30 Seconds

30 Seconds
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The 30 Seconds Challenge

30 Seconds is a challenging group initiative to exercise strategic thinking, focus, perseverance, and teamwork skills.

In advance, you’ll need to lay a very long rope (approx 10-15 metres) on the ground in the shape of a square, rectangle or circle. Randomly place a set of 30 spot-markers or gym-spots inside this shape, each of them marked with a number (facing up) from 1 to 30.

Finally, place a second rope in a straight line about 10-15 meters from your form and assemble your group behind this line.

Announce that the area they can’t see very well is filled with a jumble of 30 spots with the numbers 1 to 30 marked on them. Challenge your group to touch as many (if not all) of the 30 spots in order from 1 to 30 in less than 30 seconds.

The time will start as soon as the first person crosses the start line, and will stop as soon as the last person in the group crosses back on their return.

The challenge requires compliance with two rules:

  • Only one person is entitled to stand or be inside the roped-area at any point in time, and only this person is permitted to touch the spots.
  • The person inside the roped-area can change, but there can only ever be one person inside this area at any point in time
  • The spots must be touched in the ordinary sequence of 1 through 30

If one or both of these parameters are infringed, you will simply declare that round as ‘unofficial’ and they need to start a new round. Give your group the opportunity to use a total of five rounds in which to complete their task.

See also  Inside and Outside Being

Allow 2 to 3 minutes between each round for your group to discuss strategies and plan their next attempt. All of this planning time will occur behind the starting line.

As the rounds progress, the discipline and systemic thinking of the team will be perceived to improve performance. You can expect many teachable moments in the activity, so be sure to find time to invite your group to process their experience at the end.

Moment of Reflection
  • What did your group focus on during its initial planning stages?
  • What are three words you could use to describe your planning process?
  • What did you learn as the activity progressed (that you did not know in the beginning?)
  • How were decisions made? Did every idea get acknowledged and/or tried? Why or why not?
  • Did your group build any systems, and if so, were these beneficial?
  • How might this exercise reflect something about how your group works together?

The topics of this publication: interactionsstrategycollaborationteamworkleadership, teamwork, trust, integration, cooperation, adaptability skills, role playing, planning, adaptation, focus, reflection, critical thinking

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