Mountain biking, white water rafting, canyoneering, and an eleven-course chef’s table dinner. What do these experiences have in common? For the team at Beta Experiences, these intentionally designed adventures have been strategically planned to facilitate transformation in corporate teams.
Founders and best friends, Mark Widmer, Ph. D, Stacy Taniguchi, Ph. D, and John Bingham, Ph. D, draw upon years of experience and evidence-based research to deliver epic learning adventures designed to create transformational learning and development in their clients. Each founder brings unique value to the organization. Widmer holds a Ph. D in Therapeutic Recreation and years of experience as a mountain bike and adventure guide. Taniguchi has led trips on Mt. Everest and five of the other Seven Summits, and captivates his clients with a lifetime of stories and wisdom, backed by a Ph. D in Experiential Education and Educational Leadership. Currently utilizing his Ph.D in Management as the Associate Dean of Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business, Bingham is an expert in performance management and bears his own outdoor accolades (ski patrol, white water rafting and climbing guide, etc.)
Together they have spent years guiding and researching the effects of experiential learning and how it affects outcomes. Their research goes back nearly three decades as they have studied the impact of specific experiences on at-risk youth, high-net-worth families, and business teams. Resilience, culture building, and implementing strategic change are all enhanced through these experiences.
Beta Experiences helps individuals with the fundamentals of positive psychology; everything from understanding happiness, increasing engagement, fostering meaning, building relationships, and earning achievement through self-efficacy, grit, and willpower. They work with families to build strong family foundations based on values and purpose. They also serve businesses by consulting with them about leadership effectiveness, change management, and how to nurture their culture. All these topics have fundamental roots that can be traced back to specific research.
The success of their methods began to gain popularity which led them to organize Beta Experiences, a better platform to serve their clients. They have seen the transformational power of these experiences and believe they can have a great impact on all kinds of people and organizations. Based in Utah, they already have shared this with clients all across the United States, Canada, and even overseas in places like Spain, Turkey, and New Zealand.
Combining Bingham’s organizational behavior expertise, with Widmer’s knowledge of therapeutic recreation and Taniguchi’s background in experiential education, they conduct a variety of experiences. Some have been indoors, such as a chef’s table or game simulation, but most of their work is in the outdoors where the risks of the environment impact one’s perception of their strengths, vulnerability, and potential. This elemental environment sets the stage to learn more profound lessons about values, incentives, and purpose. The healthy mix of challenge (physical and mental), achievement, reflection, and natural beauty contributes to the purifying process that has the power to illuminate perspectives, transform behaviors, and provide greater meaning and direction.
Beta Experiences differs from other consulting companies because their methods are based upon years of personal life experience and evidence-based research. Furthermore, Widmer, Taniguchi, and Bingham don’t simply conceptualize the content from afar; they are responsible for physically leading the adventure experiences and working hands-on with clients to facilitate transformational change. The reason why this is so special is because it creates an authentic trust between the consultant and client. For example, the same person who is coaching you about the leading research on efficacy and motivation is also belaying you as you hang from a hundred-foot cliff.
According to Taniguchi, “we create these experiences based on our research and knowledge of experience design.”
The team at Beta Experiences utilizes a strategic methodology and engagement process that they’ve coined “The L.I.F.E. Model” which stands for Look, Identify, Facilitate, and Evaluate. They begin with an empathic assessment of their clients in order to best understand their specific needs. This step is vital.
“We help clients identify their key deficiencies and strengths. By shoring up significant weaknesses and leveraging core strengths, we can help organizations move toward real excellence,” Bingham shares.
Next, they identify a strategy for transformation by outlining a clear and direct plan designed to generate experiences that allow them to address any underlying issues or root problems that burden the organization or family. It is then time to facilitate the experience. The adventure experience is designed to bring the individuals out of their comfortable, well-known environments, instil confidence, and create a culture of acceptance and shared experience in a family unit or organization. Finally, at the core, Beta Experiences is research-based. Because of this, the team and clients take time to evaluate the experience, review outcomes, and reflect upon the shared journey. This step is equally important as the rest, as it paves the way for continuous transformation, application and reinforcement in their clients’ unique settings, and therefore, lasting change long after the experience is complete.
For many, the constant noise, busyness, and distraction presented by everyday life can make transformational change difficult, if not impossible. Experiential learning creates personal relevance to the content being introduced. By stripping back comfort and familiarity, one can experience what it means to push themselves, work collaboratively, and ultimately thrive. This same knowledge can then be applied to all areas of life, both personally and professionally. Beta Experience’s scientific content and carefully planned multi-sensory experiences provide the ideal environment for any family or organization to experience transformational change and learn to thrive as a unit.