We've used this activity many times with teams to help them understand the landscape they work within may not be quite like they perceive it to be. The team landscape is for ever changing and evolving and not always toward star performance. It can evolve for the worse as well as for the better.
You can't put your shoes on, then your socks on. That's a fact. You can't do this anymore than you can change perceptions until you first establish what the current view is.
Individuals may often feel like outsiders, not connecting their contribution to the bigger goals of their team. This can lead to frustration, a sense of alienation and not wanting to contribute above and beyond.
Try this activity with your team next time you want to develop a better understanding and awareness of what lies within the team landscape. It will cost you no more than an hour of your time and the price of some rope. A small investment with big returns!
The aims of the activity...
The aim of this activity is to get participants to think about how routine many of their choices are when it comes to offering customers solutions to problems and how by being creative they may be able to offer an alternative solution. The activity can also be used wherever you want to challenge people's ideas about the norm and what they have become accustomed to.
Participants consider how many different ways they think there are to lace a shoe with 12 eyelets (6 per side).
The aim of this activity is to allow participants an opportunity to discuss how they see their business, department, team or other issues based upon using a shoe as a metaphor. We all wear shoes so this activity can easily be related to by every participant.
Participants should choose a shoe that they believe represents their business, department or team based upon their interpretation of how they see the shoe they choose, its characteristics and how these relate to their business. You can interchange the focus word to represent the issues under discussion.
For example, a Nike trainer is chosen because it represents the team's agile response to customer enquiries, it's stylish and contemporary, it's relaxing to be in and does what is expected of it.