Team Engagement through experiential learning

The Vision of Impacting Lives

Breakthrough’s vision is impacting lives. This vision guides us in our recruitment, facilitation, relationships, and even in our day-to-day decision-making. Outbound training is the means for us to impact lives. The stories of impact that we hear from our participants are what keeps us going day after day.  

We believe a warm smile translates to create many more smiles. Hence, we practice welcoming each participant with a smile and sweets.


We strive to have one-on-one conversations with participants which build lasting relationships.  Appreciating participants for each step of involvement during activities is where our ‘connect’ begins when we observe and appreciate.


In addition, to corporate organizations and educational institutions, we deem it a privilege to impact the lives of the underprivileged and the differently-abled.  This brings us joy that cannot be expressed in words but etched in our memories as days we cherish.


We have seen lives been impacted since 2000. College students have given up drugs to focus on what is most important in life. School children have built their confidence and have grown to be leaders. Corporate organizations have transformed their culture and built teams that work together guided by organizational values and objectives. This is what the Breakthrough team works towards each day, one life and one team at a time. We hope to build that impact in the coming years spreading across the country and abroad.



Breakthrough approved for Podio Sponsorship.

Breakthrough thanks for sponsoring us and enhancing the way business at Breakthrough works by giving us easy access to your premium features.

How Podio is making work easy and productive for team Breakthrough.
Podio definitely is the best web-based management platform we’ve come across so far. It offers anything you would expect from a Project management tool. It has helped us a great deal in streamlining and tracking important tasks and processes like approvals, discussions, and projects while keeping our internal business information secure and preventing things from falling in the cracks. The interface is particularly clean and visually appealing.

Its ability to define workspace with its own set of collaborators and functionalities is particularly valuable to get things done. Podio is also a great tool to share ideas within teams and collect feedback.

Worth mentioning that an impressive amount of apps is available on the Podio app store, which makes Podio even more useful and collaborative.

In all the Breakthrough team is all excited about it and we are sure your team will love to use it also.

The Value of Ethical Leadership



Competency Iceberg Model (Spencer & Spencer, 1993)
The word ‘ethics’ in the business world in India has become increasingly important with leaders from large corporations being seen following short of set societal standards. Studies done by Den Hartog and De Hoogh, 2009 have shown the impact of Ethical leadership on Leadership effectiveness. The impact further trickles down to the rest of the employees in organizations, wherein employees are stimulated to display ethical behaviors. Ethical Leadership is also positively correlated with job satisfaction. Since, ethical leadership in organization involves a number a behaviors researchers have chosen a few behaviors such as transparency, fairness, integrity, role sharing and role clarification in their research.


The Centre for Ethical Leadership, USA defines “Ethical leadership, as knowing your core values and having the courage to live them in all parts of your life in service of the common good.” As individuals core values are based on either religious, cultural or individual orientation. Personal ethics may differ from person to person however, a few behaviours are widely accepted norms.


As the above definition mentions, the difficulty for most people is to have the courage to display ethical behavior when societal or organizational cultures are different. The value in ethical leadership is the legacy one lives and leaves behind for people they interact and work with.  


Ethical character and values are focused largely in training programs held at Breakthrough. Just as the Competency Iceberg model (Spencer & Spencer, 1993) suggests, the part of the iceberg that sinks the ship is the part underneath. Similarly, the aspects within a person, like his values and character is what will help one grow or drag one down.

First Aid Training for the Breakthrough Team



Safety is one the core operating values of Breakthrough and we have focused extensively on certifications and training programs for the team and the organization to maintain high safety standards. 
Breakthrough is also the first Outbound training organization to be certified in the Occupational Health and Safety management system, OHSAS 18001: 2007. It was recently certified in the quality management system ISO 9001: 2008.
Recently, a first aid training workshop was conducted for the team at Breakthrough. A few members have already been certified in first aid. It was a refresher to all the facilitators from both the Bangalore and Coimbatore centers on various aspects of First Aid like CPR, handling injuries, burns, shock etc. 
The program was conducted by the Indian Red Cross Society. First aid is an important safety practice for organizations to have in place. The team at Breakthrough would like to ensure safety for all visiting our campuses and in the society, practicing the Breakthrough policy of SAFETY FIRST, SAFETY LAST and SAFETY INBETWEEN.

Celebrating Women’s Day through experiential learning activities at Breakthrough




Breakthrough, organized a special Women’s day event “Lean-In circle” participated by women from a number of organizations like VMware, Tesco, William Penn and SAP. The program was based on the book, ‘Lean-In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead’, written by Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook. Some of the key aspects of Lean-In like having a growth mindset, taking initiatives, and the power of peers were brought alive through the experiential learning activities. One of the powerful questions discussed was “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” quoted by Spencer Johnson, also mentioned in the book.


Sharon Andrew, Happiness Evangelist, Happiest Minds and Jayashree Augustine, Executive Assistant to MD, Britannia Industries shared their perspective of the need to Lean-In with the women present. Speaking about the experience at Breakthrough, Ridha Tazeen, Sr. Manager – HR, William Penn said “Apart from the various other reasons that I’m proud to be a woman. I feel blessed today because of this program which was planned for us“.


