Once a team has completed the standard exercises or achieved obvious mastery, you may want to run one or more of the special exercises. These exercises demonstrate circumstances that real teams meet and how these circumstances can affect a team’s performance.
Goals (G) In this exercise there are two goals. Participants whose clicker IDs (on the back of their clicker) end in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, A, C, or E are instructed to reach the goal on the left. The rest are to reach the goal on the right. The group can reach only one goal. This exercise will demonstrate how quickly and whether people are willing to give up their goal in order for the team to achieve a goal. There a numerous real-world examples where team members may have conflicting goals. For example, a sales force may want to maximize unit sales while marketing wants to maximize sales revenue. Some individuals may have a goal of getting promoted while others may want a different assignment or to relocate.
Hidden Paths (H) This exercise is good at getting all participants engaged. In this exercise all the borders are shown as three-character alphanumeric characters. The characters represent either a wall or an open path. Participants need to ‘decode’ the characters. If any participant has a particular three-character sequence in their clicker ID number (found on the back of the clicker), then the characters represent a path. If no one has the character sequence, then the characters represent a wall. For example, suppose the characters “09C” appear in the maze. If a participant has the ID “2A09C2”, then the characters represent a path or opening. If no one has “09C” in their ID number, then those characters represent a wall. It is easy to see the real-world analog for this exercise. As a team tries to achieve its objective, no single person will have the solution to all the problems the group will face. In different situations, different people will have the information or solution to help the group proceed.
Movers (M) In the workplace, different situations often require different team members to play a more active role. In this exercise, in each maze square a different subset of participants will control movement. Those not controlling movement will have their player color set to gray. The rules for controlling movement are the same as in the standard exercises but must be implemented by a changing subset of participants.
Walls (W) In business, it is not uncommon for the roles that different team members play to change with the situation. Different situations call for different types of expertise. In this exercise, the participants’ roles change in each square. A subset of participants will continue to control movement. Those not controlling movement are able to remove maze walls. People removing walls vote either gray or orange. To remove a wall, the object must be attempting to move forward and all those able to remove walls must show orange. Once a wall is removed, it stays removed for the remainder of the exercise. This exercise is particularly effective at making sure all group members actively participate.
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