Teambuilding Activity: Vision Polygon

Think of how often a team may be listening to a a leader providing instruction about a new project yet we might hear entirely different messages regarding how to go about achieving the objective.  What can happen? Miscommunication, wasted time and energy, costly delays, etc.

Get your team together and try the Vision Polygon team building challenge.  You will quickly find out if everyone is looking at the same picture!

Key Takeaways:

  • Importance of developing a vision before jumping into action
  • Implementing the phases of Vision – Alignment – Execution
  • Learning the importance of clear and concise communication to ensure everyone is moving in the right direction
  • Understanding the need to ‘listen’ to all team member’s ideas
  • Creating team buy-in and commitment
  • Developing trust in team members in situations where everyone might not ‘see’ the intended end result

What is Needed:

  • 50 ft rope
  • bandannas for all team members
  • large open area (indoors or outdoors)
  • do not tie the ends of the rope together
  • Start Position:  double back the rope and lay out in a straight line.

Rules of Engagement:

Blind Polygon Teambuilding ChallengeExecuting a vision requires effective communication through the Work of Leaders process:  Vision – Alignment – Execution.  Communicating electronically or communicating across time and distance can add to the complexity of achieving clear and concise communication.  Great leaders are able to inspire teams by reinforcing the importance of the Vision to achieve team Alignment and to provide a plan and feedback throughout Execution.

Your team objective is to successfully create a Regular Polygon.  In a regular polygon the sides are of equal length and meet at equal angles; all other polygons are not regular, although either their sides or their angles may be equal, as in the cases of the rhombus and the rectangle. Your team must create a regular polygon.

  • Only the materials provided to you can be used.
  • The rope cannot be touched until blindfolds are in place.
  • The facilitator will hand you the rope once blindfolds are in place.  (Team members must stand shoulder to shoulder on either side of the rope in the middle area of the rope.)
  • You cannot let go of the rope at any time or switch positions with any other teammate. You can slide the rope through your hands.
  • You must use the entire length of the rope – the resulting polygon must have the rope fully stretched out and cannot double back on itself.
  • The exercise is completed when the team determines they have created a polygon or when time is called.  (Working under the pressure of time increases the intensity of team dynamics.  We suggest 30 minutes while letting the team know as the clock ticks to the finish.)
  • Lay the polygon on the ground while maintaining points.  Then take off blindfolds and evaluate the results.
  • If the team didn’t achieve success, have them try again from the start position.

Action Debrief:

  1. What was the process for initially creating a team vision and alignment before moving into execution?
  2. How did the team vision shift over time?
  3. How were all team members included?
  4. How did the role of leader shift throughout the process?
  5. How did the team evaluate quality of the completed polygon?  Was it perfect execution?
  6. How did the team learn from the first attempt to try another attempt?
  7. What are key takeaways about the importance of communications moving forward?