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Mass Pass Deluxe Kit

Introduction Years ago there was an initiative called Pick’n’Choose. If you experienced it during an AP training, you typically were throwing tennis balls into large paper cores (cylindrical cardboard containers weighing about 10 pounds). It was a high energy activity that people thoroughly enjoyed playing; unfortunately, few people could replicate the activity because of the quantity of tennis balls needed as well as the difficulty sourcing the paper cores. While PA staff had access to the props, we were reluctant to carry them around to workshops since the balls and cores were heavy and bulky. So after a time other activities supplanted this one in our repertoire. But the old adage – what goes around, comes around – came true once again. When QuickSilver was published, it contained a write-up for an activity called Corporate Connection (the idea had been passed along to Karl by Lee Peters at Weber State University in Utah). One of our staff read the write-up and called me (Steve Butler) about the game. Honestly, I had forgotten about Pick’n’Choose and was unfamiliar with this new title and description. Well, the activity fit our needs for an upcoming training but needed some modification due to the large number of participants. We came, we modified, we had a great new activity. We had created a rare beast - one initiative that can actively engage a large group of people. The expanded version of Corporate Connection has since become a staple of our programs. It is flexible (accommodating small and large groups, indoors or out), dynamic (fast-paced action and multiple roles producing high levels of engagement) and insightful (learning focusing on creating interdependence, building trust and developing clear communication). In designing this kit, we have chosen portable, safer and higher quality props than the old ones we used to use. The containers are lightweight and durable, and can be used to store the objects. The balls are safer because they are made of foam, yet they offer a satisfying “bounce-ability” just like a tennis ball. We have packed the props into two kits so that leaders can choose the one appropriate for their groups. The Standard kit contains three activities: 2 versions of Corporate Connection and Polygon Pass. This kit will work well with groups up to 30 people. The Deluxe kit includes seven activities: 3 adaptations (including a 4 team version) of Corporate Connection, Polygon Pass, Rob the Nest & Share the Wealth, and Phillipe Le Basquet (a.k.a. Phil the Bucket). There are enough props to work with substantially larger groups – Corporate Connection could actively involve 60+ people for example. With large groups, these activities can highlight issues of interdependence between teams and departments, can focus on issues of leadership, can develop trust and improved communication between groups. This set of activities is somewhat unique since they work well with large groups, and the list of activities that do this, and do it well, is short. 1


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Corporate Connection Four Team Variation (20-60+ people) Typically, the framing of this activity divides the group into smaller teams, each responsible for its area and for achieving its own goal - getting all its balls into its designated containers. Despite the physical separation, the group is told they are part of one larger organization trying to achieve the highest score as its goal. Issues and Outcomes In a multiple group format, the following issues can be highlighted: • Collaboration versus Competition • Developing “win-win” outcomes when multiple groups or teams work together • “Out of the Box” Thinking • Leadership and Communication

The Props For a four team set-up, the props needed include:

• 8 containers Each sub-group will have two containers designated as its targets. It is recommended to mark each container - front and back - with the color of one team’s balls. It can be helpful to label each container with its point value.

• 4 dozen hi-bounce foam balls There needs to be one dozen balls per team (teams would be no larger than 12 people); each team’s balls need to be a different color. We recommend hi-bounce foam balls for safety reasons. Providing more balls per team would increase the activity level, prolong the work periods and make it more challenging to complete the task.

• 4 boundary markers (10 feet each) There needs to be a line to mark each team’s area where the throwers must stand and over which they cannot cross. 2


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The Setup For four teams, it is recommended that the props be positioned as in the diagram below. Group A

Group B

C

B

A

D A

D B

C Group C

Group D

The closest container for each team is positioned 4-6 feet from its team’s throwing area; the other container can be 15-20 feet away for the throwing area. The containers for the opposite team are typically placed at roughly the same distance (i.e. the closest container of Group C is next to the farthest container of Group A, and approximately 4-6 feet from Group A’s throwing area). It is important to mark each container with the color of the team. The closest container is typically worth 5 points; the farthest container is worth 10 points. It is generally helpful to position the containers so that there are clear lines of throwing to each container. In this setup, it is more difficult to arrange the containers to create clear throwing pathways. All balls for each team must start each round behind the boundary for that team. The Briefing A presentation of the four team format might include this information: “This large group represents one organization, divided into four separate departments. Each department is responsible for achieving its own goal; that goal is to get all of your colored balls into the containers that match your ball color, and to maximize the score for your department. The containers for each department are set up facing your team’s throwing area. The closer container (point it out) is worth 5 points per ball at the end of the round; the farther 3


