5 Pointed Star

The 5 Pointed Star team building challenge works well for large groups, indoor or out. Here is how it goes…

Overview: The 5 Pointed Star begins with participants gathering around a rope on the ground in the shape of a circle. Participants are instructed to pick up the rope with both hands and then shape the rope into a 5 pointed star, with all the overlaps and criss-crosses (just like the kind you drew in elementary school).

Of course things are not always as easy as they sound. The team has some limitations. First they must take 4 minutes to come up with a plan and while they are talking they cannot start moving. It sounds easy enough, but inevitably some eager person starts taking action during planning time – that is when the penalties start flying: blindfolds, ankles tied together, walk backwards everywhere you go, etc. Then the team must implement their plan (move) without talking, then plan again, then move again. Once they have moved through the four sequences and formed the best star possible they lay the rope on the ground and examine their handiwork. Laughter usually erupts at this point as they see how far from reality their star really is.

Business application: This mirrors the business dynamic of the difficulty involved in casting vision. Communication is one of the most difficult areas in business. There are numerous obstacles to effective communication: geographically dispersed teams, language gaps, cultural differences, etc. It takes focused attention on the processes involved in communicating objectives, strategies and goals in order for communication to have a chance. The 5 Pointed Star is an excellent activity if you want to deal with communication issues.


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