By Gary Turner
Team building can be tricky. It requires significant effort and compromise. But there is a way to make it easier. HRDQ's Jungle Escape game is a great way to put team building skills into action and establish a road map for team success. It brings vital group-process skills to life through a hands-on design and interactive experience.
Team members put team building skills to the test through action. They play a scenario where they are stranded in
a jungle after surviving an airplane crash and need to assemble a helicopter within a 30-minute time frame by using limited materials and relying on teamwork.
In partnership with HRDQ, seasoned trainers, consultants, and training managers from different organizations were put onto random teams to experience the Jungle Escape Game. Generally, when I work with intact teams, they finish the helicopter within 18 to 24 minutes. Since this team had not worked together before, they were very fragmented and found it difficult to finish the construction within 30 minutes. It was painful to see them struggle and fail to work well together at such a simple task.
While the activity was very demanding on these participants, it was a powerful learning experience in overcoming challenges and recognizing how working together helps teams function in a more cohesive way. Each participant reflected on their individual team role and learned how the actions of one individual on a team can majorly affect group productivity. They took away straightforward action-planning steps that they could take back to their own department and organization to use as guidance for improved team performance.
A client at a chemical company asked me to do a day of teambuilding for a cross-functional improvement team. The 12 members had met weekly during the past year, so they were familiar with each other. Originally, I had split them into two even teams at different tables. When the exercise started, the team leader said, "Hey, we shouldn't be competing against each other. We are here to learn how to work better together. Let's all work around one table and build the two helicopters simultaneously."
There were one or two quick objections and some nervous laughter, but then all 12 participants sprang into serious action, quickly planning out how they would work together. They began building both helicopters concurrently with everyone working extremely cohesively, providing continual feedback on how well they were doing and what could be done better. They were done planning and building both helicopters in 11.5 minutes!
After doing Jungle Escape with more than 500 teams, I'd never seen another team finish planning and building the helicopter in less than 15 minutes. It was a spectacular feat! Their experience with HRDQ's Jungle Escape Game showed that when teammates continually work at developing the group as a whole, the team does work more cohesively, efficiently, and effectively. They got it right with continual feedback and encouragement, while challenging themselves to work better together. The successful teamwork they put into action during the game will cross-over into the workplace as better group productivity and team performance.
Every team's experience with the Jungle Escape Game will be different, but no one is more significant than the other. The real lessons come from their own unique experience and the engaging insight they will carry with them on their journey to becoming an effective team. Discover Jungle Escape today to help fragmented teams overcome challenges and rally established teams to reach new heights of success! Now it's your turn... if your team was stranded in the jungle, how would your team survive?