High Performance Mining Teams
Working at a gas plant is different to most other workplaces. The site is remote, the weather can be extreme and people work 12 hour shifts for two weeks. Teamwork is essential for productivity, morale and safety.
The High Performance Teams (HPT) session is based around five fundamental characteristics. Each function is matched to an activity to highlight and reinforce its importance. This program was recently conducted in remote outback Queensland with operators at two CSG plants. The program is interactive, practical and built on the training that was conducted at the sites last year.
ACE is now pleased to offer corporate entertainment for a conference break or during dinner. Justin McGinley is a talented performer that can entertain and delight your delegates with a comedic performance that involves circus skills and audience participation.
Winners are Grinners
Congratulations to all the teams that participated in this special Christmas Trivia night at the superb RACV Club in the Melbourne CBD. The winning team deserved their victory for the musical knowledge, their comaraderie and their ability to 'shake their groove thing'.
Killer Smurfs Almost Cause Upset
This Team Survivor Challenge conducted at the Tree Tops Scout Camp in Riddells Creek was memorable for all the right reasons. Four teams created and broke alliances during a day of mental and physical challenges. The Smurfs team flew under the radar and almost stole victory in a dramatic final twist at Tribal Council. They definitely deserve a prize for their artwork.
Risk taking and comfort zones
Getting out of your comfort zone can be a little scary but also a lot of fun. At a recent conference we conducted four different activities to provide an opportunity for delegates to learn a new skill and feel the exhiliration of undertaking a creative activity. The four activities involved rock climbing, painting, circus skills and dancing. The goal was to provide a 'flow' experience in which time appears to stand still as the mind and body are fully immersed in the moment.
Trivia Champions in the Kloud
The brand new RACV Resort in Torquay was the venue for a very special Trivia Challenge. Seven teams from Kloud Software showcased their talents and memory for the obscure in a memorable night. It was also the unofficial launch of the local ACE Branch in Torquay. The winning team celebrated long into the night with their magnificent Champions Trophy.
Strategic Team Development
ACE sessions are designed to be fun but also provide an opportunity for teams to reflect on how teamwork could be improved back at work. An activity called Projectivity allows small groups to prioritise the most important items on the Team Wheel in terms of their levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The results are discussed and action can be taken to improve problem areas.
The Brown Brothers Annual Conference takes themed dress ups to a level seldom seen. At this year's conference, the Thriller team won the award for Best Costumes. It was an incredible conference with too many highlights to mention.
ACE Race for Charity
Twenty four teams competed in an ACE Race for charity throughout the Melbourne CBD. Teams had two hours to compete as many challenges as possible within a two hour time frame. The destinations involved some of Melbourne's best attractions including the Chill On Ice Bar, the Eureka Tower and the National Gallery of Victoria. It was a close race with each team competing on behalf of their favourite charity.
Respect, Fear and Awe
The Survivor Team introductions are suppose to inspire fear, respect and admiration amongst competing teams. Competitors were treated to something special at this recent session conducted prior to breakfast at the Aitken Hill Conference Centre. One competitor defied the laws of physics to inspire his team and delight his opponents.
Cultural Shift Towards Collaboration
Each year approximtely 300 Biomedical students at Monash University are involved in a Transition program to foster collaboration, teamwork and problem solving. First year students participate in the program to set the scene for the rest of their degree. The program highlights the importance of collaboration, tewamwork and information sharing which is particularly important to people involved in the field of medical research. The program has been running for eight years and involves a range of activities designed to encourage teamwork both within and across teams.
Inspiring Architecture at the Mansion
The Mansion Hotel at Werribee park boasts superb architecture and magnifient outdoor grounds for corporate team building. These facilities provided a perfect setting and some design inspiration for four teams involved in the Project Apricot team session.
Survivor - Spring Racing
This memorable Team Survivor session was conducted in the picturesque Hepburn Springs park near Daylesford. Four teams endured the heat and competed in a range of fun activities. A special addition to this event was the inclusion of a new activity called the Spring Racing Carnival. Teams were required to navigate to four mineral springs solve a puzzle and then drink a glass of the famous water.
