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Kindergartners Outperforming MBA's: Tom Wujec's "Marshmallow Challenge"
Innovation | February 17, 2011

Kindergartners Outperforming MBA's: Tom Wujec's "Marshmallow Challenge"

Innovation speaker Tom Wujec’s “Marshmallow Challenge” is a design experiment that reveals surprising lessons about teamwork, collaboration, and project management. Tom’s experiment sounds simple enough: teams try to build the tallest freestanding structure they can out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of string and a marshmallow. What makes it difficult, though, is the need for teams to organize, prototype and finally build the structure in the short time frame. The results are astounding — children tend to outperform MBA students, due to their ability to redesign on the fly rather than plan a rigid structure and execute, even if the structure is doomed for failure. Through his “Marshmallow Challenge,” which he has presented at TED, Wujec has helped countless groups learn the value of true collaboration. And unlike a lot of other teamwork exercises, it’s actually fun! If you would like Wujec to present the Marshmallow Challenge to your group, or to speak on innovation and visualization, please contact The Lavin Agency today.


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