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container (point it out) is worth 10 points per ball. Once a ball is in a container, it cannot be removed. Any ball that lands in a container of a different color has no point value. You need to produce the highest score possible for your department, and thus the highest score possible for the organization. The farther container has a higher payoff, but also a higher risk. The organization needs to plan and evaluate its strategy to achieve the highest point total. You will have three rounds to generate your best score. Each round will last no longer than 90 seconds. During the round, your small team can divide itself into the roles I describe. For Round 1, there are Throwers - they stand behind the boundary marker and toss the balls into the containers - and Retrievers - they move around the containers picking up balls that have missed and rolling them back to the team for another toss. These roles are permanent for that round; people cannot switch roles once the activity has started for that round. OPTIONAL: To add a focus on leadership, continue with this extra information. After I answer your questions, I will ask each team to designate 1-2 leaders. These leaders will have some additional responsibilities and I will give them a separate briefing just prior to starting Round 1. Are there any questions?” After the questions are done, brief the leaders privately as follows: “As leaders, you are responsible and accountable for insuring that your department achieves its goals. You need to take charge to make sure the score achieved is the highest one possible, for your department and for the overall organization. As leaders, you have the ability to call a team meeting at any time. You call a meeting by telling me you want one. Any one of you can call it. During this activity, you may have a total of two team meetings. A meeting lasts for three minutes. You are free to include anyone in the meeting - it can be just yourselves as the leaders; it can include some or all of your group’s members. Once the team meeting is over, the activity will resume. If you call a meeting in the middle of a round, the round is suspended and resumes with whatever time remained when the meeting was called.” INSTRUCTOR’S NOTE: In explaining this setup, your choice of language is critical. You want to state clearly that each department is responsible for getting its balls into its containers. The implication is that each subgroup must throw its own balls; most participants will assume that they have to throw their own colored balls. What you hope to establish is an opportunity for the small teams to recognize a better solution, a “win-win” for themselves and the larger organization. If team A gives its balls to team C to throw, team C is much closer to the team A’s high point container and can more easily produce a higher 4


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score. Likewise, if all the teams can make the leap to this idea, the scores can be significantly higher and the task made much easier. This strategy is a way for maximizing the payoff while also minimizing the risk. Each team could focus only on its low point container - low risk but low payoff; the team could focus on the high point container - high risk maybe high payoff. But the collaborative strategy is the out-of-box thinking that has the greatest potential. But finding this solution requires trusting the other teams to support you and do your work. This new paradigm is not an easy one for many groups. Because they are physically separated and “responsible” for their own balls, they often focus only on their own objective and lose sight of the larger goal. If questions are asked such as: “Can our team help the other teams?” or “Does my team have to be the one to throw my colored balls into the container?”, the recommended response is to repeat the general statement that each team is responsible for getting its own balls into the container, and adding that its up to each team and its leaders to make that decision. The language is critical to avoid the small teams feeling that they were “set up” by the way in which the activity was presented. You need to set the stage and let them make their assumptions, yet allow them the flexibility to interpret the set up to create the win-win. The nuances are subtle but significant.

The Rules The GOAL: The total team (i.e. all four groups) attempts to achieve the highest score possible in each round. INSTRUCTOR’S NOTE: In the briefing, it is critical to state that the four groups are part of one organization/entity. Round #1 Rules: 1) The large team attempts to score the highest point total. The closest container is easiest (i.e. physically closest) but has the lowest score; the farther container is has the highest score (hence the greatest “payoff”). State that each team is responsible for insuring that all of its own balls end up in a container that matches its color. 2) The team will have at least three rounds to achieve their best score. Each round lasts 90 seconds (or until all balls are in the containers). 3) All balls must start each round behind the boundary line where they are currently located. (Team A’s balls must always start in Team A’s area.) 5


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4) Each small team may divide itself into Throwers and Retrievers. The roles are permanent for the round. The team decides how many people are in each role. 5) Retrievers are only allowed to retrieve balls that are on the floor and roll (not throw them for safety reasons) them back to the Throwers. Retrievers may not attempt do anything to assist a thrown ball into a container. Retrievers can roam anywhere in the area where the containers are. 6) Throwers must remain behind the boundary marker at all times. 7) To be included as a successful score, any ball must bounce at least once on the floor before landing in a container. (If playing this game outside where the balls do not bounce well, simply change this rule to allow the balls to e thrown into the buckets “on the fly,” i.e. without bouncing. 8) If either a Retriever assists a ball into a container or a Thrower puts a ball into a container without bouncing it, the entire score for that container is nullified for that round (ouch!). 9) The team may discuss strategy before the first round begins. INSTRUCTOR’S NOTE: It is generally helpful to move into Round 1 as quickly as possible with a minimal amount of planning and discussion. Typically, groups will assume they are competing with the other groups to produce the highest score. Allowing too much time for discussion at the outset may allow the teams to identify and organize a collaborative strategy. If you hear such discussion, you may want to move into the action as quickly as possible. It’s not that you want to prevent the teams from uniting behind a collaborative strategy, but the power of collaboration becomes even more evident and valuable if the first round evolves in a more chaotic, individualistic pattern. 10) The boundary markers and the containers may not be moved; they are permanently fixed where they are. 11) At the conclusion of the round, have the teams count the number of balls in each bucket and add up their individual scores. It is recommended that the scores be posted on a flip chart pad so that the results are visible and can be tracked from round to round. Typically, the scores are recorded for each team as well as having a total for all four groups. Round #2, Additional Rules: 11) The team may assign people to a third role, Backboards. Backboards may use their bodies to assist balls into a container. Backboards may not use their arms from shoulder to hands; they may only use their torso and legs. Throwers and Retrievers are still used. 12) Each role is permanent for this round. 6


