Who are the Adler Mannheim and Who Cares?

The story of Two Championship Cups, Two Countries & One Coach

In short, they are our latest success story at High 5; another example of Connect - Empower - Lead coming to life. They represent the power of teambuilding and the essence of what we try to achieve with the human spirit. They are the 2015 National Champions of Germany's professional ice hockey league, DEL, the proud winners of the Championship CUP!

But how did they become a part of the High 5 story and their season a focal point of interest throughout our year? Why did what began as a simple phone call in July 2014 from a man named Geoff Ward, end in such satisfaction and jubilation for us all at High 5? Mannheim H5.jpg

To understand the significance, you have to go back to another phone call in June of 2010. This too was from a man named Geoff Ward, but at that time, he was the assistant coach of the National Hockey League Boston Bruins along with head coach Claude Julien. That one single phone call was the beginning of a saga that would see the Boston Bruins coming to High 5 for a two-day retreat in September of 2010 and the winning of their first Stanley Cup Championship in 39 years. It also led to two more pre-season Bruins retreats and two more strong playoff showings.

Fast forward to the call in July 2014."Hi Jim, Geoff Ward here. You've probably heard by now, I resigned from the Bruins and took the head-coaching job in Manheim, Germany with the Adler Mannheim. I would like to have you and your team come over and do what we did with the Bruins that first year."

The operative phrase here is, "do what we did"? In this case it meant crafting a two-day program design that utilized adventure education activities and initiatives to meet the team's goals and desired outcomes. With both the Boston Bruins and the Adler Mannheim the goal was to help create a powerful team chemistry that would lead to a Championship. For the Boston Bruins this meant the Stanley Cup, for the Adler Mannheim, the DEL Cup.

I always like to think that we play a small but significant part in the pursuit of such a goal. All teams want to win. It's an inherent part of who they are; it's in their DNA. But it takes more than simply "wanting" to win to actually win. Teams need three things to be victorious, talent, a good coach and the right chemistry. At High 5, we help jump start the chemistry by setting the stage for the players and coaches to connect well together, to feel empowered and then begin to lead one another. And as much as we provide a spark to make this happen, the critical glue is the ability of the coach to continue to follow-up throughout the season and keep alive the themes and aspirations outlined by us early on. No one does this better than Geoff Ward, he's an exemplary coach who believes in the power of team chemistry as a tipping point in a team's performance. He's been right twice, in 2011 with the Boston Bruins and in 2015 with the Adler Mannheim.

It's no coincidence that this "tipping point" of performance is also what makes the difference in schools and businesses. If we can improve the ability of a classroom of students to work together as a team of learners or the members of a business to function more effectively as a team, their performance improves. It's that simple. We've known the success of this formula for a long time and our work over the years has always aspired to make it happen with each and every group.

What makes the Boston Bruins and the Adler Mannheim story a special one is that in the end there was a trophy proving that it all works! Thank you Boston Bruins, Adler Mannheim and Geoff Ward!

Two Cups, Two Countries & One Coach... yes indeed!