The Boot Camp Balloon Burst Game: Inspiring Performance as A Team

MyNextHire Continuous Learning
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Each session, we achieve a little more – both individually and as a team. This session was no less and the story is also quite inspiring. Let me share it with you.

This time, our continuous learning session was led by Monali Sarode who works as a Software Tester. For someone who loves testing new features in our product, Monali is also a self-confessed introvert who likes to a take a little more time in mixing up with people she meets for the first time. She is also quiet by nature, preferring to speak only when it is needed. Monali loves to travel, listen to music and has a unique feather in her cap – she holds the world record for Dhol Tasha (played continuously for 12 hrs). But this game – Boot Camp Balloon Burst – that this self-confessed, quiet person introduced to us at our continuous learning session is VERY Interactive. This is again an insight into what our Continuous Learning sessions achieve. We start to think beyond the word “I” and think of what more we can learn and share knowledge.

The game is pretty simple to speak of. The team is divided into 3 groups of 4 members each. For the sake of understanding, let us call the team members #1, #2, #3 and #4. There is a start line and a finish line. The game starts with #1 blowing the balloon, and then #2 and #3 carry it from the start point to the finish point. They then hand over the balloon to #4 who has burst the balloon to complete one cycle. Each team has to burst as many balloons in 3 minutes by following this cycle.

Balloon Burst Game
Team 1 carefully carrying the Balloon with back support

Easy, right? Nope, not at all. Monali made sure to insert challenges here. #2 and #3 cannot just carry the balloon between them – they have to use their backs to carry (they followed a no-hands policy). It is really challenging when your backs are facing each other and you have to carry the balloon between your back to the finish line. God forbid – if the balloon falls down, they cannot pick up from where the balloon fell. It is back to the start line for them. Oh, wait! There is more. Once the balloon is handed over to #4, he/she has to burst it. But they are not allowed to use any instrument/tool to do so. Neither can they use their fingernail. They need to burst the balloon by sitting on it. Only after the balloon bursts, the next cycle starts with #1 blowing the second balloon.

Balloon Burst Game
Team 2 striking a balance

The teams enjoyed the game. Team Bhushan, Vivek, Pranjal and Bhanu, and Team Nidhi, Yogita, Pritam & Zaheer burst 7 balloons each. Team Monali, Zaheer, Astha and Avinash burst 4 balloons. Yeah! Zaheer got to play in two teams as there was one person short to complete the teams. As with all our continuous learning sessions, this one too did not back out where lessons were concerned. Monali’s idea behind the session was strategizing and skill coordination.

Balloon Burst Game
Team 3 doing their best to win

A team comes in all sizes and shapes and is a combination of different skill sets. To get the most of a team project, it is important to understand the strength and weakness of team members and strategize so that each person is able to contribute the best in terms of performance. As Vivek and Nidhi both pointed out at the end of the game about how everyone concentrated on the KPI of bursting the maximum balloons to make it happen. But there were other issues as well that needed to be covered as well – like the size of the balloon – bigger balloons were difficult to carry and burst or about understanding each person’s strengths to allocate tasks to enhance the team’s performance and meet targets.

As the session ended, we learned more about the intricacies of how a team can work better to achieve its target.

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