Folks at Lucent, Motorola, and Merck have spent their time recently building paper airplanes — on the company's dollar, with their managers' OK.
That's right. All three companies are hooked on something called Paper Planes Inc., a team-building simulation invented by Discovery Learning (www.awaka.com). The exercise teaches people about their teams and their organization by having them take turns cutting and gluing together planes, evaluating their product and the process of making it, and then going back to the drawing board and repeating the steps.
“They find out fast that all kinds of issues that come up, such as why they weren't successful, and they realize that those are the same issues they face back in the workplace,” says Michael Warrick, vice president of marketing and sales for the Greensboro, S.C.-based training company.
To make it work, they learn to work together and communicate better.
For some people, says Warrick, “It's a very powerful ‘Aha’ sort of experience.”