Why Choose Odyssey?
The Journey Of A Thousand Miles...
"Odyssey" means a long, eventful journey.
And the inspiration for adopting it as the name for our training consultancy came from the incredible Blindfold Drive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that had never been attempted before.
Shaun Tan (in green) with his team and about 40 members of traffic police, 12 of whom were assigned as his outriders (seen in this picture).
The actual event from start to finish lasted only about 15 minutes, but the preparation and training for it actually took many years.
Shaun Tan had been fascinated for many years by the fact that blind people have very acute other senses due to their deprivation of their sense of sight. Their other senses of touch, smell, taste and hearing become more sensitive in the process.
One day as he was falling asleep he started thinking. What if the blind could "see" using the combined senses they have which would make the loss of sight not such a disability, if only for a few minutes?
And so was sown the seed for The Blindfold Drive event. However it was just an event of driving a vehicle blindfolded before it became The Blindfold Drive. Many other ingredients were added to it for it to have the fullest impact it could possibly have as it was meant to be done only once, and never to be repeated ever again.
The Blindfold Drive started out with one man wanting very much to prove that he could attain whatever he desired - a single, focus thought that began in his mind - with determination, persistence, careful planning and execution.
The idea stayed in his mind for years. Bit by bit and more and more, Shaun mapped out the entire event in his head. It was going to be a reality sometime soon. And it was going to be BIG.
However, he didn't feel ready to carry out his feat before that beautiful Sunday morning of January 24th 1999. As with most people, he was too consumed with work to carry out the one thing he wanted to do most, if only to prove to himself that he could do it.
When the economic recession suddenly hit the Asian region in 1997, a lot of people were affected economically and emotionally when many people became jobless or went bankrupt.
Nobody, including Shaun, were free from the fear that they themselves could be the next one to make up the statistics.
It was a time of extreme caution and stress.
And then one day everything finally fell into place.
Shaun received an appeal letter for donation.
It was an annual activity from the National Council for the Blind.
Wham! It hit him like a ton of rocks.
It was to be the "push" that he needed to stir him into action.
Now was the time to do it. Now was the time to both motivate and re-energise Malaysians to face the tough economic recession, to work toward coming out of it and to be resilient in the face of adversity so that they could emerge stronger than ever.
Now was the time to help raise the public's awareness of the plight of the blind at the same time.
Now was the time to prove to himself that he could do anything, if he wanted to do it badly enough!
And the rest, as they say, is history.
But behind the historic event lies some great lessons.
It took a lot of effort and initiative to get the Blindfold Drive off the ground. Shaun was totally focused on his objective - and it became the catalyst for the entire event.
Shaun trained twice a day, every day for the 2 months leading to the event. Absolutely nothing must go wrong on that day. It was a combination of hearing, memory, timing, familiarity and sound that enabled him to "visualise" the route in his mind. Everything must come together seamlessly for the event to be a success - and they did, due entirely to the amount of training put in.
The entire event had to be planned and mapped out in advance. The route was carefully picked from a number of possible choices to make the journey more difficult than it could be so that it would be a challenging route, the starting place (Merdeka Square) and ending destination (the KLCC Twin Towers) were chosen for their significance and meaning, a celebrity who the public could relate to (Angeline Tan of "Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu") was carefully selected to add glamour to the event, and the story behind it was skillfully intertwined with the entire setting to provide the spectacle that was to be remembered for a long time to come.
It's one thing to make something work, it's another to make it work spectacularly. And spectacular indeed it was.
The Blindfold Drive appeared to have been executed by only one man, yet in reality it took more than 100 people to make it work.
The co-operation of the police force as well as traffic police in giving their permission for the event to be held was a feat in itself. Because nobody had ever seen this feat done before, the police feared that the worst could happen. Either Shaun could knock into somebody, or somebody would knock into his vehicle because of a wrong turning Shaun had made. Shaun had to convince and sell the police in order for the event to be held at all.
The police did finally give their permission. About 40 policemen were involved. 12 were assigned to keep order at the starting place and to act as outriders for Shaun as he drove. The rest were stationed at traffic junctions to stop traffic for the few minutes necessary for the event to take place.
Kudos to the police force for being such good sports and helping to make it happen.
Shaun had to provide the lead to all the parties involved in the process as well as execute the feat. He had to co-ordinate the numerous parties within a few minutes after all the planning that had been made earlier. His team of 10 people and the police force of 40 all co-ordinated beautifully and proved to all the power of working together for one common objective.
Marketing & Sales
The police force were sold on allowing the event to happen. The National Council For The Blind was sold on endorsing the event. And the media was sold on covering and writing the story.
Shaun now teaches his techniques in selling and marketing under the most difficult of circumstances with his unique Sales and Marketing Program based on the Blindfold Drive. It's unlike any other!
The Blindfold Drive appeared to be the crowning achievement of one man, but it really inspired millions in the process who were all caught in the sudden recession of that time.
This is the unique Odyssey story.
This is the amazing journey that organisations can learn a lot from to achieve peak performance in their workforce.
Contact us now for a no-obligation discussion on how your organisation can benefit from Odyssey Training Consultancy's unusual training programmes.