Throughout my 20+ year career in corporate America, I have participated in many training programs: courses focused on everything from industrial engineering work methods to negotiation skills in sales. Out of all the activities and all the courses, one “treasure hunt game” stands out as my most memorable and impactful learning.
For the game, we worked in teams, and the team that reached the treasure first would win. We were presented scenarios along the path where we had to make decisions. The first scenario offered each team the opportunity to sacrifice a few additional days to talk to a “wise man” before embarking on the journey to find treasure. Our team, along with most other teams, was so eager to reach our goal, we chose to get on the path and NOT talk to the wise man. We felt it would be a “waste of time.”
We did not realize that the wise man provided the keys to reaching the treasure. Those teams that took the time up front to speak to the “wise man” reached the treasure first and won the game.
It may sound simple, but for me, it was a revelation! My team was so busy executing that we did not develop a plan or conduct any research. It caused us to be less effective and lose the game.