Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Together or Apart: A lesson in team placement.

Dan (the owner and founder of LearningWare) and I have been in disagreement on one game show issue for a very long time. Despite our respective expertise, we've never seen quite eye to eye on this issue.

Do you seat teams together in a competitive game show environment, or do you spread a team throughout the room?

Dan would always advocate for the latter. From dealing with hyper-competitive sales reps, he had seen many, many instances where teams had cheated when sitting together. (For instance, if they all had keypads, one person--who knew that particular question--would hold up a letter and everyone would press that letter on their keypad.) When teams were sitting scattered throughout the room, there was no advantage for them to do this since the other team would also benefit from their assistance.

I always loved the energy that a team would generate sitting in the same space. I loved watching the cheers as the point tallies would rise in an AllPlay game. I loved watching the discussion and collaboration. Could they cheat? Maybe--but they didn't always. And the point of the game was to review information and add energy to a training session--even if they were told the answers, everyone still was reviewing the information one more time. Cheating can backfire as well--what if that one person everyone is trusting to give the answer has it wrong? The team gets a zero-score instead of at least *something*.

Who is right? Well, both of us. Ultimately both ways work. If a trainer is looking to really test everyone's individual knowledge--having a team seated apart is a better gauge of this metric. If a trainer is looking to review information and increase the energy in the room exponentially--then having the teams sitting together makes for a great game show.

And I'm happy to admit that after recently running several game shows at large events--both ways--Dan is starting to come around to my way of thinking.

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