• As a long standing partner of SmarTone, Ericsson has entered a joint client team since 2007, finally winning in 2011 having taken second place in both 2008 and 2010. For the last two years the team has also won the fiercely competitive 200+ award – the prize which goes to the highest placed team with a combined age of over 200 years.

    For the team, the value is not just in the time they spend together over the 3 days of the event, it's the bond which builds up over the 3 months they spend training together before the event.

    Hakan Cervell, General Manager, Ericsson Hong Kong, had the following to say about the HK Challenge:

    “By doing the event with your client you build a bond not just based on professional issues, but on personal issues, you get to know them much better.”

    “The most important experience we had was in our approach to solving problems, both internally as well as externally with the client. We now approach a (work related) problem not just by trying to run faster, but by smart tactics, strategy and proper planning.”

  • Andrew Sampson, of Hitachi Data Systems has lead a team in the Challenge since 2007, and as Managing Director, uses participation in the event as a vehicle to help identify future talent in his organisation. It is the unique intensity of the event which attracts Andrew, allowing him to identify leadership potential in a way which is hard to do in an office environment. He adds:

    “We had a different person leading each stage, so we all learned new leadership skills, but it was situational leadership, there were times when you needed the whole team to get together and be creative…..there were other situations where you had time pressure and you really had to delegate to get things done…..You get natural leadership coming out, with some people feeling very comfortable about showing this leadership”

    “The activity is only a few days, but it’s very intense. The amount of time you spend with colleagues over 3 or 4 days, can be the equivalent of a year (in the office).”

  • “I would like to congratulate you on the most successful team building event I have ever attended in 26 years of my banking career across three continents.”
    Managing Director, Deutsche Bank

    “All of the challenges were designed to force the teams to work together to succeed. The result was I grew closer to the people on my team in the three days of the competition than I had over the previous 2 years”
    Vice President, Disney Corporation

    “Among the team building events I’ve taken part in, the SmarTone-Vodafone HK Challenge is unparalleled.”
    Executive Director and C.O.O, UBS

    "There are definitely rules and lessons you can take back to the workplace, it's about getting the right people doing the right tasks, and that's incredibly important."
    Divisional Group Head, Standard Chartered