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Round #3, Additional Rules: 13) (OPTIONAL) For this round, all three roles are present and they are interchangeable. People can change roles at any time during the round. INSTRUCTOR’S NOTE: If the teams are collaborating and have managed to get the highest possible score in Rounds 1 or 2, you might announce a new challenge by asking them to achieve the same score but in a shorter time frame, or ask them to set a goal of the highest point total possible in 90 seconds. If a group thinks that 480 is the highest total possible, you may allow them to think creatively and empty full buckets so that the balls can be thrown and counted multiple times. If this technique is used, it is recommended that only full containers, i.e.buckets with 12 balls in them, be emptied so that the team can keep track of the number of balls. Between rounds, it is recommended that you record the scores for each small group and a total combined score for the four teams. For some people, recording the individual team scores pushes them to be more competitive. Be aware of this pattern and present the scoring in a manner that best matches the goals you are aiming for with this activity. Debriefing Debriefing questions should always be connected to both the goals of the group and the briefing scenario. The following questions could frame a debrief: •

How does the group feel about its overall performance?

What factors contributed either to the entire group’s success or to its inability to achieve a satisfactory score and profit?

What was the focus of each sub-team during the activity? Did that focus change or stay the same? Why?

What was the focus of the leaders? How did their role impact on the achievements of the separate offices? of the overall company?

What did it take for the four teams to unify behind a collaborative strategy?

Does that type of collaboration occur now? What would it take for that type of collaboration to happen?

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Helpful Hints The nuances of this multiple group format are subtle yet critical to attend to. Note: – – – –

the role of the leaders how the teams offer suggestions and whether they are heard and acted on when and why the teams begin to collaborate (if they do at all) whether the team meetings are called and used effectively

The outcomes can be powerful and revealing, but groups can also feel frustrated and angry if they don’t do well. Be prepared with a focused debriefing plan to maximize the learning potential of this exercise. While 90 seconds may seem like a short time, typically it has allowed sufficient opportunity for activity and completion and improvement. It is acceptable, perhaps desirable, that the group cannot get all the balls in the containers unless they produce an exceptional performance. Making the times longer may offer more chance for success, but it may reduce the challenge for the group. Adjust the times according to the needs of the group, but shorter time limits for the rounds tend to produce better results. Monitor safety issues for all participants. People are likely to be hit by balls but this activity can be (and is) done safely with all ages. Adjust the roles and the parameters of where people go and how the balls are thrown to meet the needs of your group. Choosing an appropriate ball is the surest way to enhance safety. Project Adventure supplies 3” hi-bounce foam balls because they combine bounciness and softness. Variations

 If a group gets all the balls in containers before the time limit is reached, balls can be dumped out and thrown again. Teams would need to remember how many balls were in a container when it was emptied to compile an accurate total score.

 If a group gets all the balls in, note how much time it took. For the next round, see if they can achieve the same result but in a shorter time (and possibly increase their score by getting more balls as well). INSTRUCTOR’S SAFETY NOTE: It is recommended that Retrievers always roll, not throw, the balls back for safety reasons. Throwers are not paying attention to balls being returned so they could be hit if a ball is thrown. It is recommended that all balls bounce before going into a container for safety reasons. Retrievers will get hit by balls. If they are bouncing, the balls are less likely to hit anyone in the head.

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For the reasons above, choose a ball that offers the degree of safety needed for your group. PA recommends the hi-bounce foam balls in our kit for this reason. Obviously small children are less accurate throwing and less able to avoid being hit. More care would be needed with this younger audience in briefing safety procedures. It might be recommended to tell Retrievers that they must wait to the side or behind a boundary marked behind the last container and only retrieve balls that come to them.

