Junkyard Games

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Now there is a way to encourage innovation and develop the skills needed to have a positive impact on organizational performance.

Junkyard Games is an exciting training simulation from HRDQ that combines energy and fun with creativity and process improvement games.

  • Overview
  • Details
  • FAQ's
  • Authors

Junkyard Games is an innovation training game for employee and management development training. The team activity is an engaging and interactive experiential instructional game that effectively improves the effectiveness of team and individual innovation skills.

Whether it's doing more for less, increasing productivity, or reducing costs, innovation is the lifeblood of all successful organizations. Without it, organizations may survive, but they seldom thrive. The fact of the matter is that anyone can be innovative, regardless of profession or level of responsibility. The opportunity for process improvement exists everywhere and at every level within an organization. Everybody's innovating, but often it isn't formally recognized as "process improvement" or "innovation."

The good news is that through process improvement games, anyone can learn how to be innovative with regular practice and a little courage. Fear is a natural byproduct of innovation, and you’ve got to have courage to take risks and share your ideas. The payoff for overcoming your fears can be tremendous, changing the way your company operates, inventing a new product, and saving your business time and money in the process.

How It Works

Using only the miscellaneous "junk" available to them, teams compete in process improvement games to create the most innovative table-top sporting event for an international competition. After an initial round of planning, teams are challenged to practice innovation on their initial game designs. Things get really interesting when teams have fun playing each other's games. Following game play, additional learning takes place as teams give honest feedback on each of the game designs and how well they met the stated objectives and goals.

Teams work together, plan, strategize, and execute their ideas to create the most innovative table top games for an international competition among imaginary countries. The challenge is that they may only use the miscellaneous "junk" available to them. The parts are random, and not every team is given the same stuff. After an initial round of planning and testing, teams are asked to practice their innovation skills to improve upon their original design. Then the outrageous fun begins when the teams get to play each other's games and compete to win at all costs!

Learning Outcomes

  • Differentiate between innovation and creativity
  • Understand the value of managing task-driven and process-driven behaviors
  • Learn and apply a seven-step innovation process

Uses and Applications

Junkyard Games is effective either as a stand-alone activity or as part of a more comprehensive training program. Here are some suggested applications for the game:

  • Kick off a team-building workshop or seminar
  • Introduce the concept of innovation
  • Energize an existing team’s level of creativity for innovation
  • Practice using innovation skills in a "safe" environment

Product Details

Product Type

Time Required
1.5 to 2 hours

What do I order?

Each complete game includes materials to train up to three teams of four to eight participants.

All parts are reusable.

For training sessions with more than three groups, order one extra game pack per team.

About the Authors

Ron Roberts is a recognized consultant, trainer, and author. An expert in the field of accelerated experiential learning, he has created more than 70 games, tools, and digital applications, and holds six patents on learning technology. He has a master's degree in counseling psychology, serves as the president of two companies, Action Centered Training, Inc. and ACT Games, and is a professor in both the management and communications departments at Penn State University.

Bernie DeKoven is an American game designer, author, lecturer and fun theorist. He has an MA in playwriting from Villanova University and a bachelor's degree in English language and literature/letters and theater from Temple University.