The Rainforest Game provides individuals with the opportunity to experience virtual leadership and collaboration across boundaries. As participants work within and across groups to complete this simulation, they must face their assumptions about intra- and inter-team dynamics. In doing so, participants build awareness of the importance of cooperation, the challenges inherent in inter-team communications, and the significance of creating and sustaining effective partnerships.
How It Works
During gameplay, participants assume the role of artists who are brought together by The Rainforest Collective (an organization promoting endangered rainforest awareness). Their mission is to assemble a mosaic, which is to be displayed at a celebratory art installation for The Rainforest Collective's annual conference.
Participants are organized into subgroups, but since no group possesses all of the required pieces, they must venture across boundaries and work collaboratively to achieve success. As participants work both within and outside of their assigned group to complete the activity, they face personal assumptions about intra/inter-team dynamics. In doing so, they build awareness of the challenges inherent in a virtual environment and how to overcome them.
During the debrief discussion, participants are introduced to the four core skills for working effectively across boundaries: reaching out, sharing information, exploring alternatives, and making it happen. Together these skills build lasting and powerful relationships that enable individuals and groups to achieve common goals. An action plan at the close of the workshop allows participants to identify what they will do differently in the future to build partnerships, enhance inter-team communication, and enable greater collaboration across boundaries.
Uses and Applications
Perfect as a stand-alone module or in conjunction with a more extensive training process, The Rainforest Game is highly adaptable and flexible. The facilitator can focus discussions on several areas relevant for their organization, including:
By the end of this workshop, participants will:
- Work through communication barriers
- Creatively solve complex problems
- Examine assumptions about how people and functions work together
- Apply skills for working across boundaries
- Build relationships to achieve common goals
Product Type: Game. The Facilitator Guide includes everything you need to lead a successful training session.
Target Audience: Individuals who work virtually or anyone who works with others across both internal and external boundaries.
Measures: Your employees' ability to collaborate and communicate across boundaries.
Dimensions: Collaboration and communication.
Time Required: Three hours.
What to Order
Complete Game Kit: Order One Game Kit for Up to 25 Participants.
The Complete Game Kit contains materials to play the game with up to 25 participants. All contents are reusable except for the participant workbooks and sticker sheets.
Extra Game Kit: Order One Extra Kit for an Additional 25 Participants.
The Extra Game Kit includes an additional 25 participant workbooks, 48 puzzle pieces (separated into five drawstring bags), five sticker sheets (eight stickers per sheet), and five laminated instruction cards.
Workbook 5-Pack: Order One Pack for Up to Five Participants.
Obtain extra Workbooks to serve as an overall takeaway for additional participants.
Extra Sticker Pack: Provides an Additional Pack of 40 Stickers.
Replay The Rainforest Game with new participants by obtaining an Extra Sticker Pack.
About the Authors
Amy Judith Tananbaum is the principal of Results By Design. She has a Master of Science degree in Social Psychology from The London School of Economics and Political Science, an MBA from Boston University, and a BA in Psychology for the University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of expertise include instructional design, facilitation, consulting, and coaching.