Monday, April 6, 2009

Team Building Activity: Bottle Tower. Challenge group planning and maximize resources

Bottle Tower

Props Needed:
- One long rope approximately 30 feet per team (clothesline, old shoe laces, retired climbing rope) - As many water bottles as possible per team.
- Ensure that each team has an equal number of water bottles

Group Size:
4 - 6 per team

Take 5 minutes and plan for this team challenge. Each team is going to build the largest tower, vertically, using the water bottles and the ropes. The bottle tower must be free standing, standing on its own without any team member touching or holding the bottles or the rope.
During the 5 minute planning period you may not touch any of your resources except the rope. You may do whatever you wish with your rope, short of cutting it and physically altering the rope.
Following the 5 minutes I will say “GO”.
All teams will then have 10 minutes to build the tallest free standing bottle tower.

Processing Questions:
- Did you have a plan? if so explain…if not explain.
- How did you spend your planning time?
- What roles did each team member take?
- Where were the problems with your tower?
- What creative techniques did you try?
- How would you do this differently?
- What can we learn from this?

Facilitator Notes:
When I tried this initiative without the rope the towers never really got that high.
The idea behind the planning time is to give the team time to develop a system for thinking through, and discussing a problem. Walk around while they are planning and pay attention to the teams thoughts, actions, and behaviors. I have found that the team that spends time actually planning as well as delegating roles and responsibilities to team members, usually builds the tallest tower.

This is one of the activities that will be in my Team Building Activities Book "Building on the Bottle".
It will be complete soon!
Please stay tuned.

image- Klearchos Kapoutsis

-Michael Cardus is the founder of Create-Learning-Team Building, an experiential based training and development consulting organization, as well as a blogger for TeamBuilding NY. Mike specializes in team development and leadership development consulting and training, creating team-building programs that retain talented staff members, increase production and effectiveness of your team. He lives in Buffalo, NY, and travels to you to serve your team-building and leadership training needs, wherever and whenever fits your schedule.