Problem Solving Activities

Problem solving is one of the the most difficult things a team will have to do. Problem solving requires open and honest communication, with a spash of critical thinking thrown in. Please don't forget common sense.

Teams that are good at problem solving draw upon the strengths of every indidvidual and understand that diversity of opinion is good.

Alphabet Soup

This event is designed to stimulate dialogue about how team members work together to be more efficient and effective.

A glimpse of Alphabet Soup

The groups get multiple attempts to touch a sequence of letter and numbers as fast as they can. There is an overall time limit and the group can spend their time continuing to try to do it faster by practice, or spend their time strategizing with fewer attempts.

The activity is extremely fun, is moderately active and is a great conversation stimulator for the debrief.

Ideal For: Problem solving, pure fun, communication.

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Chain of Command

Team challenges and tough choices - Discover the setbacks of communication gaps the fun way!

If you want your group to start interacting and enjoying themselves from the word go, then Chain of Command is your best bet.

Chain of Command is a game that fosters problem-solving skills but is an ideal icebreaker. Chain of Command enphasizes facing challenges as a team through trust and co-operation.

A glimpse into Chain of Command

The game has a line-up pattern without the ability to turn around to communicate and therefore the name Chain of Command. The facilitator indicates a strict deadline. This will simulate a fair amount of  “real life” office stress among the participants. Using the many variations to Chain of Command, you can help participants discover the pitfalls of gaps in communication and to appreciate the nuances of different communication styles.

This is a game that has a lot of fun in store for the facilitator too. You can create even more challenges and raise the bar in fun quotient, by making the going extremely tough for capable teams. But at the same time you can play benevolent, by simplifying the task for a troubled team that may be stuck and not having any fun at all!

Ideal For: Icebreaker, problem solving, trust, pure fun, communication.

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China Syndrome
, $99.95

This event is often considered impossible in the beginning. To solve it, the participants will need critical thinking, excellent coaching and communication skills, shared leadership and perseverance.

This is a challenging activity that works well with organizations that have cross-functional rolls that support one common product or service. It addresses the issues of alternate leadership and support roles that help accomplish the larger task.

A glimpse into China Syndrome:

The group must prevent a 'China Syndrome' from occurring by pouring the contents of one bucket into another using only the materials provided and staying outside a large circle. Any person using the materials must be blindfolded. Given a short timeline, this event can challenge ANY group.

Ideal For: Coaching, problem solving, critical thinking, communication.

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Don’t Touch Me, $39.95

Warning: this event can lead to major paradigm shift. Don’t Touch Me will challenge the team to think outside the box and challenge the actual and implied rules.

This is a great application for both incremental process improvement and massive improvement. Both are necessary as well as asking 'dumb' questions.

Creativity, communication and problem solving and all areas this team building activity will cover in great discussion in the debrief.

Do not let the low cost of this exercise fool you, this is a POWERFUL exercise and is one of our facilitator favorites.

Ideal For: Problem solving, critical thinking, communication, perfect for use before a brainstorming session!

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Let Go My Ego, $69.95

Spiraling conflict and a gathering storm within the team but finally a strategic solution!

High pressure, stress, conflict and divergent views that reflect the real life work place are simulated in this well thought out and remarkable mind-bender game.

Every team member is an important spoke in the wheel of an organization and wields a significant influence on the group process. In this game, team members will find themselves pitted against each others views. They must work through frustrations and differences of opinion to solve this strategically challenging exercise.

A glimpse into Let Go My Ego:

Participants will be asked to pick a partner and form two parallel lines with the partners facing each other. A bar is placed along the index fingers of the team. The team has to co-ordinate the movement of the bar based on the instructions provided. A solution for this exercise is almost impossible!

While Let Go My Ego is a 'team'- based activity, it also emphasizes the accountability of each individual and their responsibility to communicate well.

Ideal for: communication, problem solving

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Perfect Square, $69.95

The Perfect Square is an easy event that can be very powerful. A blindfolded event represents many of the 'filters' we view the world through. With blindfolds on, communication can be difficult.

Interdependence is clear in this activity and group consensus can be difficult to reach, but very important.

A glimpse into Perfect Square:

Putting the group in a circle, they all reach forward to grab a rope that is laid down in front of them. After putting on their blindfolds, the group must form a perfect square. Once the group feels they have formed the perfect square, they take off the blindfolds to see how close they are. Seemingly easy, this activity is challenging.

Ideal For: Problem solving, trust, critical thinking, pure fun, communication.

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Team Shackles, $79.95

Overcome challenges by ‘unlocking’ the compartments in the mind!

If people in your organization tend to work in isolation or in ‘compartments’, if information sharing or seeking a co-worker’s counsel is non-existent, then you need Team Shackles. Team Shackles can bring about a paradigm shift in attitudes toward fellow workers. The game demonstrates how the whole team can benefit if there is willingness to seek and give help. It will also build confidence within the group and disprove the notion that some things are impossible.

A glimpse into Team Shackles:

This exercise has a simple setup but offers a great challenge. Within each team participants are ‘handcuffed’ to each other. The challenge is not only in each pair untangling the Shackles but in the entire team getting disentangling within a given time limit.

In this game you will notice some stereo-typical behavior among participants. Although the game requires the entire group to untangle, pairs that have managed to un-cuff earlier than others will usually not offer their help to other team members until time is running out or sometimes not even then. It was not in the 'rules'!

The game attempts to correct this behavior and develop a more supportive and helpful attitude among participants.

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Tied In Knots, $79.95

Cultivate the twin skills of decision making and consensus building

Decision-making and consensus building techniques go hand-in-hand. Tied in Knots will facilitate decision making as a group. The challenge in this game is posed by a series of ropes. The exercise is designed with 10 levels of difficulty. Not only will the levels add to the excitement of the challenge but will also help participants discover their own managerial strengths. In the course of finding solutions, participants recognize the best techniques that work for them in-group decision-making. This game will tap into problem solving skills and the ability to reason, critically assess and arrive at a solution.

A glimpse into Tied in Knots:

Participants will be shown a set of independent ropes that have one rope holding them all together. Without disturbing the arrangement, the team has to jointly identify the one rope that is holding the rest together.

As each team moves one step higher on the difficulty levels, this thought-provoking exercise will help the participants discover the best decision making techniques that work for them as a team.

Once a team identifies a good technique to solve the activity, they will have a lot of fun by setting for themselves time limits to arrive at a decision. This process builds the ability for consensus speed within the team. The exercise requires roughly 60 Minutes to cover the decision-making at various difficulty levels.

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