The Pixel Challenge

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Drops of water, make an ocean,
Grains of sand, make a magnificent beach.
Strains of sounds, come together to create a divine orchestra,
Just as millions of pixels, come together to create a larger picture!

We often hear senior leaders articulating inspiring visions for their teams below. But however compelling the pitch may be, at times people down the line are left wondering, "How exactly will my piece contribute to this grand vision?" Very often, the roles and contributions of individuals down the line seem miniscule and insignificant, in comparison to the awe inspiring numbers & achievements, the team as a whole is gunning for.

Yet for leaders, it becomes imperative that every single person in the team perceives his or her contribution to be critical in contributing towards the larger goal. How does he convey this message in a strong, compelling manner?

The wise old Chinese philosopher, Confucius show us the way: "What you do, you understand". In this engrossing team experience, large teams are broken up into smaller units, who are then challenged to don the role of artists. All the equipment they would possibly need is handed to them - canvases, easels, et al. Each team is then challenged to exhibit their skills, creativity and express it through a splash of colors & art. Like all time based challenges, this one too pulsates with energy as teams discuss & debate color combinations. Roles and responsibilities get quickly allocated, as teams discover hidden talents and core strengths. Each member in each team is completely focused on getting their own canvas, "just right"!

As the clock ticks away to a close, teams rush in their "master pieces" - but as anyone who has been in a FocusU program would know, we like to stretch our participants just a wee bit more. Painting a canvas is just one part of the challenge " the arguably bigger challenge, is for teams to collaborate between themselves in such a way that it adds up to a larger picture! ". And that is easier said than done! Since too many cooks often spoil the broth, only the leaders in each team are invited to figure out this challenge, behind closed curtains. The rest of the team awaits with bated breath.

Eventually though, most teams find their way around. The curtains are drawn, the stage is set - the leader of the team is then invited to unveil the masterpiece. The "oohs", "aahs" and gasps of disbelief that accompany the unveiling - set the stage for the leader to reinforce the message, that "None of us individually is capable of doing what all of us together can". Also, "Every single panel, needs to be just right, for the overall picture to be right". What a powerful, experiential way to drive home a message!

Is the Pixel Challenge right for my team?

This is a wonderful activity to foster teamwork in the most unlikely of ways for corporate teams. The whole experience of getting their hands and aprons splashed with colors, takes participants back to their younger days, eliciting lots of smiles and laughter all around. Regardless of how big a team is - this is one activity that can keep every single person in a group fully engaged.

The activity could be debriefed (if needed) around "the whole being greater than the sum of its parts." Different variations to the activity can be used, to debrief around the underlying values, belief systems that hold a company together.

The Pixel Challenge is often used by teams to create a captivating conference backdrop for the offsite. Interestingly though - this really fun team challenge results in the team ending up with a beautiful looking art work, that can easily be transported and proudly put up at office - to serve as a reminder of the underlying messages of the offsite & ofcourse, the fun time that the team as a whole had in creating it!

The Pixel Challenge can be conducted indoors or outdoors. However, if being done outdoors - we need to ensure the place is not far too breezy!

Try The Pixel Challenge today.... and walk out with your own unique masterpiece!
  • “We were initially a little apprehensive on how the team building event would actually play out, given that we had not worked with FocusU earlier. However, I can speak on behalf of every individual present that not only did the FocusU team exceed our expectations; they did a wonderful job in actually bringing together and creating friendships amongst a very diverse group of people. The FocusU team really put a lot of thought into each and every exercise, and at the end of each session there were only smiles and laughter amongst our team members. A special mention for the “Pixel Challenge” – I think it was a brilliant exercise and the end product, the painting that we created as a team, is something we all are very proud of! A big thank you to the FocusU team for playing a key role in making our global strategic meet a grand success!”

    Mukesh Soni
    Vice President, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

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