A Teachable Moment -- an interview with Michelle Cummings
Teambuilding Games at an Orphanage in India

Large Group Activity

Focusring6I led a teambuildng workshop a few weeks back for a company that had experienced a recent merger.  One company bought out another company and the group was facing all the challenges that come with that.  I worked with 100 of the managers in a hotel conference setting for one day. 

I led a series of activities that explored the relationship of small groups (small organizations) coming together (merging) with another small group.

The photos here show an example of one of the activities I led.  I call this activity "Focus Ring"  and it's a variation on an activity I learned from Jim Cain who is the coauthor of a great teambuilding games book called Teamwork & Teamplay.

ROUND # 1:  The first photo shows a group of eight participants delivering their product (a tennis ball) to their customer (a piece of 1/2 diameter PVC pipe).  I had the entire group of 100 working in small teams of 8, with each small team working on placing a tennis ball on their own piece of pipe.  The "delivery system" is a steel ring with nylon twine attached to it (the tennis ball rests on top of the ring).

ROUND # 2:  Small teams (of 8 people) pair-up (merge) with another small team. The two small teams place their tennis balls on a PVC pipe structure that holds two balls.  It's tricky because the PVC pipe structure will fall over if the balls aren't placed on the structure just right.

ROUND # 3:  Small teams (of 8 people) merge with three other small teams and must deliver their products to a PVC pipe structure which holds 4 balls simultaneously.  It's much more difficult than the previous two rounds. 

Focusring4_2The debrief centered around the strategies, tactics and tools necessary for creating a successful merger.  I asked the group to identify what worked in the activity and how the knowledge/awareness gained can be applied in the work environment.

Check out the faces of the participants.  I made them blurry to hide their identity.  It reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode.

Members of www.TeachMeTeamwork.com can find detailed instructions for this activity (including how to lead it and make it) in the members only section.


Andy Wibbels

Looks great, Tom! Congrats on your new blog. With regards to game theory - have you ever heard of The Game?

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