This icebreaker works well with new teams or when you have had quite a few new members who recently joined a team. The time, materials and space requirements are very economical so this is easy to combine with team meetings. Running this exercise can help you lead a new team into the right discussions to break down barriers to trust among (new) team members.
This ice breaker is a simple exercise which requires very limited instructions to get started and completed.
The most valuable part of this exercise is most likely the debriefing questions you (as the facilitator) choose to use: (some options)
- Did anyone see something on an advertising board that was surprising about team members?
- What are the strengths you think this team has?
- Where do you think this team could get into trouble (given these team members and what you now know about them?)
This exercise is fun to do and the creativity of your teams may surprise you!
I would recommend that you use this exercise as part of a series of exercises to help new teams succeed in the long run. The Team Effectiveness Snapshot can be a great follow-up tool to introduce to the new team to help them on their journey of trust building and achieving a high level of performance.
Brand-new teams typically work well since most of the team members are “playing nice” at first, but as the team moves through the various stages of team formation things can change. A lot of teams never make it out of the Storming phase so early introduction of team orientation, induction and assessment tools to help teams understand naturally occurring team dysfunctions can help them deal with these situations successfully. The advertising board icebreaker is a great way for teams in forming mode to break through the “niceness” and go a little deeper into the “who are you really” and “what do you bring to this team” discussion.