Sample Briefing Scenarios GENERIC: Your organization is divided into four departments. Each department is responsible for meeting its own objectives. The success of the larger organization is dependent on the success of each department. Each department’s goal is to get all of its balls into a container thus representing successful completion of all of its tasks. Certain tasks have greater rewards if the team can manage the additional risk factor - i.e. getting a ball into the farther container produces double the point value. The department and the organization need to develop a plan that will achieve the highest possible score. Each department must designate 1-2 leaders who will oversee the performance of that group. The leaders will receive a separate briefing just prior to the start of the first round. Performance is critical for the future of the organization, so the maximizing the point value of each task completed is of paramount importance in this activity.

BUSINESS: Your company has four regional offices. The company is growing rapidly and needs to achieve the highest profit margin possible. Each office has a sales goal to achieve; maximizing the sales figures in each office will result in the company having the highest possible gross profit. When a ball goes into a customer’s container, that represents a successful sales transaction. Some customers are more difficult to close, yet they also may have a higher profit margin. Doing some extra work and taking a higher risk may provide a greater return to the company. The company must decide how to allocate its human resources to generate the greatest profit. At the beginning of each round, each office will need to designate how many people are in each role to achieve the highest productivity and profit. For Round 1, office personnel may either be Throwers (Sales) or Retrievers (Administration). 9


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In Round 2: Based on the results of the previous quarter, the company is investing some of its profits to enhance profit margins even more in the next business cycle. A new training program has created another role available to each office. Backboards may physically assist balls into the containers; however due to safety regulations, Backboards may not use their arms in any way. Our company needs to produce better results in the next two cycles to maintain our edge in the marketplace. Each office needs to focus on achieving its highest score to support our company’s, and your own, interests.

SPORTS TEAM You are all part of one team. The team is comprised of players who have different roles and positions. Each position has its own tasks to perform in order for the team to succeed. A high performing team integrates all the positions so that they can act as one. In this activity, imagine their are four positions on this team. Each position is responsible for fulfilling its responsibilities to the team. That means each position will need to get all of its balls into the container that matches its color. If each position produces the maximum points for the team, then the team will achieve its highest score as well.

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Two Team Version (8-28 people) Much of the description of the four team version is relevant to these instructions. To avoid lengthy repetition and to save on paper, we have included only the information directly applicable to this two team version below. The basic rules remain unchanged; however the set up of the equipment is slightly different. It is recommended that you review the four team description, particularly the Instructor’s Notes sections, for further detail. Briefing scenarios and debriefing questions would be similar (adapted to two groups) as well. The framing of this activity divides the group into smaller teams, each responsible for its area and for achieving its own goal - getting all its balls into its designated containers. Despite the physical separation, the group is told they are part of one larger organization trying to achieve the highest score as its goal. The immediate focus for each group is often on achieving their own task. Each group may identify that they perceive the task as competitive because of the physical set up. If they are willing to see the bigger picture and listen to each other, a mutually beneficial solution becomes available that typically produces a significantly higher level of overall performance. Issues and Outcomes In a two group format, the following issues can be highlighted: • • • •

Collaboration versus Competition Developing “win-win” outcomes when multiple groups work together “Out of the Box” Thinking Leadership and Communication The Props

For a two team set-up, the props needed include:

• 4 containers Each group will have two containers designated as its targets. It is recommended to mark each container - front and back - with the color of one team’s balls. It can be helpful to label each container with its point value.

• 2 dozen hi-bounce foam balls There needs to be one dozen balls per team; each team’s balls need to be a different color. We recommend hi-bounce foam balls for safety reasons. Providing more balls per team would increase the activity level, prolong the work periods and make it more challenging to complete the task.

• 2 boundary markers (10 feet each) 11


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There needs to be a line to mark each team’s area where the throwers must stand and over which they cannot cross. The Set Up

 Arrange the containers as shown in the diagram. Boundary Marker Team A “blue”

A B

B

Boundary Marker

A

Team B “red”

 Place all the colored balls of each color behind one boundary (i.e. all blue balls belong to Team A, all red balls belong to Team B).

 Label the containers to correspond to the colors of the balls. Both containers marked A would be labeled blue; both B containers would be labeled red.

 The more distant container for each team (the dark circles) should be labeled as worth twice the point value of the closer container. Typically the closer container is worth 5 points, the farther one is worth 10 points.

 The distance to the closest container is usually 4-6 feet from the boundary marker, to the farther container approximately 15 feet. The farther container for Team A is roughly parallel to the closer container for Team B.

 Tell the group they are all part of one organization (team, school, whatever term works best). Each smaller team (A & B) is responsible for getting its own balls into the containers that match its color. Tell them they will have at least three rounds to achieve their highest score, each round lasting no longer than 90 seconds.

Rules See Rules section of the four team description.

Instructor Options •

When a team meeting is called, the activity is suspended for 3 minutes or until the leaders tell you they want to resume. Be certain to keep track of this time. If the meeting is called during a round, give the group the remaining time in the round after the meeting ends. 12


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• Shorten the time periods as each round occurs to emphasize the need for continuous improvement and to increase the challenge level to match the group’s performance.

