Can your team survive an Earthquake? We can test it.

Earthquake is an exercise, designed specifically to boost problem solving, decision-making, consensus reach, and group dynamics understanding. During this simulation the participants first solve the problem on their own and then as a group. It is a powerful and rewarding synergistic team activity where teams must come to an agreement in order to save their own lives.

We will ask for no less than surviving in an Earthquake. Participants are asked to respond to the following storyline:

You and some coworkers are in the basement library of your downtown office building finishing a presentation for a meeting the next morning. The building shakes violently. There has been a major earthquake. You begin to pick yourselves up and assess the damage…

Team members need to define and prioritise action steps to ensure their survival and identify actions that should be avoided. The resulted lists are compared with an expert ranking. It is a great illustration of the fact that effective teams generally produce better outcomes than individuals.

The Earthquake activity demonstrates the importance of clear communication in group decision making process, and teaches group members to assess a problem as a cohesive group. We need to be a team in a shared risk situation.