While ongoing training is vital to any organization, there is only so much that can be learned in the classroom. Our hands-on activities and simulations bring our training concepts to life in fun, engaging ways. We’ve designed and hand-picked these exercises to reflect some of the most common workplace challenges, including:

  • Managing dispersed and remote teams
  • Conflict resolution
  • Communicating across silos
  • Engaging different behavioral types
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Leadership development

Most importantly, our activities are accessible to all participants regardless of age, physical ability, or cultural or language barriers. We have delivered these exercises in multiple languages, across the globe, for participants of all ages and levels of experience.

Our most popular exercises include:

Creativity, problem solving, leadership and effective communication are all key ingredients to success in this popular activity! The task seems simple at first: each sub-group creates a bridge section that is four feet long, four feet wide, and sixteen inches off of the ground. The catch? In the ultimate test, the bridge must be strong enough to sustain the weight of a manned golf cart driven over it.

Groups must align with other sub-sections and adhere to specific design and timing specifications. Structural integrity is just as important as visual aesthetics, which means that everyone has a role.

The activity inevitably ends with a bang, as the golf cart is driven over the bridge. Follow-up conversation may revolve around coordinating with dispersed teams, communication, and solving a seemingly impossible problem.

This activity encompasses the best of project management, problem solving, cross-departmental communication and leveraging various skills, all with a “WOW” ending to rival some of our most high-energy activities. In this challenge, teams have one hour to use a variety of household and miscellaneous materials to build a section of a “pipeline track” that will be used to transport a marble from the top of a six-foot ladder, to a plastic cup on the ground, located about 85 feet away.

To make matters more interesting, teams are split into different “work areas” and are only allowed to work on their section, in their designated section. The final result is a nail-biter, as teams take a step back and watch whether or not their design is a success!

This popular activity taps into everyone’s competitive spirit while driving home the importance of working toward a common role. Teams are initially split in half, and tasked with two distinct, 30-minute activities, with the goal of setting the best benchmark possible. It is understood that at the conclusion of their activity, they will be tasked with completing the other activity and beating that benchmark.

Once teams are brought back together, they learn that they are not, in fact, competing with one another. As a matter of fact, the new goal is for both teams to beat the others’ benchmark, and the whole group will only be considered successful if both benchmarks are beaten. The catch? The facilitators will not be briefing either group on the second activity. As such, groups are responsible for not only sharing their successes and strategies, but all rules and regulations as well.

Communication is at the center of the activity, and follow-up conversations may revolve around how to better share information, work under pressure, or work from multiple locations.

A fun, high-energy and high-impact activity, On Target has been done for groups as small as six and as large as 200+. The goal is fairly straightforward: to try and score as many points as possible in a 90-second round by placing like-colored tennis balls into like-colored buckets, with the intention of improving with each round.

As the activity progresses, participants read between the proverbial lines and are able to discover “hacks,” or workarounds, that make it easier to earn points. The biggest discovery typically comes when groups realize that they are working with the other groups around them, rather than competing, and results typically skyrocket.

This activity naturally transitions from competition to collaboration, and encourages creative “outside-the-box” thinking. We’re still not sure if it’s the scalability or the hundreds of tennis balls flying around, but this activity is inevitably a crowd pleaser.

This fast-paced, high-energy activity packs a huge amount of impact into a small space. The task appears simple, as the group works to earn points by tossing objects to one another in a very specific order, to earn points. However, the instructions are cut up, and must be reassembled. Furthermore, there are additional “hidden” rules that can only be uncovered by asking the “customer” (group facilitator) the right questions.

By deciphering these rules and uncovering the customer’s requests, the group can discover (and hopefully execute!) the true goal of the activity.

This activity can be done in a conference room, over tables, or in a larger indoor our outdoor space. Groups of as small as six and as large as fifty can be accommodated, and this activity fits particularly well with the GRPI team model.

This group favorite may appear light-hearted on the surface, but can be run as a highly impactful team development activity. Groups are split into teams of five or six and use zip ties, PVC pipes and other household items to design and build a working catapult that launches a tennis ball. Points are awarded for distance launched, as well as the group’s ability to catch the ball in a bucket or tarp.

In a collaborative twist, teams can be combined based on their performance – meaning that the highest-scoring team is paired with the lowest-scoring team, and resources must be shared. The group can also be given a larger “organizational goal” based on individual performance, placing the focus on the company, rather than the competition between teams.

Team presentations may be included as well, adding a fun, unique twist for marketing or other creative teams.

In this seemingly ambiguous activity, everyone in the team is given a sheet of paper that is blank on one side, and contains a picture on the other side. Individuals must communicate with one another during three very structured rounds to determine the order of their pictures and the overall theme of the pictures. They cannot show their picture or look at it while they are communicating with one another, and are given very little other information.

As the activity progresses, the lightbulbs being to go off as individuals find other “like” pictures and eventually begin to see the connection (hint: the name of the activity says it all!) At the conclusion of the execution period – approximately thirty minutes – the pictures are lined up face-down and revealed one by one in a dramatic finish.

This activity highlights various communication styles very quickly, and is a great way to reinforce a DISC or Belbin workshop. It can also be conducted as a standalone activity over the span of about an hour.

This challenging, and sometimes frustrating, activity asks the group members to solve a complex puzzle comprised of various wooden boards with notches that fit together. The group receives very simple, minimalist instructions to assemble the puzzle. Once the puzzle is complete, they must create a process in which they replicate the completion of the puzzle in a very short amount of time (typically under a minute).

In addition to focusing on group problem solving, the small sub-groups are often split up and re-shuffled after 30 minutes’ time, adding an additional twist and forcing individuals to think on their feet. The ensuing debrief often leads to some very rich conversations around change and adaptability in the workplace.

In this workplace simulation, individuals are placed into three different groups and three different locations in a room, and are given similar, but subtly different, instructions. The goal of the activity is very simple: to get all of the individuals to a specific area (the “managers’” work area), but it can only be completed if all individuals share their instructions with one another.

To make matters more complicated, each group is subject to a very specific limitation: one group is blindfolded, one group is mute, and one group is given complex puzzles as a distraction. Furthermore, some of the tasks may appear unclear, but all are necessary in order to achieve the project goal.

The result is a sometimes frustrating, often comical, process in which participants must figure out various work-arounds, or “hacks,” to understand the full scope of the project and complete the task. Themes that often emerge from this activity include top-down communication, self-advocacy, project management and empathy and understanding of others’ roles.

This activity and study in social behavior may seem controversial at the start: the team is responsible for re-assembling a complex picture in a short amount of time (fifteen minutes) with some very specific parameters.

In addition to adhering to this deadline, they are told that amidst their group, some people will be playing the activity normally, while others will be assigned as “saboteurs,” tasked with sabotaging the activity. Individuals can call saboteurs out at any time if they are suspicious, at which point that individual can no longer participate, but those accused must sit out regardless of what their pre-assigned role was.

The catch? At the end of the activity, the group will find out that no one in the group was actually a saboteur. The result is often a fascinating conversation around intent versus perception, and how positive intentions may be misconstrued in the workplace.