The vision of Breakthrough is to impact lives. Each part of the program was carefully designed to bring the impact. At the end of the event, the women were encouraged to create and be part of Lean-In circles which are peers groups which meet regularly to share and learn together. There was a surprise offer in-store for the women at the end of the program. Each participant was given one-year of free access to on-line business study materials sponsored by ‘My B-Skool’ which is a Chennai based On-line B-School.  


Breakthrough, becomes the first Outbound training service provider in India to be certified in OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 9001:2008

Breakthrough, has announced its certification in the safety management system, OHSAS 18001:2007 and quality management system, ISO 9001:2008. It is the only Outbound Training center in India to be certified in OHSAS 18001:2007 standard and this is the second term for which the certification has been renewed. The standards are widely seen as the world’s most recognized Management Systems standards.
The scope of the certification includes the design and delivery of training programs for corporate organizations, educational institutions and others. OHSAS 18001:2007 certified by Global Safety Services specifies requirements for an Occupational Health and Safety Management System. ISO 9001: 2008 calls for a stringent quality management process. Timothy Connors, Program Director and Vivian Angelo, Centre Director, Coimbatore from Breakthrough are one of the few practitioners in India to be awarded with Level 1 and 2 Inspector and Supervisor Endorsement by the Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT).
Commenting on the certification Robin Paul, CEO, Breakthrough said, “Safety and Excellence is the core value of Breakthrough. The certifications reinstate our dedication to enhancing safety methods and internal controls. It signifies our commitment to the security of our employees, clients and service providers and reaffirms our position as an industry leader”.
Breakthrough being one of the pioneers using ropes courses in Outbound Training for more than a decade, underwent a comprehensive audit of its processes. OHSAS: 18001 enables organizations to have control over and knowledge of all relevant hazardous situations, and improve its performance.
To be certified in ISO 9001: 2008 Breakthrough demonstrated its ability to consistently meets applicable statutory and regulatory requirements of customers, and enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system. Through such certifications Breakthrough consistently strives to meet industry demands and develop processes of excellence.

Studies: Adventure Education / Outbound programmes foster resilience

In the changing business world, Resilience as a characteristic is considered an essential element. So much so, that the 2013 World Economic Forum was titled “Resilient Dynamism”. Building this characteristic cannot be done by a mere presentation alone but involves being able to learn it in an experiential platform.
A study done in December 2013 by the Unversity of Otago in New Zealand proved that adventure programs foster youth resilience. When participants undergo such programs it results in a certain immunization and an ability to overcome. This means the ability of people to face adversity grows after an adventure-based outbound training experience.
There are numerous such studies that prove that controlled exposure to challenges can enhance resilience. In the year 2001, James Neill and Katica Dias did a study that supported this claim, demonstrating significantly greater gains in psychological resilience for 41 young adults participating in 22-day Outward Bound programs.
Over the years Breakthrough has seen the effectiveness of adventure-based Outbound training programs that have enabled participants from corporates and colleges to foster key characteristics like resilience. Using lead-up activities physically and emotionally prepare participants for the difficult activity that they will experience. The methodology is effective because of the experiential base that has been proven factual through similar studies. 




Resilience, a vital ingredient of leadership

There are a number of attributes that leaders require in their portfolios to steer their teams. Resilience is one such characteristic that is most often under-rated nonetheless is significant to the functioning of leaders. In today’s dynamic work environment, resilience is an attribute that has become increasingly necessary.
As business leaders uncertainty and setbacks arise through various aspects like economic fluctuations, political turmoil, natural calamities, competition, change in stakeholder expectations, and so on. Such uncertainties require leaders who can manage change.
During times of change, necessary actions ought to be taken to handle the change. Flexibility and adaptability go hand in hand with resilience and they enable to manage change effectively. Most often the simple aspect of flexibility like listening to diverse views of team members in a critical situation could be neglected. There also needs to be an openness to accommodate situational leaders who could add tremendous value to the outcome.
A key element distinguishing resilient leaders is identifying the need to ‘bounce back’ from difficult situations. In order, to bounce back a number of key behaviours need to be adopted. One key aspect is to manage one’s emotions amidst disappointments and failure. Emotions are often reflected through one’s behavior in a crunch situation. This is where a leader needs to differentiate himself or herself by demonstrating inspiration and direction for the team. The Indian Cricket Captain Dhoni is often admired for his ability to remain calm and encourage team members during nail-biting finishes. The battle here is won at the emotional level.
A Resilient leader also does not stop at managing emotions alone but bounces back by having a ‘positive attitude’. Believing in the ability of the team to accomplish even when results show otherwise, marks a resilient leader. His belief then could translate into action by the team.
The turnaround at the Ford Motor Company by Alan Mulally illustrates the value of resilience. On becoming the CEO of Ford in 2006, Mullaly faced week after week of challenging news about the business. Ford was on the brink of bankruptcy and its very existence was at risk. During such difficult times, Mulally maintained an upbeat, positive spirit and a can-do attitude that dynamically transformed Ford. Today, Mulally is viewed as the man responsible for one of the most spectacular corporate turnarounds in history. 
The outlook of a resilient leader is to view failure as feedback and a milestone in the growth journey. The next day, the next challenge, or the next project is an opportunity. The past ought to stay in the past. Perseverance enables us to see each day as an opportunity and never give up in efforts towards success.
The tool to defeat the challenge of giving up is improvisation. Creativity combined with improvisation has brought about some of the greatest solutions in this world. Improvisation, bouncing back, a positive attitude all spice up the key attribute of leadership that is resilience. Having resilience helps leaders in their journey in building inspiration in teams to continue to work for the goals of the organization.

