This is a high energy active exercise to show participants that getting from there to there is not usually as easy as it appears. Innovative thinking and creativity are essential to high performance. Coming up with new ideas is at the crux of innovation, but ensuring that these new ideas are both heard and implemented or at least given a chance usually is a challenge for groups and organizations. Top leaders are constantly seeking ways to convince those they work with that their impulses towards innovation will be honoured and supported. This exercise will help to highlight this key point.
- Several sturdy pieces of cardboard in two sizes a small size that can only fit one person to stand on it and a large size that’s big enough for two persons to stand on it in close proximity
- Masking tape
1- Using the masking tape on the floor create and mark off a path that should be wide enough for 3 people to walk next to each other and about 30 – 40 feet in length (It’s best to have the two paths next to each other to make the race more competitive)
2- Split the group into two teams of 10 team members each and tell them that this will be a race between the two teams but with some specific strict rules that will follow
3- Gather the two groups to one end of the stretch and designate the start.
4- Explain to each group that their task as a team that all team members reach the end safely and as fast as possible, the first team that gets there will be the winning team.
5- Explain to the teams that the problem is that their path is contaminated with a highly toxic material and they cannot directly step on the floor. The only way to move through their race path is to use the Cardboard steps along the path and walk on them and this is the only way for each team to traverse this dangerous terrain.
6- Warn the teams that there is one catch. The cardboard steps need to be in contact with a human body at all times. If the steps are left for more than 2 or 3 seconds on the floor, they will instantly disappear (You will be taking them away) so they have to be careful that any step left unattended will be lost and cannot be used again.
7- Hand each team of 10 participants a 3 small and 3 big cardboard steps.
8- Start off the activity and pay attention to the cardboard steps, instantly remove any that were left unattended for a few seconds.
- What was the team strategy for tackling the challenge and how did they arrive at this strategy?
- Which had some good ideas for proceeding? Which ideas where adopted and which were dumped?
- Who played which roles during the execution, what did they do ? was there someone who took the lead?
- Did you have to revise your strategy when you lost some of your cardboard steps?
- If you would do this activity again, what would you do differently?
- When steps were lost, how can we link this to our workplace?