One Team Version (up to 24 people) Differing from the multiple team adaptations, the one team version can explore other aspects of team performance. While the number of people participating can be smaller, the richness of this version is comparable to the other adaptations. In particular, review the description of how to frame this activity around goal setting at the end of the Instructor Options. This version can work well to explore the dynamics of striving to set and achieve challenging and realistic goals. Issues and Outcomes In a one group format, the following issues can be highlighted: • • • • •

Goal setting and risk taking Planning and strategy Roles and responsibilities Decision making Continuous improvement

The Props For a one team set-up, the props needed include:

• 4 containers It can be helpful to label each container with its point value.

• 2 dozen hi-bounce foam balls We recommend hi-bounce foam balls for safety reasons. Providing more balls per team would increase the activity level, prolong the rounds and make it more challenging to complete the task.

• 1-2 boundary markers (10 feet each) There needs to be a line to mark the area where the throwers must stand and over which they cannot cross. The Set Up

 Arrange the containers in the pattern below. Distance to the nearest container is about 5 feet, to the farthest is approximately 20 feet (or more). 13


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Boundary Marker

A C B D

 Label the containers to show the point value for each one: A = 5, B = 10, C = 15, D = 25. The points can be changed to provide more or less reward for each distance.

 Place all the balls behind the boundary marker.  Position all participants behind the boundary during the explanation.  Tell the group they will have three (or more) rounds to achieve their best score. Between rounds there will be a designated planning time to discuss strategy. Rules ROUND 1 1) The boundary marker and the containers cannot be moved. 2)

All balls must start each round behind the boundary marker.

3)

The group can divide into two roles: Throwers - must stay behind the boundary marker and may only throw balls into the containers; Retrievers - can roam anywhere around the containers to pick up and return any balls, must roll balls back to the Throwers.

4)

Retrievers may not throw balls or attempt to assist a ball into a container.

5)

Throwers must bounce a ball at least once before it goes into a container.

6)

Any infraction of rules 4 & 5 will cause the score for that container to be negated. For example, if a Retriever knocks a ball into container B or a Thrower throws a ball into Container A without a bounce, the score for both those containers would be nullified.

7)

The group will have a maximum of 90 seconds to complete each round. The time may be shortened after round 1.

8)

Participants may not switch roles once the round begins.

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9)

Between each round, the group will have a planning session that will last no longer than 3 minutes. If the group wants to begin the next round before the planning time is up, they may choose to do so.

10) The group may have a 3 minute planning session before round 1. At end of Round 1, total the score for each container. Then add the new rules before letting the planning session begin. ROUND 2 11) Tell the group about the third role: Backboard - may assist balls into the containers, but may not use their arms and may not retrieve or throw balls. 12) Participants may not switch roles once the round begins. 13) Adjust the time limit as appropriate. (If the group gets all the balls in containers in less than 90 seconds, ask them to exceed their score and do so in less than the time it took for the previous round). At end of Round 2, total the score for each container. Then review any new rules before letting the planning session begin. ROUND 3 14) Optional: Allow the group to switch roles in the middle of the round if they choose. 15) Adjust the time limit as appropriate. The Briefing “Your group is facing a challenge that offers both risks and rewards. You have multiple products that consumers want to purchase. Some customers will generate a higher profit for your team, but they also present a greater risk of no return on your investment. Your goal is to achieve the highest point total by getting as many balls as possible into the highest valued container that is achievable. Your group will need to assess the challenge and the risks involved, then devise a strategy to maximize your score. You will have several rounds to improve your performance and to revise your plans. It will be important to think about the different tasks involved in this activity and assign people to the role that uses their abilities as well as supports the overall success of the team.� Debriefing Debriefing questions should always be connected to both the goals of the group and the briefing scenario. The following questions could frame a debrief: 15


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• How did the group arrive at a strategy before the first round? Did the plan change. Why or why not? • How did the score influence the group’s efforts? • What factors contributed the most to the group’s overall success? • What would you change about the group’s efforts to make improvements in the future? • What did you learn about taking and managing risks. Instructor Options • Present all three roles before the first round to allow a consistent process to develop. • Extend the time periods to give the group more opportunity for success or to focus more on communication issues. • Shorten the time periods as each round occurs to emphasize the need for continuous improvement and to increase the challenge level to match the group’s performance. • The containers can be arranged in many configurations. The diagram shows a basic set up. Modify the distances to adjust the challenge level. • GOAL SETTING: If goal setting is an integral component of the training, this activity lends itself well to examining what type of help people might need to be successful achieving their individual goals. The scenario would be as follows:

 Round 1 – – – –

Each person has a ball. The ball represents their goal. You might label the ball with the goal written on tape. (The tape may disfigure the balls if used repeatedly.) Each person must throw their own ball. No retrievers are allowed. Each bucket represents the reward for achieving the goal. The farther the bucket, the higher the reward. The risk trying to “go for it” is also higher. There is no time limit. Each person only has one throw.

