team games LO22993 -Instructions

Richard Charles Holloway (
Sun, 24 Oct 1999 21:10:02 -0700

Replying to LO22936 --

[Host's Note: I asked Doc to share the instructions he received.. Rick]

I'm happy to oblige. John Dicus (Cornerstone Consulting) shared these
rules with me:

Exercise: Win As Much As You Can

Total Time: 35 Minutes

Purpose: The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate how subgroups of a
larger team balance the desire to win as individuals versus the desire to
have the team win together.

Consistency builds trust. Trust takes longer to build, but the individual
subgroups usually cannot wait for that to happen. Instead they break from
the team strategy to win for themselves or allege to win for the team.

Shared vision and alignment take time to create. The team is looking for
rules and, as in real situations, there are usually no clear cut rules. In
the absence of these definite rules, the sub- groups strike out on their
own, since the establishing of appropri- ate rules takes time and
dialogue. What mental models and as- sumptions come into play?

If everyone votes "Y" consistently, then each team may have a maximum
possible score of 100. The lowest possible score is - 100. The more
competition within the team, the lower the score.

Debrief: Ask the participants how it felt to play the game. Ask them what
they were playing for. Ask them what was their strategy.

Ask if any were playing for trust. Ask if any realized that they may need
to lose at first in order to win later. Long term versus short term goals.

Ask if this feels like business as usual at LeRC in cross-functional

Notes: The stakes go up on rounds 5 (3x), 8 (5x), and 10 (10x).

No matter what the participants ask for in terms as instructions, continue
to tell them that the only instruction is "Win As Much As You Can".

Supplies: 1) Overhead transparency of score sheet
2) Transparency markers for facilitator
3) Bell
4) Timer
5) One score sheet for each participant
Win As Much As You Can

Whole Group Exercise

Advance Planning:

The exercise is "played" in clusters of eight (8). Each cluster is
subdivided into four teams of two (2).

If the class has multiples of eight (8, 16, 24), then the grouping is
relatively simple. All that needs to be done is to put eight people around
each table. If there are not multiples of eight, then a couple options
a) Form a few of the teams into three's instead of two's. This will not
alter the outcome.
b) Ask if anyone has played the exercise and if so, ask them to be an
observer and to report on the dynamics.

Plan ahead and be prepared to quickly arrange the class into proper group-
ings. Sometimes having the class count off A-B-C (clusters), and then the
A's count off 1-2-3-4 (B's and C's also) for teaming will help. The
message is to plan this ahead of time since this simple activity can get
the exercise bogged down quickly.


The only "rule" you may give is to say "the object of this exercise is to
Win As Much as You Can". Whenever you are questioned as to what are we
winning, whom are we playing against, is it total score or team score,
etc., just repeat "win as much as you can". This produces frustration.
This is intentional. Don't give in, or lose patience. Just repeat the
instructions cheerfully.

The exercise consists of ten rounds. The scoring is indicated on the score
sheets. Each team (subgroup of two) decides at the beginning of each round
to cast their vote as "X" or "Y". It is that simple. Each team decides
which way to vote. Both must vote together (the same). Both "X", or both
"Y". It must be a consensus.

The team's (group of 2) score for that round will be determined by how the
whole cluster (four groups of 2) decide to vote. For example if there were
four (4) "Y" votes cast, then each team would win $1.00 each. If four (4)
"X" votes were cast, then each team would lose $1.00 each. If two (2) "Y"
votes and two (2) "X" votes were cast, then each team voting "Y" would
lose $2.00 each and each team voting "X" would win $2.00 each. Ask each
team to record the four team (2) votes in their cluster as well as their
own team vote.

This will facilitate the determination of their own team score for that

At the beginning of the first round, allow the teams (2) to discuss their
voting strategy for 90 seconds. Then call for a show of vote by saying "on
the count of three...... one - two - three - vote!"

The votes are cast very visually. Both team-mates use their arms to show a
"Y" (arms held up apart), or an "X" (arms held up in a crossed fashion).
Each person must visibly display their vote. No hold-outs or "wimpy"

For each successive round, give the teams (2) 30 seconds to decide on
their next vote. Call for the vote as you did on round one.

There are three exceptions to the discussion and scoring rules. These
exceptions occur in rounds 5, 8, and 10. At the beginning of these rounds,
tell the clusters that the stakes have changed for this round only, and as
a result you will allow them to have a "whole cluster" strategy
discussion. Everyone (all 8) may discuss the strategy for two minutes. At
the end of the two minutes, instruct them to limit their discussions
strictly to their own team-mate (2), and give them 30 seconds to finalize
their team (2) strategy. Then call for the vote. The scoring on these
three rounds changes. For round 5, scores are worth three times face
value; winnings and losses are multiplied by three. Round 8 is worth 5
times face value, and round 10 is worth ten times face value.

On rounds 6 and 9, remind the class to limit their discussions to their
team- mates (2), and that the stakes have reverted to face-value-only.

Gentle reminders are needed frequently to involve the cluster at the
proper times and to limit discussion at all other times.

Final Scoring:

Each team from each cluster reports out their score which is recorded by
the facilitator on a pre-prepared flip chart sheet which is set up to look
as shown on the next page.

Ask if anyone noticed what the maximum possible team score could be. The
answer is $75. Ask what conditions need to exist in order for a team to
win $75. Every other team would have to lose $25 each. The net winnings
for the cluster would then be zero in that case.

The maximum that a cluster could win is $100. This can occur only if
everyone consistently vote "Y". The only combination of votes which will
produce a positive cluster outcome in any round is four "Y"'s. All other
combinations produce a zero outcome for the cluster since all winnings and
losses exactly cancel.

If the cluster were to go for consistent "X"'s then the final cluster
outcome would be -$100.


Dan Gruich (Boeing) shared this URL with me (for a copy of the book with the
game instructions):


John also faxed the scoring matrix to me...which unfortunately I can't
send you (no scanner since I upgraded my operating system). However, Dan
Gruich also sent me a word document for his version of this game (he uses
it for a conflict resolution game). I've modified that worksheet for the
regular game, and I'm attaching it.

[Host's Note: I don't distribute file attachments on the LO list, but
John's attached file is at

..and I've verified that it carries no viruses. ..Rick]

Please share my thanks again...several people responded.




"Richard Charles Holloway" <>

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