A Little Intrigue

By Malcolm Fleschner

You’ve taken your team to the beach, to the golf course and to the mountains to ski – so what’s left for the sales manager looking for a creative group incentive? Plenty. And one place to look is Jim Skiba’s Incentives To Intrigue.

For 15 years the San Francisco-based Skiba has been helping sales organizations reward, entertain and educate their high-achieving team members with staged murder mysteries, treasure hunts in locales all over the globe, antique car road rallies, sailing regattas, competitive games and much more.

Skiba says that sales organizations from a variety of industries – high-tech, automotive, banking, etc. – come to him looking for that ‘outside the box’ incentive program to juice up their staffs. But in addition to being a little unusual, Skiba’s programs also use fun to promote teamwork and learning.

“One customer of ours is a company that sells boilers,” he says. “For their sales staff we created a game where they had to use Velcro to match the names and purposes of boiler parts that they didn’t know. They were only familiar with about 20% of the parts. Players took turns identifying parts and could either add something or switch what someone else had done. It got very competitive, and it was interesting to watch how people reacted when others changed their plays. But the best part of it was that these people had a great time learning information that was important for their jobs.”

Skiba says that murder mysteries and treasure hunts remain the most popular of Incentives To Intrigue’s offerings, but that the company is always up to the challenge of coming up with new, provocative games and activities for customers interested in pushing the envelope.

“Another thing we do is help people inject some life into existing programs,” Skiba says. “So if you’re used to doing the same thing with your team or taking them somewhere they already know, we can find ways to do similar programs in a fresh, different, exciting way.”

For more information visit www.incentivestointrigue.com