Offers insights into the needs that different team members have for information and detail, how people like to work in either a structured or unstructured approach to problem solving and change, and how quickly and slowly people are willing to move ahead with a plan based on how much they know and understand about the solution.
- One plastic pipe per person
- One ball (bouncy ball, marble, wooden ball) per team
- One timer per group, one person on each time needs a timer function on their watch or a timer function on their cell phones (I have found that all groups have at least one person with a stop watch function on their cell phones)
Each team will need sufficient space to spread and work, if it is a nice day I always recommend going outside.
Directions & Guidelines
- Make a human circle then give each person a gutter (one gutter per person).
- Hand the bouncy balls to the tallest person in the circle.
- Assign a timer for the attempts – the timer is allowed to participate in the activity.
- You are ready to begin.
Objective: Move one bouncy ball around the circle using only the gutters and following the guidelines, as quickly as possible.
Starting with the tallest person use the gutters (and only the gutters) to transport one bouncy ball to the person to their left then all the way around and back to the tallest person.
Try to send the ball through the process as fast as you can, beginning and ending in the tallest persons gutter, here are the constraints;
- No one’s gutter can be skipped, the ball must pass through all team members gutters
- Gutters cannot touch each other
- Gutter per person method – Your own pinkies must be touching each other all the time.
- You cannot touch any other gutters besides your own
- People cannot touch the ball as it travels from beginning through the process and back to the beginning.
- If the ball falls from the gutter, the process must be restarted.
Looking back on the activity, consider the idea of Communication.
- Determine what types of communication took place during the activity.
- In each of your opinions, which was the most powerful form of communication during the activity? What made them powerful?
- What were some successful communication moments?
- At what points were you having difficulty communicating?
- What might each of you want to remember about communication?
Consider who is on the team & their talents…
- What were some of the ideas that were generated?
- How receptive was the group to new and different ideas?
- How did you add structure to the ideas?
- What were some of the roles that were proposed for people in this project?
- Which ideas were seen as unrealistic / realistic? what made those ideas unrealistic / realistic?
- Describe how the plan was developed and evaluated?
- Explain the action steps of the project. Describe the results and outcomes of the action steps.
- How do you feel about what was done? ideas for improvement?
- What was the key moment in the teams’ success? where did the ideas come from? who was the ideas champions?
- Where do you feel were the gaps in this project? how did or did you not work to fill those gaps?
If you have Time…
- How mindful were you of your preferred team role?
- Describe how that impacted your part in the project.
Michael Cardus is the founder of Create-Learning; http://www.create-learning.com, an experiential based training and development consulting organization, as well as a blogger for TeamBuilding NY; http://create-learning.com/blog. Mike specializes in team development and leadership development consulting and training, creating team-building programs that retain talented staff members, increase production and effectiveness of your team. He lives in Buffalo, NY, and travels to you to serve your team-building and leadership training needs, wherever and whenever fits your schedule.