Why Introduce Our Himalayan Outbound Programme To Your Workplace
Here’s a unique leadership and team building program for companies and B-schools. IIM has been a part of it for 9 years, it’s time more companies look into it.
The Himalayan Mountain Challenge is an innovative experience that integrates experiential learning with trekking in the mountains.
In the outdoors, trekkers are out of their comfort zones. They are forced to confront situations and overcome challenges, usually every minute by the hour. Overcoming these challenges as a team results in learning that no textbook or simulated situation can impart.The program, spread over 6 day, provides real time scenarios where students develop, demonstrate, and practice real life management skills. These are life skills which are essential in the everyday workplace.
There are 4-5 teams competing in this challenge. The expedition is to trek to the summit and back. This takes 4 days. On the way up and down teams camp for 3 nights and take care of every aspect of the trek — from planning the trek, overcoming its physicality, cooking their food, resolving conflicts, taking care of uncertainties, maintaining discipline, showing leadership and learning how to work together.
The Indiahikes Team assists the expedition teams from a distance, ensuring safety, guiding the teams, conducting everyday reflections, setting out tasks, but without interfering with the core functioning of the teams.
Teams have to run their expedition under these four guidelines.
There are two essential themes of the program.
1. Planning and executing their own expedition: This is the main aspect of the program. Teams plan, strategize and execute all aspects of the expedition. Cooperation within the team, involvement of all team members, and focus on the 3 goals are essential.
2. Documenting the teams’ efforts to trek with the 4 criteria in mind: Each team needs to come up with a detailed document about how they went about organising their trek. This will be used as a reference document for future trekking teams.
The team that completes their expedition with the highest points earned is the winner of the challenge.
In the mountains, lots of basic things are uncertain and resources scarce. Strategizing and competing in such an environment fosters a high degree of individual learning and team cooperation. Further, the various aspects of running an expedition helps teams learn management lessons in action.
Each challenge that the team faces has an underlying real life management lesson built in. Without any conscious lecturing, teams reinforce their ability to strategize, plan, budget, manage resources, and execute operations.
While incorporating these valuable lessons, students also develop their ability to work in a team. All trek related operations are done in teams. This helps build their leadership capacity and improve their communication skills. In the process their ability to work together, overcome conflicts is greatly enhanced.
“I do believe the program changed each and every student’s outlook and I’m sure it changed their lives. It took them out of their comfort zones. Literally. We are not talking about a hypothetical situation. The conditions were hard . I believe they will remember this and they will carry it forward when they go into corporate life. And at some point they will say ‘hey I have done harder things than this’ and that’s where I think the change will actually come.”
“The Mountain Challenge part of this (programme) is what has added a whole new dimension to the experience of trekking. I see this as a beautiful way of enabling learning by fun. The level of enthusiasm and competitive spirit was beyond comparison. It’s nothing that we could have matched with in our academic curriculum. Above all, it was a totally new surrounding. They learnt to be eco conscious. We collected some 50 kg of trash. For the first time that people were treasuring the trash! It was a great feeling.”