The Spaghetti and Marshmallow Game

This morning for our Nozomi Project staff meeting, we divided into three working groups.  Each group was given a handful of raw spaghetti, a roll of tape, and a marshmallow.  Each team had 18 minutes to build the tallest free-standing structure they could, with the marshmallow at the end as the tallest part.

It was great fun to watch the women start.

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What I loved was how each team worked hard on making a strong foundation.  One team tested three different foundations and finally went with the strongest.  Several times the teams readjusted their strategies.  Near the end, all three were working with tall towers.

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At the last minute, they put the marshmallows up.  And suddenly the tall and straight structures began swaying…. One of the teams couldn’t let go for the final measuring… and the marshmallow swayed its way down.

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Here are the teams with their final projects:

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We had a good debrief after this.  The foundation really is important!  Nozomi Project’s three key words are community, restoration, and hope.  The community part is so important for who we are.  Each piece of jewelry that we sell has been handled by about eight different staff, from start to finish.  We are moving more towards a team approach in our larger projects, as well.  We need to be a team – a community — that works together and supports each other.  That allows for mistakes midway through and re-focusing efforts.  For this to happen, our foundation is important.

We also talked about what happens as we grow taller and get more stiff, and then add the marshmallow on top. The formation becomes at risk.  It’s a lot harder to introduce new ideas, new staff as teams become comfortable and get into patterns. As we continue to introduce new ways of doing things and bring new staff into Nozomi Project, we will have to all be more intentional. But we need the perspectives that new people bring.

And… of course, there has to be room for having some fun.

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