At end of the round, check to see how many balls made it into a container (typically it will be less than 20% of the balls). Ask people how successful they feel in achieving their goals. They usually express disappointment. Ask them why they were frustrated and they may identify several factors including: only having one opportunity, not having any support, taking too big a risk.

 Round 2 –

Each person has a ball. The ball represents their goal. 16


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– – – –

Each person must throw their own ball. Retrievers and Backboards are allowed. Each bucket represents the reward for achieving the goal. The farther the bucket, the higher the reward. The risk trying to “go for it” is also higher. There is a time limit of 90 seconds. Each person may throw as many times as needed or until time runs out.

At the end of the round, check for results. Usually a much higher percentage of “goals” made it into a container. Ask people if they feel more satisfied. Ask them what factors helped them be successful. Draw comparisons to what people need when working on these goals back at work, school, home, etc..

 Round 3 – – – –

Each person has a ball. The ball represents their goal. Anyone can throw anyone else’s ball. Retrievers and Backboards are allowed. Each bucket represents the reward for achieving the goal. The farther the bucket, the higher the reward. The risk trying to “go for it” is also higher. There is a time limit of 90 seconds.

At the end of the round, check for results; often all balls are in containers. Explore how it feels to ask for and receive assistance (if people let others throw their ball) and what are the implications of someone else doing the work for you in helping you achieve your goal. When used to focus on goal setting, the debriefing of this activity has a greater impact when done after each round. The discussions between rounds tend to be shorter and more focused, examining what just happened but also trying to set up the changes needed for the next round’s attempt.

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Polygon Pass Overview The activity requires a group to transport multiple objects around the perimeter of an area marked on the ground. An ability to plan effectively is needed to succeed, yet there is also opportunity for creative thinking in devising strategy. It works well with a group from 15-25 and tends to create a fairly high level of engagement especially during the implementation of a solution.

Props 2 containers a number of balls (depending on group size) assorted objects (rubber chicken, bean bag animals, rubber rings, etc. – OPTIONAL) boundary markers

The Set Up

 Create a fairly large square (or polygon - the more sides the more interesting the challenge), 15 to 25 feet per side if a square. It is helpful, but not completely necessary, for the boundary markers to completely enclose the square. If the area is bigger than the boundary markers available, it is important that all the corners be clearly marked and easily identified.

 In one corner of the square place the resource container, and at the other opposite corner place the customer container. Place all of the objects inside the resource container (i.e. the “start” for the activity).

 A typical set up is to have a variety of tossable objects with various levels of difficulty. Each object is worth a different point total if delivered to the customer container. An example of how to assign points might be: • • • •

Small Foam Ball: Bean Bag Animal: Rubber Ring: Rubber Chicken:

5 10 15 25

points each points each points each points each

 For a group of 15, ten to fifteen objects would be appropriate.  The goal for the team is to increase their score over three successive rounds, and to maximize their score in the last round. 18


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 The team is given a total of 45 minutes to complete the task. The time is structured; the first 25 minutes is planning and practice. After the planning session, the clock begins for the first round. Each of the three rounds has a fixed time limit to score the highest total. Depending on the size of the group, a 60-90 seconds per round is typically enough time. Between rounds, there is an additional 5 minute planning session.

Rules 1)

All objects must start inside the resource container at the beginning of every round.

2)

Time for each round starts when the first object is removed from the container.

3)

All sides of the square (or polygon) must be occupied by at least one participant.

4)

Once a person has chosen a side, s/he may not switch sides within a round.

5)

Each participant must touch the object after it leaves the resource bin and before it lands in the customer container.

6)

Objects may not be passed to anyone to your immediate right or left, in other words the object must “skip� at least one person when it is passed.

7)

Points are earned for each object that is placed successfully inside the customer container after it has journeyed through the production team.

8)

Whenever an object is being passed from one side of the square to another, it always must cross over the inside of the boundary area (i.e. it cannot be passed around the corner on the outside of the perimeter of the square).

9)

Any time an object is dropped it must return to the resource container to be recycled, if it is to be used in the round.

