One of the best aspects of facilitation is the opportunity to learn about other businesses, the products and services they offer, and how they have developed an effective employee culture. Based out of Boise, Idaho, Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) is a world leader in the sales, modifications, service, and training of Night Vision Goggles (NVG) for private and military helicopter and fixed wing aircraft. The ASU team provides and installs new equipment; serves as a liaison between the client and FAA to ensure all equipment and operations are in compliance with federal regulations; inspects, maintains and repairs NVG goggles; and provides comprehensive on-sight pilot trainings worldwide.
One reason ASU is so successful is because they believe that innovation can occur at all levels of the company and from all members of the staff. In 2009, Experiential Adventures worked with the entire ASU staff during their annual retreat. Creative and critical thinking exercises served as the weekend’s theme to expand on ASU’s approach to ideas within the organization.
Again in 2011, Experiential Adventures attended Aviation Specialties Unlimited annual corporate retreat to facilitate another day of community building programs! Our role this year was to further enhance the positive culture maintained by the employees and family members of this successful company. The weather offered a perfect late-summer day in Donnelly, Idaho.
This time the physical location of the retreat offered a stark and compelling contrast between something that is vibrant and growing and something that had withered and died. While ASU has continued to grow and expand within the NVG industry over the last two years, the Tamarack Ski and Golf Resort – a failed real estate speculation – continues to lurk on the shores of Lake Cascade like a ghost town. Buildings remain unfinished, cranes sit idle, and real estate values have tanked.
The growth demonstrated by ASU over the past 2 years – amidst a downturned economy – demonstrates why organizations who invest in employee development and support employee creativity are so successful. ASU effectively moves ideas forward, develops and executes plans, all while continually refining, supporting and maintaining innovation. We are looking forward to what the next year brings for this invested team of individuals.