F.A.I.L.— Fearless Adventures In Learning: 6 Games to Explore the Value Behind Failure

schedule May 30th 12:40 - 01:40 PM place Granite ABC people 2 Interested

This fast-paced and energizing post-lunch session looks at six team-based improv & collaboration games that help teams embrace "failing successfully." Rather than glorify failure, we should understand that its power is not in failing alone, but rather the learning that emerges from it and the power that such learning has to unlock otherwise unforeseen opportunities. Our goal is to relinquish our fears of failure, break us out of our comfort zone and accept the prospect of failure with the ultimate goal of using it to better understand what success looks like, and how the struggle and pain of failure, and the learning that accompanies it, opens our mind to new possibilities we wouldn't have otherwise seen. These games create comfort with failure and build up our actionable learning muscle (insight synthesis, etc) that should accompany every unsuccessful attempt at success. Failure and learning for the win!

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Outline/Structure of the Talk

===== Introduction =====
Presenters introduce themselves and share the intent behind leading the group through these games. Note: caution is taken not to steal learning opportunities by sharing too much too soon... no spoilers! The learning is experiential.
===== 2 Minute Mark: Warm-Up: Fail Song =====
First ask for perfectionists from the whole room to assign one perfectionist to every team as product owners
Similar to the counting game, small groups form and begin to sing the first line of a popular song (Row Row Row Your Boat, Mary Had a Little Lamb, etc) one person and word at a time in random order, trying to sing fluently and beautifully without pauses. Whenever two people sing the same word at the same time accidentally, they must start over at the beginning of the song. There should be no pattern to who sings what part of the line.
For teams who succeed, they can come up with a new song to sing.
===== 6 Minute Mark: Beasty Rap =====
Attendees break into two teams of ten volunteers and form lines to face off. A single-syllable name is given with which the first member of each team must improvise a line of a battle rap with the last word of that line rhyming with the given word, however they stop short of giving the ryming word... their team must guess the rhyme based on clues giving in the line of the rap. Players move to the end of their team's line after a successful rap. New rhymes are given whenever someone fails, and teams continue the game until time is up.
===== 12 Minute Mark: Poster Children =====
Small teams (4) will draw a movie name at random, and collaboratively design a minimum viable movie poster which must be guessed correctly by a non-collaborating member of the team. The first participant draws one symbol (anything without words) on a white sticky note and adds it to the poster. After each symbol is added, team members try to guess the movie name. Subsequent team members add a new sticky note to the movie poster, which can have no more than three symbols/stickies at a time. Once three stickies have been added, the next player must replace one of the existing symbols/stickies with a new one.
Demonstration will be given by collaboratively creating a minimal poster.
For teams who finish early, they can change up who draws and who guesses and keep playing.
===== 20 Minute Mark: Amazon of Anything =====
Teams of three decide who gets to be one of the three following roles: a salesperson, a buyer and a product. All people volunteering to act as a product will decide on what kind of product they will be, ideally something that they can act out. Products will then whisper to their buyers what product they intend to be. Salespeople in each group will then attempt to sell their buyer the product, pretending they know what it is and describing it to their buyer. Buyer will give reactions and ask questions that might give the seller clues as to what the product might be (since the buyer actually knows), but without mentioning the product by name. The product will act out their role as that product as deemed necessary based on what the seller and buyer are saying.
===== 30 Minute Mark: Yes, But =====
Pairs form. One participant in each pair is asked a question. The other participant responds to their partner's answer by presenting an obstacle that then has to be overcome with a new answer. Pairs continue back and forth, one presenting new obstacles and the other overcoming them, until time runs out. Then they switch. Four minutes per round, total eight minutes.
===== 40 Minute Mark: Collaborative Drawing =====
Everyone in the room is randomly assigned a number. Each like-numbered group of people is given a drawing constraint, such as, "you may only draw squiggly lines". Teams of 5 form containing people with unique numbers (no two like-numbered people in a group, if possible). Each person gets to start their own unique drawing (on a whiteboard or sticky flippy chart paper) by drawing according to their constraint. Everyone in their team then moves to the next drawing in their team (rotation style, staying within their teams) and contributes a new component to the next drawing, again drawing according to their constraint. This process continues until all 5 team members have contributed to all 5 drawings twice. After two complete cycles, each team member is given 5 stickies and is tasked with divergently interpreting each of the drawings. After everyone has interpreted each drawing, they get to converge and add their interpretations to each drawing, then debrief on each as a group.
Are you allowed to talk amongst yourselves?
===== 50 Minute Mark: Challenge/Debrief =====
The room will share their biggest epiphanies for 10 minutes. 2m per question (questions may vary).
Where did you struggle? What was challenging?
What helped you become comfortable with failure?
How can you take these games back to work with you?
How might you alter the games we played to work better within your contexts?
===== 60 Minute Mark: End =====

Learning Outcome

2 Comfort-Building (Psych Safety) F.A.I.L. Games:
• Fail Song - Gets us warmed up and out of our normal mental state.
• Beasty Rap - Gets us collaborating on the same wavelength, in synchronicity and quickly embracing failure and smoothly transforming it into success.

2 Learning-Oriented F.A.I.L. Games:
• Poster Children (Collaborative MVP Posters)—Discover the best combination of meaningful elements.
• The Amazon of Anything - Learn and iterate based on a short feedback loop with customers.

2 F.A.I.L. Games Oriented to Responding to Change
• Yes, But... - Overcome obstacles, and find the positive value in challenging situations.
• Collaborative Drawing - Use constraints to respond to change and innovate in creatively unexpected ways.

Target Audience


Prerequisites for Attendees

Willingness to participate, openness to failing in front of others, willingness to take part rather than sit and watch/listen.

schedule Submitted 2 months ago

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