A new game

A friend was recounting tales from a recent team-building course—you know the kind of thing where there’s construction of some mode of transport, usually to cross water, and biscuits available with every round of coffee. One of the early exercises was to pass a ball around the team such that every hand touched it. That was the only rule. The team, as you might too, arranged themselves in a circle and around the ball went. I forget the time, but let’s say it took a minute to do a loop. “Do it faster and faster,” encouraged the facilitator. And so they did, and with practice achieved a much shorter time. At some point they were at the limit—and they knew it. This is when the facilitator told them to cut at least another 5 seconds. “Not possible,” they all said. “It is,” he said.

So used were they by now to their circle that it took a long time for them to accept that this configuration wasn’t a rule. By breaking the circle, forming a column of hands and literally dropping the ball through all the hands, the best result was achieved. But these fantastic results needed a new perspective before they could be envisaged.

Apart from giving you the ‘hack’ for your next team-building event, the purpose of sharing this thought for the day was to reinforce the sentiments of Seth Godin’s blog A car is not merely a faster horse; that the new tools available to us as marketers are not just digital versions of the old. EDM is not DM; a webinar is not a seminar. The new media opens up new opportunities for how we communicate and build relationships with our audience. We all need to recognise that the old rules don’t have to apply and, to get great results we need to get with the new game plan.

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