People are complicated. And if it’s difficult to treat with them in our daily life, get them to work together and collaborate can sometimes be an impossible task. In fact, team management is one of the greatest challenges any organisation faces.

One team, spaghettis and marshmallows

Tom Wujec suggests using  the marshmallow challenge to strengthen collaboration and knowing how our team works. Although it seems simple, it helps better understanding the nature of collaboration and identifying working dynamics that are not always the best ones. At the same time, encourages team’s creativity and knowing how to come up with ideas under pressure.

The perfect team management formula

After doing this challenge with various work teams, Wujec has concluded that the ones that obtain a better percentage of success are preschool children. Why? Because their teams work based on an empiric creation of knowledge. This means, beyond tight rules and working processes of adults. Children collaborate to build prototypes and they improve them through a trial and error system. The result is that, instead of spotting what is failing at the end of the process when there is no time to solve it, children spot mistakes while building the tower.

To Wujec, understanding the value of prototypes (more creativity, error solving, etc.) combine with the adequate incentives, economic or another type of motivation, are key to reaching success.

If this works to build as spaghetti tower, why won’t it work for team management in our daily life? All projects have their own marshmallow but, will your team be able to collaborate to put it on top of the tower?

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Image: John Morgan


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