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Friday, August 27, 2010

Building Blocks

For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s website:

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia Management Universe at:

"Building Blocks" is an effective group and participative game. It can be used in the sessions on observation skills, memory effectiveness, leadership, followership, communication, giving effective instructions, motivation, time management, team work and team building. The game is also a good energizer and icebreaker.

You are the program leader or the workshop facilitator and you need to do some preparation before administering this game. To start with, you have to have one master set of many square, rectangular, triangular and such shapes of blocks made of wood or plastic or any other such solid material. The blocks should be of various colors. From these blocks you should be in a position to make stable structure of blocks. Next step is to make such 3 to 4 more sets depending upon the number of participants in your program or workshop and how many groups you wish to form. Each set will have identical combinations of blocks of various shapes and colors.

Before the session in which you plan to play this game, build up a stable structure using the various shaped and colored blocks of your mater set of blocks in a room adjacent to the conference or seminar hall in which you are conducting your session. In case a separate room is not available, cover this structure of blocks in such a manner in the same seminar room so that the participants can not see it.

By now you are pretty familiar with the method of random formation of the groups. To refresh on the methodology, you can refer the previous management games and exercises. Using this method divide the entire participants in the groups of around 6 to 7 persons in each group randomly.

The members of each group will sit together. Give one set of blocks that you had already prepared to each group. Ask each group to appoint a group coordinator.

Now the game starts. The coordinators of each group are asked to go to the structure and observe it carefully. At one time the coordinator of each group can not stay near the structure for more than one minute. The coordinator will report back to his group about what he saw. He will describe the structure to them. He will give instructions to his group members on how to construct the replica of the master or model structure that he saw. The other members of the group can have a dialogue with the coordinator. However, the coordinator is not allowed to touch the blocks or physically demonstrate how the construction should be done. He can just about describe how the master structure looked like.

The group can send the coordinator to have a second look at the structure. In fact there is no restriction on the number of times a coordinator can visit the structure to observe it. But he can not spend more than one minute near the structure observing it during each of his visits. Groups are also free to change their coordinators during the game as many number of times as they want.

When all the groups declare the completion of their structures using their building blocks, their structures will be compared to the original or master structure.

Get the participants to start discussing their experiential learning from this game. How they would like to play the game if asked to do it again?

Give your observations and analysis on what went right and what went wrong and why. Provide additional inputs if necessary or planned and wrap up the session.

Get Hold of the Related Books
You can order the following books on "management games and icebreakers" as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:
  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
Related Reading: (Repository of a large number of articles in management and leadership): and

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