Lead Forensics

Get the Phone Out of People’s Hands During Incentive Programs

May 6, 2019 Kevin Edmunds


If you didn’t follow college basketball’s “March Madness” tournament recently, you probably missed a great story about the Texas Tech team that built camaraderie among its players in an unusual way, which improved players’ performance so much that they made it all the way to the national semifinal—a.k.a. the Final Four—when almost nobody foresaw that possibility.

So what was the Texas Tech coach’s process for building better relationships between his players, and getting them to feel like they could rely on each other and reach their audacious goal? He took their mobile phones away.

Throughout the basketball season, from early December to early April, the players turned in their phones to the coach each day once they arrived for practice or games, and did not get them back until right before bed. This way, the players had to interact more with each other, even after they were done playing basketball for the day. The players admitted that it was a difficult adjustment, and they resented it at first. But as the days became weeks, the players developed new social habits and got to know each other more deeply. The result: Improved focus, improved trust, and greatly improved results.

Of course, no organization is going to take the phones away from their salespeople for long. But if you did so for a few hours each day during an incentive program where winners and their companions are gathered, imagine the depth of the conversations that will take place among your people. At receptions and dinners, on local tours, and during entertainment offerings, people won’t have anything to distract them, or to fall back on. They will simply have to pay more attention to their surroundings and to the people they are with. And isn’t that precisely the point of an incentive program anyway?

If you do this—while hiring a photographer to capture images of attendees participating in whatever activity it is where they don’t have their own cameraphones—people will come away from the incentive program with a deeper knowledge and appreciation of each other, plus a new way of thinking about how technology affects their interactions with clients, prospects, and colleagues.

Lastly, if you’d like to talk about how we at AIC Hotel Group can help you create activities where people will simply forget about their phones and enjoy the moment, please contact me and we can chat about the possibilities.







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