Tall Ships

Complete Game Kit
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Tall Ships is a highly engaging experiential exercise - a learning game that challenges teams to race against the clock (and other teams) to build the tallest ship mast at the lowest cost. Players not only learn the skills behind the seven factors that research demonstrates are most critical to effective team performance; they actually practice them too.
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How It Works

Teams representing imaginary companies have been selected by The Seven Seas Company to bid on a lucrative contract for designing and building a tall ship. But in order for any team to be awarded the winning bid, they must first demonstrate that they can successfully embody the "Seven C's" upon which The Seven Seas Company is founded: Clarity, Capability, Collaboration, Commitment, Communication, Continuous Improvement, and Creativity.

Three game rounds reveal the team dynamics that impact team effectiveness.

In Round 1, teams are asked to assemble the tallest ship mast possible in the least amount of time. Lessons learned from this round are discussed and applied to the Seven C's model.

Round 2 challenges teams to rethink their strategy and build yet a taller mast in the same amount of time, but at the lowest cost.

Following a team performance assessment and debrief, Round 3 allows teams to make one last attempt at the task, assembling the mast according to new specifications and requirements. Finally, an action-planning phase provides teams and team members with an opportunity to improve their performance.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn and practice the seven factors critical to effective teamwork
  • Explore strategies to improve team performance
  • Identify and apply actions to real-life team situations

Uses and Applications

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Product Details

Product Type

To learn about and improve team skills

Time Required
2 hours

What do I order?

Each complete game includes materials to simultaneously train three teams of five to seven participants. All parts except for the participant guides are reusable.

Additional participant guides are available for individual purchase.

For training sessions with more than three teams, order one game pack for each additional group of five to seven participants.

About the Authors

Dr. Stu Noble, president and founder of 3D Learning, has almost 20 years experience in human resources management as well as quality and organizational development. Prior to forming 3D Learning, he was a senior associate with Block Petrella Weisbord, Inc., a leading edge organizational development consulting firm. As an OD consultant, he specializes in high involvement strategic visioning, planning and work redesign, as well as leadership and team (including virtual) development.