Copyright © 1997, Sivasailam Thiagarajan. All rights reserved.
Time is money. This game helps players make sure that their time and money are well spent.
To enhance the value of short periods of time.
6 to 30
30 - 45 minutes
Four or five flip charts with felt-tipped markers
Assemble a panel of judges. Near the end of this game, you need 2-5 people to determine the winning teams. Enroll a few of your friends and tell them that all they have to do is to listen to half-a-dozen ideas and decide which one is best and which one is the most unique. This activity should not require more than 5 minutes of their time.
Flow of the Game
Form teams. Organize the participants into three to five teams, each with not more than seven members. It is not necessary for all teams to be of equal size.
Assign teams to flip charts. Ask each team to stand by a flip chart. Make sure that the teams have plenty of markers.
Announce the first topic for brainstorming. Tell the teams that they have 5 minutes to brainstorm alternative responses to this question:
You have $5 to spend. How can you make sure that you get the maximum value for this money?
The teams should make sure that all members participate and someone writes down their ideas on the flip chart. The team should generate as many ideas as possible within the 5-minute period. They may use several sheets of the flip chart paper.
Conclude the first brainstorming session. After 5 minutes, blow the whistle. Announce the end of the brainstorming session. Explain that the first session was just a warm-up to get prepare them for the second one. Ask the players to flip the pages over and begin with a blank sheet of paper.
Announce the second brainstorming topic. Tell the teams that they have another 5 minutes to brainstorm alternative responses to this new question:
You have 5 minutes of free time to spend any way you want. How can make sure that you get the maximum value for this time?
Ask the teams to use the same procedure as before.
Conclude the second brainstorming session. After 5 minutes, blow the whistle again. Announce the end of the brainstorming session. Tell the teams that you are now going to award score points for their accomplishments.
Identify the winning team in the first category. Begin by asking the teams to count the number of alternative ideas in their list. Identify the team with the most ideas and declare its members to be the winners in the Number of Ideas category.
Identify the winning team in the second category. Bring in your friends and introduce them as the panel of judges. Ask each team to copy the two best ideas from its flip chart list on to index cards, each on a separate card. Collect these cards, shuffle them, and read the ideas. Ask the judges to select the best one among these ideas. Identify the team that contributed this idea and declare its members to be the winners in the Quality of Ideas category.
Identify the winning team in the third category. Explain that one of the goals of brainstorming is to generate unique and unusual ideas. Ask each team to copy the two most unique ideas from its flip chart list on to two index cards. Use the same procedure as before and ask the judges to select the most bizarre -- or the least conventional -- idea. Identify the team that contributed this idea and declare its members to be the winners in the Unique Ideas category.
Thank the judges. Tell the judges that their job is done and they may retire to their chambers. Lead a round of applause for the departing judges.
Introduce the debriefing session. This game requires some in-depth debriefing to ensure that the players discover and share key learning points. Explain the purpose and the format of the debriefing session. Here's a suggested script:
You probably have some interesting things to discuss about your experiences in the game you played. I want to conduct a debriefing session to help you share your insights in a structured fashion.
Conduct the debriefing. Begin with a broad question such as: What did you learn from this activity? Encourage the participants to share their insights. Whenever appropriate insert these questions into the discussion:
This activity used several time-management techniques. Can you figure out what they were?
Whenever you have to solve a problem or explore alternatives, brainstorming is an efficient and effective technique. Could you have come up with such a variety of alternative ideas by working individually? What are the advantages and disadvantages of brainstorming?
Imposing an artificial deadline is a useful time-management technique. We used a deadline of 5 minutes. What would have happened if we did not have any deadlines? What if we had a 2-minute deadline?
Your ideas were evaluated according to three different criteria: quantity, quality, and uniqueness. What if I had specified these criteria at the beginning of the activity? Could you have worked more efficiently? Why did no one ask for the goal, or the criterion, or the scoring system at the beginning? What assumptions did you make?
What if the judges used a single criterion (such as clarity of language) that was not specified in the beginning? What if this criterion was specified at the beginning? What implications does the goal or criterion have for efficient time management?
People claim time is money. We brainstormed ideas for enhancing the value of $5 and 5 minutes. Compare your two original lists. Which ideas are similar between the list for spending money and spending time?
To continue with our brainstorming topics, here's another: You have 5 extra minutes every day. How can you make sure that you get the maximum value for spending this time? How can you build up some thing valuable over a year?
Conclude the debriefing session. End with this broad question: How can you apply your insights back in your workplace? Encourage the players to select one or two 5-minute value-enhancement strategies for immediate application.
Not enough time? Jump right into the 5-minute value-enhancement brainstorming. Replace the debriefing with a questionnaire for the players to complete at their own convenience.
Can't assemble a panel of judges? You act as the judge. Or ask some of the participants (preferably the latecomers) to work as observers during the game and judges at the end of the game
For more such games visit
Give everybody a few minutes to make 3 appointments - 3 pm,6 pm and 9 pm. After that have everyone stand in a circle.When you shout "3 pm", everybody meets their 3 pm appointment and find out 1, 2 or 3 things about each other. After a short while shout, "6 pm" and then "9 pm". After that have people share what they find out about each other.This game can be used for introduction where people introduce other people, instead of themselves.
Arrange everyone in a circle. Someone say the name of any country, city, river, ocean or mountain that could be found in an atlas. The person next to him must then say another name that begins with the last alphabet of the word that has been given.
Example: First person : Auckland
Second person : Denver
Third person : Rotorua
Each person has a definite time limit (e.g. 3 seconds) and no name can be repeated.
3. BALLOON BLOW-UP
Have everyone pairs up and give each person a balloon. Each pair designates a left and a right person. The partners stand facing each other about six inches apart. When you call "left", the "left" person blows into his balloon. Give him a few seconds, then call "right", the right person then blows into his balloon. Do this repeatedly. The idea is to literally "blow-up" the balloon in the partner's face before he can blow up his.
4. BALLOONS IN THE AIR
Give everyone an inflated balloon. The balloons should be in different colours or with identifiable marks on them. Everyone tosses his balloon in the air and tries to keep it in the air as long as possible. In the meanwhile, he must try to get everyone else's balloons to touch the floor. When a person's balloon touches the floor, he is out. The person who keeps his balloon in the air the longest, wins.
BREAKING THE ICE BETWEEN TEAMS
This exercise makes it easy for leaders of other teams to come together as a group
For the purpose of updating one another on recent developments in their own work groups.
The exchange is a way to break the ice in a team-building session without requiring people to expose themselves beyond their individual comfort level.
You will need one of the “ Team starter Worksheet” for each participant. Each participant will need a pen or pencil for completing the worksheet.
Introduce the exercise by pointing out that the press of business sometimes makes it difficult to keep up with one another and that at the beginning of this session it is important to know what everyone’s expectations are.
Inform the participants that their goal will be to update one another when necessary on recent developments in their respective work situations.
Give everyone a copy of the Worksheet and instruct them to take about five minutes to complete it. Ask them to work quietly and to remain quiet until everyone has finished.
When all have finished ask each participant to read his/her responses aloud. After each person finishes, ask the rest of the group members to summarize what were said by that person.
5. Ask the group members what themes they heard. Then ask whether or not there are things that surfaced during this disclosure that will need the attention of the group during this team-building session.
Make a transition statement that will lead into the next activity. For example: “ now that we’ve heard what is going on with each of the group members, let’s turn our attention to how this team-building session can help is to support one another during the rest of this session and in the future.”
Sucess to you!
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