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Team Building - Activity of the Month
August 2010, Giant Lizard Eggs

(Credit for this creative activity goes to our friend Sam Sikes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sam thought this up because he was wanting an activity that he could use bowling balls in. Well, as you’ll see, we have substituted basketballs for the bowling balls—a safer alternative. None the less, it is a great activity.)

-          One basketball per small group. (The activity works best with several small groups. You can do it with a single team, however.)
-          One 6-10 foot soft rope per person. 
-          A laundry basket or other receptacle for the "nest."
-          Have the lizard eggs—basketballs—scattered around the room or outdoor area, on the floor or ground.
-          Stage the basket in a central location. We like to elevate it somewhat for extra challenge. Setting it on an end table or chair works great.
-          Give each team member one of the ropes.
-          Share a scenario with the team, such as, “We have a real crisis here. A giant lizard has made a nest here—the basket—but her eggs have fallen and rolled away from the nest. This species is endangered, so we need to get the eggs back into the nest, so that she won’t abandon them. Unfortunately, the eggs are toxic. Fortunately, we have some material handling devices—the ropes—that will protect us from their toxin.
Objectives and rules:
-          The team’s (groups’) objective is to use the ropes to transport the eggs back to the nest.
-          Participants cannot touch the eggs with their hands or other body parts.
-          Only the ropes can be used.
-          The nest—basket—cannot be moved.
-          Additional rule, if you want to increase the challenge—participants can only touch their own rope with one of their hands. (They will have to discover that they can touch/handle the ropes of their teammates. This forces them to get creative in how they use each other’s ropes.)

Processing points will include:  

-          How did we team together to accomplish the objectives?
-          What was the communication like?
-          Could we have improved the communication and teamwork? How?
-          How did the group diverge for ideas?
-          How did the group converge on a plan?
-          What was done that was innovative? How? Why?
-          What sparked creativity and innovation?
-          Where at work do we need creativity and innovation?
-          How can we facilitate creative ideas in the workplace?
-          What was the team’s focus like on the mission? Why?
-          How well do we focus on our real business mission, day to day? Why or why not?
-          How can we create the focus needed to succeed?

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