Form groups of 6 to 8 people. Challenge each group to create a machine out of their members by imitating the appearance and action of the machine with as many parts (gears, levers, etc.) as they can devise. The machine should have motion and sound, and include all team members.
(If a group is having trouble coming up with ideas some quietly shared examples might include becoming a blender, toaster, lawn mower, copy machine, lamp, a bottling plant, or washing machine.)
Give the teams five minutes to prepare their machine. Once the time is up, the teams take turns presenting and guessing each other’s machine.
The Marshmallow Challenge is a poweful exercise in fostering collaboration, it also reveals how we make many false assumptions.
A quick and easy way to gather everyone’s attention. All you need is a pair of scissors.
Prepare 4 sets of 3 posters containing a large single word (see list below) and place them in 3 spots in the room with a cover sheet on top.
Each flip chart will have one of the words from each set in the same order.
- Army, Navy, Air Force
- Beach, Mountain, City
- Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry
- Dog, Cat, Other
Gather everyone in the middle of the room. Remove the cover sheets on each of the three flip charts to reveal the first set of words.
Instruction: Ask the group – how do these words relate to you? Pick the one that relates the most. You must pick one. No need to overthink it. It might be a direct relationship or something relating to your family, friends, or neighbors. Anything is OK. Move to that area, paying attention to who else has joined you there. Turn to someone in this group and share your reasons for making this choice.
Time box to 5 minutes.
Remove the top sheet to reveal the next set of words and repeat.
Timebox each round and do a final de-brief at the end.
“What did you learn about others in the room?”
“Was there anyone who was the same as you for all four rounds?”
“Are you aware of anyone who shared non of your choices?”
“Did any other patterns emerge?”