Divided into teams, we built two Star Wars-themed lego kits: an X-wing starfighter in teams of two, and a Republic artillery cannon in teams of four. In the first round, our goal was a combination of speed and accuracy; in the second round, we applied the lessons we’d learned from our teamwork to assemble the most effective cannon. Even though no one had any idea what the exercise would be about before we started – and a general lack of familiarity with Lego building kits on most of our parts – when we regrouped, we realized we’d all learned many of the same lessons: we informally and easily were able to divide and conquer each Lego project into its separate components, then put together the final product; we found that in most teams, people naturally fit into roles of “builder” and “organizer”; and we realized the importance of having support from IT when your propulsion system is down.
Also, taking our cannons “to market” was quite fun!
We find that our team learns quite a bit from informal and unconventional exercises like these – from this one, not only did we get to know each other’s strengths a little bit better, but we also built experience in easily and rapidly adapting to any challenge that comes our way – and we had a good time doing it. (You may remember our last team exercise was designing Zen gardens, in which we all had to creatively allocate identical resources.)
Does your organization participate in teambuilding exercises? What are some unique ways you’ve gotten people to work together?