Object of play:
Brainstorm multiple solution and answers to participants pressing problems…while feeling like a 7-year old again.
Number of players: 10-50
Duration of play: 30 minutes – 1.5 hours
How to play:
1. Everyone is handed a piece of construction paper.
2. At the top of one side, participants are asked to write their biggest, most pressing problem the group can assist with and then their name on the reverse side.
3. Ask participants to be as specific as possible with the question. (i.e. “What low or no-cost ways can I increase referrals for my service business?”)
4. Make sure participants leave enough space below their question for multiple answers.
5. Have people start folding their paper airplane with the question ending up the inside of the folds.
6. Recommend each person decorate their plane individually to be able to find it later on.
7. Once everyone has completed their airplanes it’s time to fly! Have everyone stand up and toss their planes into the wild blue yonder!
8. Each participant grabs an airplane that doesn’t belong to them and unfolds it.
9. Next, participants read through the question inside the airplane and provide their best answer. Make sure participants place their name or initials (for smaller groups) next to their response.
10. Allow 3 minutes for answers and then call time.
11. Participants (hopefully) re-fold their paper airplane and re-launch them.
12. The cycle repeats for as many rounds as time available or until someone pokes an eye out.
13. If a participant gets the same airplane twice they should switch with a neighbor.
14. At the end of the flying time – each participant retrieves their winged worksheet.
15. Facilitator asks for volunteers or selects individuals to present questions that have universal appeal to the audience and start group discussion.
16. (Optional) Silly prizes given for best flying plane, sorriest looking plane, best design, etc.
Questions dictate your answers and getting answers from an assortment from different people gives participants another vantage point to their ideal solution. Also, instead of a group setting, some quieter participants with good ideas are now ‘heard’ since they have introspective time to come up with responses. What’s more, since everyone has signed their name or initials to their answer, participants will naturally engage in private conversations later on.
You can customize the game based on a particular meeting theme. Recently for a Maverick World Cup adventure & business excursion, we used inflatable soccer balls and had participants tape index cards to the soccer ball before kicking them. We called the game “Kickin’ It!” (Like kicking their biggest business problem.)