Why an “Escape Room” can reveal your business leaders

Whether you be a team within a FTSE100 or a SME I never thought that something could be so much fun but at the same time provide me with a true insight to individual strengths and weaknesses.

In summary, “Escape Rooms” are a physical adventure game where players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues to complete the secret plot in the room. My team never completed the task in the given timescale (slightly worrying given we were determined to win) but I learnt so much about the personalities in the room and how they individually approached each task. It made me step back and learn a few things about teamwork and problem-solving.

Having multiple teams in a company is common with often a dozen people or more on a team is not unusual. Sometimes those teams operate at cross-purposes or so focused on competing they overlook the fundamental rules of working effectively as team.

  • Everyone needs to understand the goal. And be motivated to achieve it.
  • Teams need someone to lead. Even if it’s to make sure that everyone has information or gets a voice.
  • Every team member must receive the same communication. Team members were not able to help each other because they didn’t have the same information.
  • Being organised can be a team asset. Not having a sense of order put us behind the other group because we couldn’t see how the puzzle clues fit together.
  • Teams need problem-solving capabilities. Not only to solve problems, but to identify red herrings. (That is where we wasted time!)
  • All group activities should receive a debrief. Even if it’s a short one it can allegedly impact on productivity by 20%.

Although, workshops and classroom training have their place this exercise was fun, engaging, inexpensive and totally removed from the workplace. I guarantee the Escape Rooms will reveal some surprises!

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