Madd Cup Fooz Ball
There was action, high scoring and many highlights in the Grand Final of the Fooz Ball World Cup conducted at the magnificent Silverwater Resort. The staff at Madd Gear are high energy, creative and like to push fun to new limits...just like their products
Casino Royale Game Show
The Casino Royale Game Show is the newest ACE evening event. It combines James Bond trivia with a themed dress up, trivia, movies and diabolical challenges. It was fitting that the inaugural event took place at the glamorous Crown Casino. It was a fantastic night of spies, Bond girls, evil masterminds and henchmen.
I Will Survive wins again
The Dancing with the Staff activity requires fantastic teamwork, choreography, costumes and showmanship. Twelve teams battled on the dance floor during a sensational night at the Wangaratta Gateway Hotel. Congratulations to the magnificent and unforgettable performance from the Priscilla team for winning Best Team Performance.
Kaos wins Spy Race Around the World
The Spy Race Around the World conducted for Life Technologies at the Crowne Plaze, Torquay pitted all the world's most famous spy agencies against each other in a themed race around the globe. Eventually the cream rose to the surface and Kaos triumphed narrowly defeating the CIA and ASIO.
World Exclusive: Launch of Bingo A Go Go
Q. What happens whenyou have experienced all the ACE evening events but you still want more?
A. Just ask ACE to design a new activity.
Bingo A Go Go is a fast paced combination of trivia, impersonations, games, music and videos. This new event was designed for the fun team at Sacs Consulting who have experienced all the ACE events to date. Perhaps we had better start designing something for their conference next year.
Psychotic Viking Cameo Steals Show
Lindenderry was the venue for the AGR Director's Cut Movie Making session and Film Festival. Audiences are still talking about the acting ability of the Managing Director of AGR who performed four amazing cameos. Versatility was required as some of his characters included a smoking oil rig worker, a psychotic Viking and a Jazz singer.
Damsels in Distress
Q. Why are four damsels being tied to the train tracks by the caped villain?
A. You will have to watch the film made by the Leadership team at the YMCA when it comes to a cinema near you.
Most Hollywood film directors would agree that making an entertaining and educational film requires skills in many areas including leadership, planning, creativity and decision making. These skills plus many more were explored, discussed and developed during the three Leadership programs conducted with the YMCA.
NAB Stars Shine Bright
The stars shone so bright that you had to look away during the recent Star Factory - After Dark evening conducted at the Grange at Cleveland winery. This popular day time activity has proved its versatility with companies such as the National Australia Bank, Enspire, Bendigo Bank and Charter Mason.
Was that Dame Edna making an appearance at one of the celebrity after parties?
ACE - now fun for all the family!
Take 100 consultants.Add 100 spouses and partners. Now throw in 100 children aged from 2 months to 16 years and what do you get?
One hell of a fantastic ACE program! Our brief for the SMS weekend retreat at Lorne was for the sessions to be as entertaining and engaging for the families as they were for the conference delegates. And thanks to multiple programs including the ACE Race and ACE mini Olympics (featuring everything from wandering street performers to venomous snakes!) everyone left on a high. No doubt there was plenty of family discussion on the drive home!
With KPMG, bigger IS better.
With the first KPMGgraduate induction program 5 years ago, ACE stretched our resources to accommodate nearly 300 people. 'Wow' we thought...'It doesn't get any bigger than this!' Leap ahead to 2008 and things just keep getting bigger - and better! This year we topped it all to simultaneously engage 560 eager young professionals across dual Project Apricots and 4 ACE Races. It was our biggest day ever and, thanks to ACE and KPMG staff, hugely successful. In fact it ran so smoothly we think next year we can handle the ton!
Dunlop gets amazing.
No one quite knew whatto expect when they bolted from the starting line at the Dunlop Foam ACE Race at Aitken Hill last month. But after racing to beat the other teams in everything from boot camp and yoga, to rock climbing and fairy stories, there were plenty of amazed racers crossing the finish line. Even Mary the Fairy flew out on a high - amazed at the enthusiasm and spirit of the Dunlop crew as they competed in this fun and entertaining adventure.
Not just life on Mars - talent too!
When Orson Welles spokeof the horror of an invasion from Mars in the 1930's, he clearly knew nothing of Mars' undiscovered talent! ACE held a spectacular night time talent extravaganza to help showcase the brilliance of the crew from Mars at Aitken Hill recently, with stellar performances all around. There was the weird, the wonderful and the totally out-of-this-world but nothing remotely alien in sight.
