Businesses take the battle from the boardroom to the trenches

Brother UK at Wattisham. Picture: Corporate Battlefields

Brother UK at Wattisham. Picture: Corporate Battlefields - Credit: Archant

Sometimes being in business can feel like a battle, and for one Essex-based company, it really is one.

Brother UK at Naseby Battlefield

Brother UK at Naseby Battlefield - Credit: Archant

‘Corporate Battlefields’ began in 2003 when Graeme Cooper, a Great War and World War Two guide whose grandfather fought at Waterloo, was delivering a leadership exercise on the battlefield of Waterloo, and asked a group of junior officers how they would take Mercer’s Ridge if occupied by a modern day enemy, using today’s equipment, culture and processes.

“All the syndicates highlighted the essential need for the human aspects of leadership, courage, belief and trust,” he explained. “These same requirements are the same for business today - and the concept of using the battlefield as a platform for experiential learning was formed.”

Corporate Battlefield’s teambuilding events have included taking 48 HSBC graduate employees to the site of the ‘Great War’ trenches in Ipswich built by the BBC to film the series, ‘The Trench’, and they assumed the World War 1 personality of 2Lt Burrows of the 5th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment.

“At the final session the graduates wrote home on YMCA headed paper, as used in the Great War, to their parents who were bankers about the lessons learned from the trenches,” Mr Cooper explained.

the site of the ‘Great War’ trenches in Ipswich built by the BBC to film the series, ‘The Trench’, w

the site of the Great War trenches in Ipswich built by the BBC to film the series, The Trench, where HSBC graduates assumed the World War 1 personality of 2Lt Burrows of the 5th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. Picture: Corporate Battlefields - Credit: Archant


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Another teambuilding event, involving Apache helicopters, was held for employees of Brother UK at Wattisham Airfield.

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