Conflict and its impact on the bottom-line

We live in a world of togetherness where our interactions provide great value. Those interactions at times lead to conflict. The word ‘conflict’ bombards our minds with undesirable results and relationships.  
We fail to take note of the productive aspects of conflict. A fact that is interesting is that a certain amount of conflict which is constructively resolved is essential for high performance and bringing in creative solutions at the workplace. However, an increased level of unresolved conflict leads to a loss of productivity.
According to a 2008 survey by consultants OPP, UK employees spend almost two hours per week dealing with conflict at work resulting in an annual “loss” of 370 million working days. The magnitude of loss due to unresolved conflict is tremendous in organizations.
There are two main ways in which conflicts are resolved, the healthy way and the unhealthy way. The healthy way of conflict resolution builds team bonding by causing those involved to change their attitudes and grow. It also results in problem resolution. This contrasts with the unhealthy way, where team morale is destroyed and team members become divided and polarized. Unhealthy conflict leaves the problem unresolved and leaches resources and energy from the core project at hand.
Conflict in organizations has been defined by Putnam and Poole (1987) as “the interaction of interdependent people who perceive opposition of goals, aims, and values, and who see the other party as potentially interfering with the realization of these goals”. 
According to a study on Organizational conflicts by the International Conference on Innovation and information management, Singapore, it was identified that 38 % of conflicts in India are not resolved. The study further pointed out that on most occasions, in India, conflicts caused due to personality/ego clashes, lack of trust, and power struggles are not resolved.
The challenge for any team is to learn how to disagree agreeably. In other words, proactively resolve and channelise conflicts into constructive benefits. The faster this is done the better it is for the organisation.
This can happen when there is an intentional preset, the context of ground rules to prevent, resolve and withhold conflict escalation. This is in contrast to just waiting for a conflict to happen and then looking for a way to manage it.
Breakthrough in the past years has designed and conducted programs for conflict resolution and prevention in organizations. Tools such as DISC profiling coupled with training programs help in preventing conflicts by enabling individuals to understand the personality types of their co-workers.
There is also another unique way of preventing and resolving conflicts, and that is through the drafting of a Social Contract. This contract is developed by the team and for the team. Hence, there is greater ownership. It also lends itself to be a proactive process of being accountable to the task, team, and organisation. This contract is signed by the team and followed as a culture to be accountable in preventing and resolving conflicts. At the end of the day, the social Contract is a shared deliverable and owned by the entire team. Breakthrough has worked with about six or seven groups in Bangalore and one in the USA and helped them draft a Social Contract.
It is important for organizations to pre-empt conflict situations and be prepared to manage them. This aspect is wonderfully brought out by celebrated poet and philosopher ‘Thiruvalluvar’, who wrote in Thirukural that
The fortune of a man who does not guard against failings before they Manifest will perish like a stack of straw before a flaming fire”.
Drawing parallels from this, organizations need to guard themselves against aspects like conflicts that threaten business interests. Hence, it is essential for organizations to be well-equipped to deal with conflicts. This is also an effective way of cost-cutting. Hence, dealing with conflicts should not be an aftermath but needs to be nipped in the bud.


Impacting Lives of Differently-Abled Children through Outbound Experiential Learning

Breakthrough organized a unique Outbound Experiential learning program for differently abled children on December 2nd, 2013, the eve of World disability day. Breakthrough, is a leading Outbound training service provider with a mission to impact lives in corporates, colleges, schools and NGOs. With that mission in mind, differently abled children supported by four NGOs, U&I, Rakkam, Provision Asia and Asha Kiran were invited to participate in an event designed to create fun filled experiences. The program was based on the theme by the UN for World Disability Day, “Breaking barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”.

The guest of honor for the day was Inder, a champion who worked through his disability, of being Spastic and speech impaired, to qualify as an assistant supervisor in the packing division of a leading organization. The job now supports him and his family. Inder was a symbol of inspiration to the children who attended the program. Speaking on the event, Robin Paul, CEO and Founder, Breakthrough said, “Today on the eve of world Disability Day, Breakthrough is happy to create an environment of fun and learning for the Differently Abled Children.  A few years ago a child who had never spoken a word from Baldwin Opportunity School, spoke his first word during one of the activities at Breakthrough. We hope that we have made a positive difference to the children who came to Breakthrough today“.


Breakthrough believes fun and adventure is a way into the lives of Differently Abled Children. During the program, powerful experiences through fun were created for the children.  The children experienced the low ropes course and other unique energy-filled activities during the program.