Helping Hands™ is putting prosthetic hands on amputees in developing countries while building purpose-driven teams and leaders. The process has been crafted to teach collaboration, commitment and quality – born from a deeper sense of connection to your products, your colleagues, your clients/customers and community.

The award winning LN-4 prosthetic hand (it is featured in the Smithsonian Museum) was designed by Ernie Meadows, an industrial designer, in memory of his late daughter Ellen (LN-4 means ‘for Ellen’). Each hand is provided to amputees free of charge on a not for profit basis. The cost of the manufacture and distribution of the LN-4 hands is covered by the organisations who choose to do the Helping Hands activity. Thousands of amputees have already had their lives changed by receiving an LN-4 hand.

Consider these statistics:

  • 100 million active landmines in 60 countries

  • 250 million landmines waiting in the wings for deployment

  • 2,000 landmine accidents each month, one every 20 minutes. (95% are civilians, 75% survivors have at least one amputation)

  • 300,000 landmine related amputees globally

  • 20% are children…25,000 to 50,000 without hands

  • $5,000 – 10,000 – the cost of traditional prosthetics in developing countries

Outcomes for recipients:

  • Receive a prosthetic hand which makes a life-changing, practical difference (award-winning design is light, strong and durable)
  • Receive a decorated carry-case for the hand as well as a photo of the team that built the hand and a heart-felt note from them (we are told that for some the knowledge a group of strangers cared enough to make the hand is as impactful as the hand itself)
  • Receive the dignity and agency to carry out tasks, work and jobs that they previously couldn’t which can improve self-esteem and their ability to contribute to their community

Outcomes for participants:

  • Strong connection within teams and between teams – the emotion generated from videos, presentations and discussions breaks through even for the most cynical of participants
  • Opens up a more vulnerable, trusting space grounded in empathy for real and meaningful conversations to flourish (without the posturing, politics or hierarchy felt in some groups)
  • Depending on the time allowed for the debrief (and the goals of the client) there are powerful and practical takeaways to explore: what true collaboration looks and feels like, unpacking the neuroscience of trust (oxytocin) and the role purpose-driven work plays in this, the tension between competition and collaboration, the alignment of goals to ensure collaboration across silos, playing to strengths in teams and so forth


Get a more concrete sense of the activity