What's fast, furious and more fun than a sack of monkeys?* It's Dancing With The Stars - ACE style! Skin care supremos Private Formula started the year with our highly entertaining version of the TV show, and the legal team from ANZ have just finished a dance off more ferocious than any legal battle they've encountered! Our version combines solid experiences in creative teamwork and problem solving with all the energy and excitement of a live show. Who knew that stepping out of your comfort zone and onto the dance floor could be so much fun? You'll be glad to know that host big mike - as Daryl - is equally annoying - but in a good way! *ACE advises against putting monkeys in a sack.
From little things, big things grow.
It is an immutable law of the universe that the cycle of growth starts small: the big bang, the massive oak from a tiny seed if you will. That's why ACE is more than a little scared about just where Project Apricot is heading! What began as an exercise conducted across a conference table has expanded to include half a tonne of equipment dozens of staff and a cast of hundreds - with a race track replacing the table. Witness KPMG circa 2006 - more than 500 graduates working on ACE's Project Apricot (a complex team building business game) excitedly, collaboratively, triumphantly across nearly 30 teams towards a common goal. Who would have thought such a feat possible 10 years ago and just how big will it be in 10 years time? Note to self: must re-read Einstein on whether the universe is expanding or contracting.
Fire your advertising agency!
How many organizations are simply throwing away money on advertising when they have the dynamic, creative people - visionaries every one - working right under their noses? It was a question ACE set out to address with some of the big banks recently, as we put them through our Director's Cut movie making activity. We provide a briefing, a vision and some props, then simply hand them a video camera - and what we discovered will shock you!
NAB, ANZ and many other organizations are literally overflowing with creativity, marketing savvy and pure, unadulterated genius! Sure itâs a fun, engaging way to explore some serious concepts, and there is a little editing involved. But the short films produced by the various teams from these organizations give testament to their skills. Now, if they could just get someone to fill in for their day jobs.
Oongala Ooongala feels better now.
The great God Oongala Oongala has presided over many a hard fought team building session, but none have left him feeling in such fine form as the short, fun and energetic session at Aitken Hill recently. He may look angry, but inside he's as happy as the Medibank Private team. With that kind of passion and enthusiasm, no wonder they all feel so good!
Spring Fashion springs into the Springs
Not a horse in sight, just plenty of fashion victims (and their vanquishers!) at KPMG's Music Trivia Extravaganza night held at Hepburn Springs during the Melbourne Spring Racing carnival.We can assure you that all accounts were in order and the only betting was on who would take home the champion's trophy. Although only one team emerged from the fun, festive evening as the champs, all agreed that trivia and high fashion were the real winners on the night.
Danger! Wayne Kerr on site!
It was warm, genuine smiles all round as the Australian Bureau of Statistics confronted, cajoled and (eventually) impressed Mr Wayne Kerr, the self-congratulatory 'client' from the ACE business game Project Apricot. Wayne dropped by to add a few challenging dimensions on a surprise visit during our tailored experiential exercise for the ABS Leadership program at Lancemore Hill. Sadly, Wayne was unable to stay for dinner?could that be the real reason everyone is smiling?
Baby, You're a Star
Imagine cramming 230 Commonwealth Bank high flyers into one hotel in the heart of Sydney and then forcing them to work collaboratively across multiple rooms and floors using lifts, stairs, phones and walky-talkies. Add to that the madness of Project Apricot: one of the most deviously intricate and mind-boggling business games ACE have ever devised and you'd be as impressed as we were at the stellar performance of the CBA Star Forum team. From the black hole of confusion emerged a shining example of heavenly teamwork. (pun count = 5)
Financial Quid Pro Quo
And we thought balancing the ACE books was difficult! Our recent outings with some of Australia 's leading financial institutions has given us a little more perspective on the heady world of finance. After ongoing work with NAB, ANZ, BT and CBA, ACE have mastered the use of acronyms ? and gained some valuable financial advice (cut costs, increase profitability!) ? while simultaneously helping build better teamwork, improving communication and adding a whole lot of fun. Roll on tax time!
A 'Dream' start to the year!
The Dream Team - a new and highly innovative ACE team building activity - was successfully launched at the start of the year. A fun, creative, multi-faceted and hugely entertaining team exercise, The Dream Team highlights the benefits of collaboration, is suitable for groups of up to 50 delegates and can be conducted at any venue.
