” To achieve this, BlueSky will continue coming up with more challenge courses, and put the theoretical aspect of experiential learning into practice.