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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Productivity and Creativity in Action

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It is a very simple management game or management exercise and very effective. It also invokes lots of participation from the participants of the seminar or workshop you are conducting as a faculty. It also works like a warm up exercise or energizer and also as an icebreaker.
Objective of this exercise is to help participants appreciate what it takes to improve the productivity. It emphasizes the need to have creativity or out of box thinking and team work.

Explain the participants that you are going to ask them to perform a task together as one team. They will have to work together to achieve the highest productivity possible. Productivity level will be measured by the total time they will take to complete the task. Therefore they should do the task in the minimum possible time. The task assigned will be to pass an object (choose any object) from participant to participant starting from the first participant to the last participant in the seminar hall. Each participant will have to touch the object at least once and at least by one hand for the task to be reckoned as completed. You will note down the time taken to complete the task.

Give the object to the first participant and give them a signal to start doing the task by passing the object. As soon as the past participant receives the object, note the time and share that with the participants and urge them to improve their productivity in the second round of performing the task.

Now the participants are likely to work faster with greater smartness and enthusiasm. They may end up taking much less time. Tell them by what percentage they improved in the second round. 
Coax them to improve their performance still more and allow them to undertake the same task the third time. Note down the time taken. It may have improved further.

After repeating this exercise for several rounds they will reach a stage where further improvement seems very difficult or if at all they achieve it, it will be very marginal.
At this stage, advise them to discuss among themselves what better methods could they apply in achieving further improvements not just by inches but leaps and bounds. Let them come out with new methods and let them do the same task by using those methods. Motivate them to become still more creative to think about the real out of box thinking to come out with radically different methods to dramatically improve their productivity.

After they have tried all of this, stop the game and start the discussion. Let them point out the essentials of achieving higher productivity levels through their recent experiential learning.
Add your inputs and round up the exercise.
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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