Games like The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine can make some really difficult concepts much easier to dissect and discuss.
Collaboration and decision-making tend to be pretty intense activities in so many situations. In the team building exercises we deliver, the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing acts all get accomplished in a 15 minute planning period.
Normally, not everyone agrees at the start of the exercise, since people have different viewpoints on things like risk or have thought about resource management differently. Some want to get more information and some people are just unsure
But, within that time period, it is evident from observing the behaviors of the team members that they are now a team, sharing a goal and working together to prepare for the journey forward.
Now, that team can get to work and get things organized. What has NOT been resolved is that team’s role in the larger picture of the exercise. Watching the teams interact and the Collaborator being labeled a “Spy” is enlightening. The different tabletops still view the others as:
The goal is clear, the resources are defined, the possibilities are limited and the decisions being made are pretty critical. But teams bond to the exclusion of the other tabletops unless the Expedition Leader does some extraordinary things.
One way to play the game is to stop things after Day 5 of Day 10 and discuss performance relative to goals and objectives. After all,
The Goal is to Mine as much Gold as WE can!
But ALL of us Know More than ANY of us, so sharing information and maybe the trading of resources and ideas can have big overall benefits. People collaborating generate better results than people competing, that is for sure! We play the game to get into serious discussions about issues and opportunities to clarify existing or new visions and goals as well as address the fundamental issues of poor planning and competition.
After all, we are in this together,
For the FUN of It!
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott email@example.com
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