10) If an object is dropped inside the boundary markers, it may not be retrieved and is lost for the duration of that round. 11) No member of the team may step inside the perimeter boundary during a round. If such a touch occurs, all the objects must be returned to the start. Instructor Options • Including a variety of objects adds to the challenge. Choose objects that are small and large, easy and difficult to throw, unusual and funny. Just remember that the objects may be thrown, so assess the safety factor before using any object. 19


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• It may be appropriate to begin with a simpler version and then shift to a more complex variation. The activity tends to be easier when the boundary on the ground has fewer sides (a square or rectangle for example). Debriefing Points: Idea generation, practice, managing time, creative problem solving, listening, inclusion are just some of the issues which can emerge with this activity. Due to the structure of time, multiple trials and continuous improvement, the outcomes are rich especially early in a training.

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Rob the Nest / Share the Wealth These two activities are usually presented one right after another. While the physical set up is similar for both activities, the action can be dramatically different if the group sees the objective from a new perspective. The focus, especially in Share the Wealth, is to explore how to achieve a solution that provides benefits for all involved. In Rob the Nest, most groups will only pursue a competitive strategy. This approach tends to carry over into Share Your Wealth, yet the opportunity for collaboration is clearer. The combination of the two makes for an interesting exploration of the issues of competition, communication and working together towards what may appear to be mutually exclusive goals. Issues and Outcomes • Competition versus collaboration • “Out-of-the-box” thinking • Communication Props containers (1 bucket per 4-6 people) balls boundary marker foam blocks (optional) The Set Up - Rob the Nest

 Have enough containers so that there is one container for every 4-6 people.  Arrange the props as shown in the diagram. The center circle is marked with a boundary rope; the perimeter circles are containers. The distance from container to container and from a container to the center circle should be the same. The travel distance from a container to the middle circle or to another container should be challenging.

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 Determine the number of balls needed and place them all inside the center circle. The number of balls is a function of the intensity of play you desire to create. (Usually you put fewer balls in the nest than the winning number you designate; e.g. first team to get seven balls wins and you have a total of four teams you may only place 21 balls in the nest during stage 1).

 If possible, it can be helpful to place a boundary marker around each container on the perimeter to mark each team’s space.

 Be certain to remind people that safety is a critical factor in this activity and that no one should act in a manner that could injure another person. This game is best played on an open, dry field or in a large gymnasium. Wet or slippery surfaces present real safety issue for this activity due to the high degree of movement. Rules – Rob the Nest 1)

The goal is to be the first team to get the designated number of balls into your nest. Be certain to tell the groups how many balls are needed to “win.”

2)

All team members must start the activity in their own area. If a boundary surrounds the container, they must be inside it; if there is no boundary, they must be within one step of the container.

3)

Every team’s container must remain visible and available at all times.

4)

Only one person may leave the designated area at a time.

5)

Only one ball at a time can be retrieved, and all balls must be carried back to the nest and placed there by the retriever.

6)

A ball may be retrieved from either the center nest or any other container in the circle.

7)

Teams must allow people easy access to their nest (i.e. no obstacles, human or otherwise, can limit access).

8)

Once a team has successfully placed the last ball into their nest, raise your hands and your team will be awarded the Golden Egg.

9)

Prior to the start you will have 5 minutes to plan your strategy and 3 minutes between each round for continuous improvement. We will play three rounds before stage 2 begins.

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Rules – Share the Wealth 10) All teams will now start the activity with the same number of balls in their containers. 11) The goal this time is just the opposite of the first stage – to be the first team to empty their nest. 12) Rules remain the same as in stage one: – only one person may leave the container area at a time, – only one ball may be carried at a time, – a ball may be placed either in the center nest or in the nest of another team. 13) If your team is first to empty its nest, in recognition of your philanthropy your team will be awarded the Magical Hen which is symbolic of good deeds and a generous spirit. Briefing Scenario Rob the Nest “Our group has been able to obtain only number of resources. They have been delivered to our central storehouse facility. Every team has equal access to the resources. In order to be successful in achieving your team’s goal, your team must place number of balls into your container. Once your team has accomplished this task, you will have enough resources to conduct the critical experiment our group is working on, the outcome of which may save all mankind from disaster. We are depending on your creativity and ingenuity to devise a plan that will quickly allow us to begin this experiment. You must accumulate the resources your team needs from whatever source as soon as you can. Lastly, remember that the resources (balls) are available to every team, and no one may prevent anyone else from taking one until your team has a total of number of balls in your container.” Share the Wealth “Due to our recent successes, our group has now been able to provide resources to all our teams. Every one has the same number of resources. Our goal is to transport these resources to those in need as quickly and efficiently as possible. Due to the nature of the funding that allowed us to acquire these resources, your team needs to insure that it has no resources leftover. Your team will have to pay back a portion of its profits if there are any resources remaining in its area. You may distribute your resources to any available container, including the one in the middle of the circle. Remember, you want to be the first team to complete this task in order to be successful and receive the reward.” 23


