The Marshmallow Challenge to Discover Team Power:
And the idea’s pretty simple: Teams of four have to build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string and a marshmallow. The marshmallow has to be on top. And, though it seems really simple, it’s actually pretty hard because it forces people to collaborate very quickly.
Tom Wujec studies how we share and absorb information. The best teams are building prototypes, successive prototypes, always keeping the marshmallow on top, so they have multiple times to fix when they build prototypes along the way.
And any team who manages and pays close attention to work will significantly improve the team’s performance. Specialized skills and facilitation skills are the combination that leads to strong success.
And the fundamental lesson, Tom Wujec believes, is that design truly is a contact sport. It demands that we bring all of our senses to the task, and that we apply the very best of our thinking, our feeling and our doing to the challenge that we have at hand. And sometimes, a little prototype of this experience is all that it takes to turn us from an “uh-oh” moment to a “ta-da” moment. And that can make a big difference.
Please watch the following 7 minutes video:
And those of you who are interested may want to go to:
It’s a blog that you can look at how to build the marshmallows. There’s step-by-step instructions on this. There are crazy examples from around the world of how people tweak and adjust the system. There’s world records that are on this as well.