The basic learning points of this activity would include the importance of communication in teams, helping others develop by letting them make their own mistakes (and learning from them), and recognizing the importance of the contribution by each team member (vs taking over an activity/project and not allowing all team members to participate in important team activities).
This is a team activity which you can either use as an ice-breaker or an energizer between two other agenda items. It does not take much time to execute, but it does require some upfront preparation. The upside is, once you have made these squares and the puzzle pieces you can always re-use them in future with other groups and teams. (Remember to store the pieces in separate envelopes to keep the different puzzles from getting mixed up).
The instruction sheet (which you can download below) details how to make these squares, how to set up the activity and offers some debriefing questions to use afterwards. The activity does not take long to complete and does not typically create a lot of anger/frustration or resentment between people or teams leading to the need for longer debriefing and discussion sessions.
If you have more time and would like to get more points across to the teams you could consider moving the puzzles to other tables for additional rounds. Each team then has a new puzzle to complete. This way the challenge is different to the teams for further activity rounds and the additional instruction or activity handicap you introduce could take them deeper into the experience of working together as a team. For example: you could lift the rule around “no talking” to see if the teams find the challenge easier or harder?
You could also give them the same puzzle they had in the first round and let them practice to see how fast they can complete it (with or without talking as per your instruction). Then when each table/team feels that they have optimized their ability to complete the puzzle you can take one person from each table and have them join a new table. Each team would then have one new team member and no time to practice with the new team member. Then ask the tables to compete seeing who can complete the puzzle the fastest.
Business meetings or group events can be exhausting especially if they span several days and contain mostly sessions where presentations are made and do not have any or many interactive sessions. It can be challenging to keep meeting participants engaged and energized during such meetings and it is not uncommon to spot people struggling to keep their eyes open during long afternoon sessions. The first session after lunch can be especially tough and don’t forget the impact of jet-lag on participants from other time-zones.
The list which you can download above shows some activities that can be done with meeting participants to help them feel re-energized during a meeting. These short exercises are best done between agenda items and can take anything from 2 to 7 minutes to complete so they are not a major disruption to your planned agenda.
You would typically need an open space where participants can gather for these exercises. This space could be in the front between the projection screen and the first tables/chairs or it could be in the back of the room behind the last tables and chairs. It is a good idea to mention that you need this space when you arrange the set-up of the room.
As the leader of the meeting or the facilitator you should always have a few of these quick energizer exercises on a sheet of paper or in the back of your mind to use on the spot. When you notice that the energy and responsiveness of the group is dropping you should be able to quickly conduct an energizing exercise to revive the energy and the alertness of the group attending your event or business meeting.
Considering risks is a high priority for any project execution planning activity. It is important to also frequently re-assess during the project life-time. The project team should check the status of the risk plan against reality at various moments in time to ensure all risks are captured and accurately reflected along with mitigation or risk avoidance plans as required.
A risk plan is simply a plan that helps you identify where obstacles to successful outcomes could appear and what you could do about it. In some cases a potential risk can be avoided by taking some preventative actions in time. Some risks or obstacles could be things that can happen at any moment and some would only occur under specific circumstances. The project team should consider the key elements of the project plan – where would the project plan have the highest risk of failing if key milestones or achievements are not met? That is the starting point of the template that I am sharing with you.
The risk mitigation template shows you how to identify risks, identify the risk level of a possible obstacle to project success, determine what can be done to avoid or mitigate an issue/obstacle to success and of course select who exactly should take the actions in the event that the risk is realized or upfront as a preventative measure.
Just download the attachment and complete the sections in yellow for each of the key elements of your project plan. Then answer the questions as outlined at the top of each column for each of the key parts of your plan.
When you review the plan look at the elements that were rated as “high risk” that it could occur and also a “high impact” if that risk did materialize. Focus your attention more on those items, but it is also true that sometimes a “low risk” obstacle could have a high impact on the project so be sure to review every element of the risk plan when you do your regular risk plan checks.
Every plan has risks and great returns on investments are often associated with a higher level of risks. The objective is not to avoid risks completely since the ability to manage risks well and willingness to accept and manage risks can be a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This template can help you increase your awareness of risks and learn how to manage them throughout your project. Becoming better at risk management will make you a valuable project member and business partner.