The Collaboration Journey
A board game evolved from our series of Square Wheels® illustrations about how organizations and individuals really work together to impact productivity and performance
Two versions of The Collaboration Journey are available:
The "Simple" Version (CJ1) uses dice to add an element of chance.
The "Complex" Version (CJ2) is much more process and procedure-driven.
The Collaboration Journey has been sold since 2004 with great reactions from customers because of its ease of use, impact and flexibility. It’s a fast, fun game that sets up your discussion about Square Wheels and collaborative problem solving. More collaboration generally results in faster play and smoother interactions between the players.
Your session can start with an overview (or a mini-workshop of the organization) using the included Square Wheels illustrations to set the stage for the collaborative journey or you can just play the game and land back on this metaphor later in your training, if you wish.
- Teams consist of 3 to 6 players
- Players plan and execute a journey forward, making a series of collective and collaborative decisions that influence each other's results as well as overall outcome.
- As they play, participants collect round wheels which enable them to roll faster.
- Play is designed to be quick and engaging with every table succeeding.
- The game is simply a tool to help involve and engage the participants in workplace problem solving and collaboration.
Your debriefing can focus on:
- interpersonal interactions and communications
- thinking styles
- themes of collaboration and shared goals
- tendencies to compete and succeed
The dynamics will generate a discussion of choice and choices for performance improvement and can be linked to a variety of thinking styles or “personality” instruments such as DISC, MBTI, HBDI or Information Sorting Styles (NLP) tools that are available. This is a powerful, interactive, 90-minute structured team building simulation with a very flexible debriefing framework.
The exercise is straightforward: Move the Wagons to the Customer.
On each round, players must look ahead to plan their moves toward reaching the top through their individual and collective efforts. As they progress, players improve the wagons by collecting Round Wheels.
The benefits of teamwork and planning impact performance and speed – the constraining features at the top of the game board require the 6 wagons to have a best collective strategy for optimizing results. Points are obtained by reaching the goal and completing the exercise quickly.
The simple elegance of the game structure allows collaboration to optimize progress; some degree of motivating competition between players is possible and likely. Since the first wagon to arrive gets more points than the others and because the route is more difficult towards the end (allowing only 2 teams to pass through the constraints), some degree of “my wagon first” will often occur. Competition tends to sub-optimize results.
Two versions of the game are available:
- The "Simple" version of the exercise uses dice to add an element of chance.
- The "Complex" version of the exercise is much more process and procedure-driven.
In CJ1, our simple game, each table rolls dice to acquire round wheels, so some degree of luck influences the results.
In CJ2, we add a more complex process of movement that requires decisions on the part of each player during each round of play. In CJ2, scoring also allows for each table to compare their results to the other tables as well as to compare their first play results with a much faster replay; should that be an important part of your desired overall session outcomes.
Both CJ games support collaboration between individuals to optimize tabletop results while individual competition would allow one individual to optimize personal results at the expense of the other players.
As in the “accidental adversaries archetype” framework, the first occurrence of competitiveness often generates reciprocity from the other players. The group then norms more toward competitiveness and aggression and may become more competitive over time. It is also possible for players to realize what is happening and choose to change to a more collaborative posture.
Overall, the best of positive collaborative intentions can be influenced by individual desires and competition for results while performance-focused discussions during play may moderate this. This makes for a most interesting and fruitful discussion in what can be a very flexible debriefing.
Each game version, CJ1 or CJ2, is $149 USD and includes a facilitator's toolkit of Square Wheels illustrations and worksheets designed to enable a discussion of the issues of communications, planning, and collaboration. The same poster game board is used with either version.
You can either print your own game materials or order complete reusable sets of game boards, cards, dice, etc. for a one-time cost of $30 per table (6 players).
Download a pdf file of the Simple version of The Collaboration Journey game by clicking here
Download a pdf file of the regular version of The Collaboration Journey game by clicking here
You can play this exercise with any number of tabletops simultaneously; there is no upper limit to the number of players and you can choose to use groups of 3 to 6 people playing on each game board. Facilitation is easy.
If you like Square Wheels, you will love how well this works. The Introduction and play take about 60 minutes.
A replay takes about 10 minutes. Debriefing can go on forever!
Your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back!