Bigger IS better!
ACE were back at Stadium Australia, Sydney, to kick start the year - new, improved and 30% larger. No, it's not an ad for breakfast cereal, it was the National Graduate Induction program for KPMG. After kicking some goals (and learning a few tricks) with 300 delegates at last year's conference, we're happy to report that this year's 375 graduates firmly endorsed the event as an outstanding success. I wonder if we can FILL the stadium next year?!
Puttin on the Ritz
You would be forgiven for mistaking Flowerdale Estate for the scene of a Gatsby-esque party had you been there a few months ago. ACE ran a four day conference for Private Formula International that was nothing short of theatrical! A great start to the year, it had everything a good party needs including a red carpet awards night, conga lines, fashion parades, wine, women and song and dancing all night long. On top of that, the company actually managed to engage in some important work and strategic planning ? with style, of course!
When the going gets tough
If a change is as good as holiday, the recent MAB conference at stunning Aitken Hill must have left the delegates relaxed beyond comprehension! Asked to design an experience that was both physically and mentally challenging, ACE wove water, rock, trees, paint and the vast grounds of Aitkin Hill into an afternoon session to highlight the value of teamwork, creative thinking and strategic planning. MAB braved sunny conditions and a warm wind to spend the afternoon rock climbing, orienteering, canoeing and problem-solving team activities. Come to think of it, as they triumphantly headed back for well-earned showers, they DID look pretty? relaxed!
Looking for miracle cures
Finding a cure for cancer may well take a miracle but it will also take great teamwork and collaboration. In looking to the future of medicine and research, 100 scientists and biochemists from Mayne Pharma participated in a very successful ACE business game to learn how to improve collaboration within their division. Let's hope their huge success in the field of team building leads to even greater success in the lab.
Whoever dies with the most toys, wins!
ACE were able to unveil some of our new technological wizardry over three memorable rainforest sessions for Siemens Hearing Instruments.
After overcoming a few airline hiccups on the way to Brisbane , the sessions ran with a lot of pizzazz and without a hitch ? thanks to our shiny new Apple G4 Powerbook and some new high-powered DVD presentations. As it turns out, Whoever dies with the most toys, wins is not just for T-shirts and coffee cups!
We're singing in the rain!
As luck would have it, when Melbourne experienced its greatest rainfall in recorded history, ACE were right in the middle of the deluge on the way to Werribee ? one of the worst hit areas. As roads disappeared, cars were swamped and traffic became a soggy nightmare with the freeway at a standstill for tens of kilometres. Thankfully (and with a little ingenuity!) an impromptu mission control centre was set up to guide delegates to the higher ground in the back streets of Werribee. All arrived at the Mansion Hotel a little damp but safely and (mostly) on time.
Creative, Crazy Conferences!
The genius and innovation of ACE clients never ceases to amaze us. Take the recent Private Formula International conference at the Country Place for example. (see feature on our favourite venues for more on The Country Place). This fantastic 3 day event covered everything from indoor training, movie making and outdoor activities to demonstrations, karaoke and a fancy dress murder mystery evening. We even managed to slip in a winery tour and a make over!
On an equally inspiring note, ACE facilitated a very enjoyable multi day business banking conference for Bendigo Bank. Of interest was the quality of key presenters, particularly an inspirational address by CEO Rob Hunt
All Conferences Great and Small
Over 300 KPMG graduates were involved in the biggest, most complicated business game that ACE have ever organised, which took place in and around the Sydney Olympic Stadium. Buoyed by the lack of concern shown by QANTAS baggage handlers over the 250 kg of equipment we took on the plane, ACE vow that next year will be even bigger! From one end of the wedge to the other, ACE's smallest conference for the year was held in Sydney recently. Four senior managers from L3 Communications embarked on a two day strategic planning conference at the Stamford Hotel in Sydney. Dan was happy to report that, unlike KPMG, learning delegate's names wasn't a problem.
Sisters are doing it for themselves
Testosterone was at an all time low at recent conferences with Flight Centre, Enjo and Private Formula International, with most of the delegates being women. While there were subtle differences in behaviour over, say, all-male conference groups, there was nothing subtle about the ongoing success of these three companies. Dan and Mike - token males at the events - were even inspired to try a skin rejuvenation cream with, I can report, positive results.
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