Play at problem solving

Problem solving can be a fun activity that strengthens a team’s bonds. By playing at finding solutions, we train our cognitive capacities for when they will be called on to solve a real problem. Here are some ways to gamify the skill.

La prison

The principle: lock participants in an office and give them 30minutes to select the 10 items that would help them survive if they were imprisoned for the long term.

Good for: communication within a group and collective decision-making.

 

Human knot

The principle: with participants standing in a circle, ask each person to hold hands with two people who aren’t directly next to them so they can form a human knot. The next step is to untangle the knot and re-form a perfect circle without letting go of anyone’s hand.

Good for: collaboration and flexibility.

 

Legoman

The principle: ask your team to make an identical copy of a complex structure built with Lego bricks of different shapes, sizes and colors. Only one person on the team is allowed to look at the original model and guide the others while building it.

Good for: observation, memory and communication.

 

Dumbest idea first

The principle: set your team a fictitious problem and give them a few moments to devise the dumbest possible solution. After collecting their contributions, look through them all together to see whether some of the ideas might not be as dumb as they initially appeared.

Good for: creativity.

 

To go further: “Top 15 Problem Solving Activities for Your Team to Master” by Brianna Hansen (Wrike,21 June2018).