team-building jigsaw puzzle game template
© Alan Chapman 2006. A free resource from www.businessballs.com. Not to be sold or published.
Alan Chapman accepts no liabilities. See the instructions attached, or at the Businessballs website -
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businessballs jigsaw puzzle game/team puzzle race exercise (for team-building, illustrating
teamwork, team problem-solving, lateral thinking, etc)
For groups of 8-100 people, even more with suitable adaptation - this is a very adaptable game. Divide
the group into a number of teams. Give each team some pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and instruct them to
assemble the puzzle as quickly as possible. Ensure each team's pieces appear initially as though they
could be an entire puzzle in their own right.
Say, "The task of each team is to assemble the puzzle as quickly as possible. Each team has the same
puzzle. No further instructions will be given," (other than options explained below; the point is for teams
to resolve the exercise for themselves working together in teams, not by asking the facilitator).
The teams will assume they are competing against each other, but in fact there is only one jigsaw puzzle,
and the pieces are shared out among the teams. If the teams are in the same room they soon find out,
and begin to cooperate. If they are in different rooms the realisation takes a little longer, but eventually
the teams understand that the pieces are held by all the teams and the only way to do the puzzle is to
The facilitator's preparation for this exercise is therefore to obtain or create a jigsaw puzzle whose
complexity and number of pieces are appropriate for the group numbers and time available for the
activity. Ensure there are sufficient pieces to occupy the total number of team members, and obviously
each team needs a suitably sizes table or floorspace to work on, so that all tea