FB 8

Team Building – Review
Last Thursday, I led my team of eight work colleagues into a locked room!

Being a geographically distributed team, we rely on virtual meeting space and recognize weak virtual connections leave a wealth of creative opportunity unexplored. Project success usually depends upon mutual respect and free flow of information. Prior to a project kick-off last week, I nominated four Richmond “internal customers” and four “remote resources” for a voluntary escape room experiment at Room Escape USA. My objective is to expedite a creative problem solving connection between key project resources.

The general manager at Room Escape USA collaborated with me on content, agenda and objectives. Upon arrival, she led us through a self-discovery activity as preparation for the first escape. Post escape #1, we explored lessons learned about each other and opportunities for improvement in the second room. After our second successful escape, each participant was asked to share how their experience mapped to our project objectives, the way we work together, and opportunities for an improved team dynamic.

The first room (Dr. Ensaine) is an illustration of our business and current-state project reality. Isolated individuals and groups worked concurrently on distinct escape problems, too numerous for each individual to tackle together. The second room (Family Secrets) offered a linear step-by-step progression where it was much easier for each individual to follow concurrent escape room activities. The last room offered a metaphor for the team’s preferred project scenario.

I have observed uncharacteristic availability from individuals for collaboration this week. The escape room laboratory offered our team a detached insight when outside of the typical workflow. Dynamics and habits surfaced and behavior was immediately open for discussion. I will use this team-based escape room technique again.