Can you spot the saboteur?

A foundation of trust is the bedrock on which great teams are built. A lot can be spoken about trust – all of us also intuitively know what it means. But how do we get teams to experience it in an experiential manner?


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The Masterpiece is a very powerful experiential activity where teams are broken up into smaller groups of 3-6 people each. The task which is assigned to each of the groups is to replicate a Masterpiece that is kept centrally. The Masterpiece is a piece of art that comprises a collection of designer cards arranged in a specific manner. Each of the teams starts off with a similar Masterpiece (as the original) but with the cards arranged randomly.

When the activity starts, each member of the team gets to individually have a look at the original Masterpiece, come back and start arranging the cards accordingly in their Masterpiece. The interesting twist to the activity though is that before they start all team members are given a secondary over-riding objective.Some of the team members may be secretly assigned the role of saboteurs. Once they get that role, their primary objective would be to sabotage the efforts of the team in replicating the original Masterpiece. If it becomes evident though that someone is sabotaging the team, the rest of the members can call for a vote and banish that team member.

Will the teams succeed in creating their Masterpiece?

The Masterpiece is an intriguing activity that acts as a wonderful metaphor to talk about trust within teams. Does trust need to be earned? Or can we give trust? Why is trust so fragile? What can we do to build trust in our relationships? All of these are questions that naturally surface in the discussion between team members.

The activity can be run purely as an engagement activity or as an activity with a purposeful debrief at the end. When debriefed, the activity is brought to a close with participants sharing their different thoughts, experiences and insights from the activity and connecting the experience back to their different workplace situations.

A few key parameters:



Is this workshop right for my team?
In his seminal book, “The 5 dysfunctions of a team,” Patrick Lencioni talks about “Absence of trust” as the first dysfunction in a team that further generates many other dysfunctions. Hence the role of trust in teams cannot be over emphasised.

When debriefed, a few themes this activity always throws up are:
• Trust between team members
• The fragile nature of trust
• Earning trust versus Giving trust
• What builds and what destroys trust
If you are looking for a powerful experiential activity that can act as a prop around which you can have a conversation around trust with your team members, FocusU strongly recommends that you try The Masterpiece!

Contact Us today - we will be glad to meet up and discuss the possibilities for your team!

 
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