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Instructor’s Note Most groups do not see the collaborative strategy that can produce a solution beneficial to all the teams. Obviously the first team can mean the collective team if they choose to define it this way. They usually do not choose to define it as such. Often one or two lone voices will verbalize the concept however they are generally drowned out by the masses. Be aware that in a debrief the group may identify you as the leader as the culprit in making the teams behave the way they did. It was due to the set up, the explanation. Be careful with your choice of words in your briefing. You do not have to overemphasize the competitive dynamic, nor should you say anything that could be interpreted as prohibiting a more cooperative approach. Debriefing Points: Changing paradigms, developing trust and interdependence, out-of-the-box thinking, effective communication and listening can all be issues that could be relevant in a discussion of this activity. If Behavioral Styles or Mental Models in particular are included in the group’s goals, then these activities can be used effectively to illuminate these concepts for further discussion.

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Phillipe Le Basquet (a.k.a. Phil the Bucket) This activity involves throwing a number of objects into a container without being able to get close to it. The strategy for success can involve many different factors drawing on a group’s physical as well as mental skills. According to Jim Schoel (our well-renowned lore master), the name and scenario for this activity relates back to an historical drama. Phillipe is a French Canadian. During the Diaspora of the French from Nova Scotia (they were expelled by the English - the poem Evangeline by Longfellow commemorates the tragic event), Phillipe taught his people how to survive by setting a goal and then working continuously to achieve it. They soon spread into the Louisiana area where they developed Cajun (“Acadian”) cooking and music. None of this would have happened without the foresight and leadership of Phillipe Le Basquet. Drawing on those origins, this activity is often presented with a metaphor focused on goal setting. People are encouraged to identify a goal and connect the goal to the balls that must be thrown into the container (sometimes the goals are written on tape and attached to the balls – just be aware that the tape may pull the foam apart over time). In this write-up, a more fanciful scenario has been included. If you want to focus more on goal setting, replace the “precious jewels” with personal and/or professional goals; then, focus the attention in the debrief on what type of support did people need and receive in working toward their goals (i.e. getting the balls into the container). Issues and Outcomes • • • • •

Problem Solving Communication and decision making Risk taking Goal Setting Supporting the efforts of others Props

1 container balls 6 boundary markers foam blocks The Set Up

 Tie the boundary ropes together to form a large circle. Place the container in the middle of the circle.

 Place all the balls on the outside of the circle boundary. 25


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 Ask people to stand around the outside of the circle. Rules 1)

The goal is to throw all the balls into the container in the middle of the circle in the shortest time possible.

2)

At no time may anyone touch the ground inside the boundary marker.

3)

Any balls that do not make it into the container must be retrieved and thrown again until they are in the container.

4)

To retrieve a ball that is on the ground inside the circle, the group may use the foam blocks or another ball to knock the stuck ball close enough to the edge to be retrieved, or a person may lean into the circle to grab - without touching the ground.

5)

If anyone touches the ground inside the circle, then 3 balls must be removed from the container and thrown again.

6)

The timing starts when the first ball is thrown. It stops when the last ball is in the container.

7)

The group may have several rounds to achieve its best performance.

8)

No other props may be used to assist in either throwing balls into the container or retrieving balls from inside the circle.

Briefing Scenario “Our group has discovered a limited supply of jarobus (balls), a rare and extremely valuable jewel. To protect our discovery, we must place them all into our treasure chest. Unfortunately, the treasure chest is surrounded by a security field which has been activated and cannot be turned off. Any physical contact with the ground inside the security field will force three jarobus to be ejected from the treasure chest. We must throw the jarobus from outside the security field. We can lean over the circle to retrieve any balls that fall short of the treasure chest since all the balls need to be in the container at the end of the activity. We also can use the foam blocks and the jarobus themselves to knock stuck balls closer to the edge of the security field in order to retrieve them.�

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Instructor Options • The larger the circle boundary, the more difficult the challenge becomes. The distance from the edge of the circle to the container should prevent any member of the group from leaning in and being able to drop the balls into the container. • Using a smaller container also increases the challenge. Be sure the container can hold all the balls. • Adding other objects (rubber chickens, fleece balls, bean bag animals, etc.) can inject both humor and more challenge. Debriefing Points The finish of this activity can be difficult process, when only one or two balls remain or when an ball is out of reach and stuck inside the circle. Often the finish becomes the focal point of the discussion. Effective planning, anticipating problems, communication, identifying individual’s skills and using them, spotting and clarifying roles are potential issues for a debrief. Instructor’s Note Since groups may use a strategy of leaning people over the edge of the circle to retrieve balls, it is important to be watchful of potential falls or drops as people extend over the ground. Remind people of the need for safe spotting procedures (techniques for protecting one another through correct body placement to protect someone’s fall to the ground) and instruct them on correct techniques before attempting this activity.

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MassPass.Deluxe Version.9.24.07