Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ballooniture - TeamBuilding activity for creative use of existing resources

Ballooniture is an example of 60 minute long team building activity that Create-Learning created to compliment a 2 day off site staff development training.
The objective of the program and activity was to facilitate innovative ways to engineer, market, and sell their product.
This group developed and sold medical products to health care and nursing care facilities.

This training took place at a conference center outside of Buffalo, NY.
Prior to the group arriving we facilitated many small brainstorming as well as innovation process oriented workshops.

The purpose of this initiative was to push the groups to begin to think about creation and innovation of their ideas, introducing some chaos as well as developing the dynamics of the teams.
The challenge is once you have a great idea how do we make it happen?
The group had 80 people they were placed into 10 groups of 8 people with cross functional purposes (i.e. on each team were staff representing - engineering, manufacturing, marketing, sales, customer service, human resources, management) these are the groups that the participants work in on a daily basis.
Here is the letter they received when they walked through the door.

A new client has asked for you to make ballooniture for a large grouping of in home care facilities. They would like this ballooniture to be safe for people of all ages and abilities.
The client has given the following guidelines for building the new ballooniture;
- Practical (can actually be used)
- Able to hold a team member for a full count of 10sec - Portable
- Creative use of resources (They have a very low

The resources are limited, each team will have the following
- 72 balloons
- 15 feet of string
- Rubber bands
- Roll of Masking Tape

The scarcity of some resources mean that teams will have to share the following items;
- Packing Tape
- Scissors
Each group will present their innovative Ballooniture to the clients executives as well as explaining the many benefits of their product design.
Your group will have a total of 45 minutes for planning, design, creation and marketing of your Ballooniture to the clients executives who will be observing and deciding whether to award your group the contract.
Conclusion and Processing:
Once the 45 minutes was up two of the Create-Learning facilitators represented the clients executives.

We asked them challenging questions and kept pushing the group to explain their process and design method.
Following the presentations we gathered the group together for some processing of the innovation and team dynamics that happened

Possible Processing questions;
How did your group approach the problem?
Did you develop a particular method of collecting, organizing, gathering and interpreting the innovation process?
Did a leader emerge in the process? What impact did this leadership, or lack thereof, have on the groups performance?
Did individuals find ways to support the team beyond taking responsibility for their own roles? How is this similar to or different from supporting one another at work?

-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.