Tough Mudder University
What is Tough Mudder University?
Working at Tough Mudder is all about continuous improvement, and our training programs are created with that in mind. Each program is designed to help employees get better at delivering in their role. You’ll begin your time at Tough Mudder by participating in an induction program that introduces you to the company and how you fit in. Throughout your time at Tough Mudder, you’ll participate in ongoing training programs that cover everything from improving your negotiation skills, developing your management abilities, to learning to deliver an event. Employee training at Tough Mudder empowers each employee to add value in their own way.
Each new Tough Mudder employee participates in the eight-week Induction program. Induction provides each employee with a foundational understanding of Who We Are, What We Do and How We Do It. Inductees will spend time each day interacting with employees from across the organization learning about our company culture, departmental responsibilities, and how they fit in. Alongside this classroom forum, Inductees will also spend time with each other bonding through activities and projects. Examples of Induction activities include:
- Attending a Tough Mudder Event
- Inductee Event (surfing, paintball or rock-climbing for example)
- Inductee lunches
- Obstacles design group project
- Small-group discussions
Operations Department Training
In order to deliver world-class events, we need to ensure that our operations employees are getting the best possible training. This starts with general operations training followed by in-office and onsite role-specific training for each new operations Inductee. This training lays the groundwork for being able to deliver an awesome experience to our participants. Because Tough Mudder is committed to continuous improvement, operations training is delivered throughout the year in operations meetings as well as biannual week-long training.Click here to read more about life on the operations team.
Tough Mudder hires across a range of experience levels. Because of that, we want to ensure that we’re offering the best possible training to both experienced and first-time managers. Tough Mudder takes a holistic approach to management, encouraging employees at all levels of the company to engage in the management process. Training includes content for both line managers (managing down) as well as employees (managing up).
HBS Case Studies
At Tough Mudder, you’ll learn to do a lot of things. One of the most important is learning to think analytically about issues facing the organization as a whole. On a quarterly basis, Tough Mudder offers Harvard Business School (HBS) case studies and discussions targeted at addressing a business issue relevant to Tough Mudder. Whether that’s international expansion, customer service, or the importance of data in decision making, HBS cases give employees the opportunity to discuss these questions in a collaborative and engaging environment. Typically led by our senior executives, cases are held in the HBS case format and include both large and small group discussions.
Annual Business Plan Competition
Tough Mudder’s annual business plan competition provides a unique opportunity for TMHQ employees to develop their business acumen and entrepreneurial skills within the workplace. Teams are welcome to invite an outside member in to proceedings, fostering creativity and insight from different sources and backgrounds.
This contest allows all employees to develop new business concepts, with the very real and exciting prospect of seeing them come to life. Mudder Angels is always looking out for the next great business plan (with the prospect of backing for the winning idea), along with the ever growing project lists for Tough Mudder’s New Event Development unit and Commercial team.
After the initial elimination round is a live final presentation, judged by a panel of outside experts. In addition to detailed feedback, and entry and guidance into international business plan competitions, the winning team also receives a substantial cash prize.
For TMHQ employees who have the biggest idea since Tough Mudder (yep, we just said that) this is their opportunity to submit it.
The 2013 business plan competition final was in March 2013, with six teams being judged in the last round. On the judging panel were:
- Philip James, founder and CEO of Lot 18
- Jenn Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway
- Ann Berry, Goldman Sachs private equity
- Ian van Every, co-founder of Dr. Thom
The members of the winning 2013 team were Charlotte Bender and Greg Fitzgerald from the TMHQ Marketing Department, and Dan Paster, a non-TMHQ team member. Their winning idea, The Workshop, was universally admired by the judges for being a strong concept in a market where the team was well placed to win. The team were awarded a cash prize for their efforts and will go down in history as the winners of the inaugural Tough Mudder Business Plan Competiton.
Tough Mudder offers additional training programs designed to help develop employees’ hard and soft skills. Some of these trainings include:
- ToastMudders – Tough Mudder’s own public speaking group, offering employees the opportunity to practice their presentation skills in front of both small and large groups
- TM Book Club – Past picks include:
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker
- Built to Last by Jim Collins
- Getting to Plan B by John Mullins & Randy Komisar
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- TM Finance – Training on company-specific processes as well as general business skills such as budget development and usage
- TM Law – Designed to assist all employees with understanding the basics of foundational legal principles such as contracts
- Lunch ’n’ Learn – TM employees are able to present and share over informal lunchtime sessions. Topics range from improvisation to international expansion strategy