Integrity. Teamwork. Guts. Passion. Fun.
In such a large and significant organisation as the Ministry of Health Holdings (MOHH), these are some of the core values gumming all of the members of the MOHH family together and keeping the communal spirit lit. Our challenge, as the organisers of a one day training and team-bonding program, was to think of how to ignite and reinforce these salient values within the 2-5 Yearers from different departments of MOHH.
The participants, gathering at Focus@Sentosa, were surprisingly enthusiastic despite the early morning start and were eager to proceed on with the activities. After some quick introductions, the day started off with an icebreaker called "Human Bingo" where they had to form teams based off specific skillsets as dictated on our gamesheet. The participants were quick to find suitable teammates, and before long we had created the groundwork for an effective and diverse team.
Next up, our freshly cemented teams were tasked to design a flag that best represented them as a cohesive group, a lasting symbol whose crafting would forge their team identities for the rest of the day. The flags ranged from flamboyant and colourful arrangements of meaningful symbols, to comedic representations of each team member in emoji form and finally to striking and powerful icons whose meaning would be apparent at first glance. Truly impressive work from neophyte artists!
After a quick tea and toilet break, it was time to get down and dirty with deciphering and reinforcing the MOHH Core Values. What better way to do this than to create a visual representation of what the Core Values meant to the participants? Armed with paper, straw and ice-cream sticks, the teams were challenged to construct a structure that best described them as a team.
Despite initial setbacks and lack of material, the collective power of creativity triumphed and participants were soon on their way to assembling grand and meaningful structures, wonderful models which accurately represented the significance of the MOHH Core Values to them. In the end, what was created was similar to a miniature art exhibition -- a surprising feat made possible by the ingenuity and innovation of the participants!
Following the end of every joyous activity was a sobering reflection session on the core values which were being shown during the session. Whilst the core value of having "Fun" was definitely present, the participants were also highlighted to the importance of "Teamwork", "Agility" and "Passion", qualities which were effectively demonstrated by the participants in their rush to create their own works of art and present them to the audience.
But this was not the end of their adventure with High Achievers. The classroom session was over, but our outdoor session had just begun.
Have you heard of the story of Robinson Crusoe? The participants, who spent most of their working hours in air-conditioned offices and hospitals, then had to imitate Robinson Crusoe's legendary journey across the ocean by building their own raft with the materials we gave to them. Tires, ropes, and sticks; by themselves, these items are worth little, but through a great volume of team-based effort and skill, the teams had successfully built themselves rafts which could carry their collective weight across the boundless ocean.
Donning bright orange flotation devices, the teams nominated 3 "crew members" who would try their best to paddle 15m out from shore and back. This was certainly a task which required a monumental amount of strength and grit as our participants found out when they set off from shore. Could their rafts float? Would they capsize? These were important questions to answer which the participants didn't have the liberty to find out until their rafts had left solid ground.
Surprisingly, the rafts were buoyant and compact enough to float! The participants' anxiety about capsizing was palpable even as we watched from the shore, but they overcame their fears and sailed all the way out to sea, and, confident of their newfound raft-sailing skills, sailed all the way back without a hitch. At the end of the day, our participants walked back tired, but grinning ear-to-ear as the conquerors of the great outdoors at least for that one day.
Apart from triumphing over the ocean, what the participants realised during the following reflection session was that they also triumphed over themselves, and in the process they realised the true importance of their core values. Drenched from both seawater and their own sweat, a newfound appreciation of values was forged within the participants that day on (and off!) the sands of Sentosa Beach.
Soon, they would return to their workplaces, far from the shore on which we organised the program. Yet, we certainly hope that in whatever activity they take part in, whatever location they step foot in, they will carry the spirit of the MOHH core values ignited in them that day wherever they go.
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