Time Allocation: 5 minutes
Fold it in half again and tear off the upper left hand corner of the
Then, lead into a presentation on the need for two-way communication in the workplace.
Purpose: To highlight the pros and cons of internal competition.
Set Up: An ordinary 10-dollar bill; a gavel (or some other heavy, hand-held object).
Process: Announce to the group that you will be auctioning off a $10 bill. The bidding begins at $5, and yes, you really will be giving out the money, no matter how low the highest bid. The game continues until you’ve called out “Going, going, gone” and slammed down your gavel. In almost all cases, the bidding will continue beyond the $10 threshold, with much excitement and high spirits. To ensure this result and to ratchet up the energy even higher, conduct the auction again, this time announcing that the two highest bidders (the winner AND the runner-up) must BOTH pay out their bids, regardless of the winner.
Discussion Questions: What made this game exciting? Why were the high-bidders willing to go over and beyond the actually monetary value of the money? How effective is competition at raising energy and morale? What are the possible downsides to excessive competition?
The Point: Competition is an almost sure-fire method for releasing adrenaline and getting people’s blood rushing – particularly in America’s highly competitive culture and society. But competition has a price. In our effort to beat out our rivals (often co-workers), we can easily fall into behaviour that disregards cost and time efficiency. Ten dollars has a clear monetary value of exactly $10 in an even-tempered, thoughtful business environment. Once competition is added to the mix, however, the atmosphere becomes more charged and the opportunity increases for hasty and imprudent decision-making. A $10 bill, in this short-sighted, antagonistic environment, now gets purchased at $15, or $20, or even $30! People lose sight of what a $10 bill really is; namely, a $10 bill! This fun little exercise is quite effective for demonstrating the benefits of internal competition (i.e. employee enthusiasm, energy, adrenaline) and the possible downsides of an adversarial environment (i.e. fiscal irresponsibility and short-sidedness). It might also just make you a few easy bucks as well.
Submitted by Dr. Clue
Copyright (c) 2004 Dr. Clue, All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Clue is the premier creator of teambuilding treasure hunts, all across the country.
Get your FREE monthly newsletter of teambuilding and treasure hunt tips at http://www.drclue.com/.