“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Setup Time: 10 minutes
Activity: 10 – 45 minutes
Debrief: 20 minutes (minimum)
Group Size: 20 – 52 participants per set of Toobeez
(NOTE: There are 52 pieces per set)
For smaller groups, make sure to have at least one connector sphere for every three people.
Space: 20 x 20 (minimum room size)
Open space – no chairs, tables, etc.
Give each person one Toobeez piece.
In this activity, you will each be given one Toobeez. Work as a team to connect everyone together, creating a structure with no dead ends. You must follow these guidelines:
There is only one correct way through this Toobeez maze from point A to point B (indicate beginning and end to the participants). The object of the activity is for you to determine what that correct path is and then have as many of you go through the maze as possible in the time allotted.
Any questions on the material covered? You will have 20 minutes to complete this activity. (Answer any questions and get teams situated with their Toobeez). Begin.
During the activity, listen and look for the following: How people work together, manage the project, and communicate. The questions below, based on the primary Learning Intentions, are provided to guide your observations.
Learning Intention: Teamwork and Cooperation
In this activity, people may focus on themselves or their piece, or they may focus on everyone else and the overall project. The only way to successfully complete this activity is to work together and communicate effectively with the other team members. During the activity, observe:
Learning Intention: Project Management
This activity is a great opportunity for people to assume project management responsibilities. Given that the participants may be under a time constraint, effective project management is crucial. During the activity, observe:
After 20 minutes, regardless of where the team is, conclude the exercise.
You may choose to wait until there is a solution instead of being restricted by time.
Variations are optional and will highlight additional skill sets.
1. Highlighting: Communication
In addition to the instructions above, this exercise must be done in complete silence. Only nonverbal communication will be permitted.
2. Highlighting: Creative Thinking
In addition to the instructions above, each participant will be given two Toobeez (instead of one) for which to be responsible. Again, all pieces must be used and everyone must be touching both of his/her Toobeez at all times. You may not connect your two pieces to each other.
NOTE: If you have more than 26 people, you will need an additional set of Toobeez to execute this variation.
The debrief should be an interactive discussion. Lead it by offering a series of questions and soliciting responses from the participants. To begin, ask questions about the activity itself and continue with specifics related to the skills you want to address or highlight. You may stick to one area of focus or choose to cover many topics. Suggested questions are offered below to guide you as you facilitate this debrief.
The debrief is organized with an Opening and Closing and then by Learning Intention, and it may be used in a variety of ways. You may use just the Opening and Closing for a basic debrief or add the Learning Intention-specific debriefs in between. To include the Learning Intention specifics in your debrief, either pick one or two questions from each area in order to touch on many topics or work in depth on one or more areas of learning and go through all of the questions for that topic(s). Look through the questions, TIPs, FCs, and Transitions prior to the training session in order to choose which ones you will cover (see “How to Use this Book”).
The intention of this activity is to develop teamwork, cooperation,
and project management skills. It requires extensive coordination
among participants, and everyone must play an active role.
This activity offers many lessons, so let the participants share
with you what they learned and their comments as to the
purpose of the activity.
This activity is a platform for new actions. There are many situations in which we are interdependent with others. Cooperation, teamwork, and effective project management skills are necessary to work together successfully, regardless of the restrictions put on each of us.
Teamwork and cooperation includes how people interact with each other, the roles people take in group settings, and how people perceive situations – as competitive or collaborative. Use the following questions to generate a discussion about how people work together.
When Using Variation #1
When Using Variation #2
When people work together in an empowering way – one in which everyone is listened to and respected as a contributing member of the team – results are impacted. We often interpret situations as “us versus them,” or “mine first”, when all parties would benefit by working together. As we expand our interpretation of “team”, we also expand the possibilities for success and achievement. So, by putting cooperation and teamwork above our personal concerns and into action, what do you think the results would be in your organization?.
Everyone working on a project uses “project management” skills.
Sometimes people are in official PM roles. Other times, people
are part of the project team. Regardless, learning to manage a
project and your piece of it effectively impacts everyone and
forwards your personal and collective results. Use the following
questions to generate a discussion about how people manage
projects and others, regardless of their official role.
Project Management is a set of skills, a position, and ways of being that anyone in any role in a project can assume. When people take responsibility for the outcome of a project, clearly communicate steps and outcomes, keep track of the status, and empower others to continue working and meet commitments, they are managing the project, regardless of their official role or title. Successful organizations cultivate project management in everyone while also supporting and empowering those in official project management roles. How would your organization be impacted if everyone took on project management while also accepting that only certain people have that official role?
Communication determines how people work together and the results they create. Use the following questions to begin a discussion on the role communication played in this activity. If using Variation #1, emphasize the nonverbal.
Ninety percent of our daily communication is nonverbal, yet werarely focus on it. When speech is taken away from us, we get to highlight all of the other ways we’re communicating with others and the ways others are communicating with us.
Creative thinking supports everything from strategy to communication to implementation. Variation #2 is an opportunity to stretch people’s thinking even further by having you “connected” to two separate pieces instead of one.