Every cloud has a silver lining and that was certainly true of an unusual fund raising initiative at the recent Bovis Lend Lease UK management conference - OneUK.
As a way of raising funds for charity, during the 3-day event delegates were 'fined' by a Sergeant in Arms, who monitored their misdemeanours and mishaps with an eagle eye. In the process £2,250 was raised for the World Land Trust, and Bovis Lend Lease agreed to match the sum raised, bringing the total to a magnificent £4,500.
Project Director, Chris Howcroft was the Sergeant in Arms, and he was charged with ensuring that delegates arrived on time for the working sessions, always wore their name badges, fully participated in discussions and didn't use their mobile phones or Blackberrys during the sessions. But while housekeeping was an important part of the fining system, Chris instituted some innovative fines of his own, which included penalising delegates sneaking off to bed too early in the evenings, wearing attire that he personally didn't thing was suitable, telling unfunny jokes or, in one case, for simply being too tall!
Delegates, numbering 100, attended the conference in Oxford, coming from all over the country and representing all parts of the construction business. They were joined by colleagues from Bovis Lend Lease projects and offices around the world - bringing an international flavour to the event.
Over the 3-day event the attendees immersed themselves in current business challenges and opportunities, worked through some recommendations for improvements and even created some film adverts about the business - which were shown at a special Oscars evening.
Some former senior employees - termed as Bovis Lend Lease Legends - also came back one evening as special guests of honour to talk about their time in the business and inspire current employees to achieve the same successes.
All in all it was a great success, the delegates' enthusiasm and high levels of participation making it interesting, productive and great fun. We were really pleased to be able to raise so much for the World Land Trust too.
Head of Marketing and Communications, Bovis Lend Lease UK
This means that each participant donated on average £22.50 to World Land Trust, so we would like to thank them individually, as well as Chris Howcroft for enforcing the 'fines' so diligently, and also Bovis Lend Lease for matching the donation.