Improve Adaptability: 10 Change Management Exercises for Teams

Improve Adaptability: 10 Change Management Exercises for Teams

Is resistance to change an issue in your workplace? If yes, it’s time to conduct some change management exercises for your teams.

Many employees often say “NO” to change. Is it going to help your organization?

Never!

We all know that adaptability is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions. This is a skill your team of employees needs to develop in order to deal with change.

So, you need your employees to be more adaptable and say “YES” to change.

In this article, let’s see how to improve adaptability with these 10 change management exercises for teams.

10 Change Management Exercises for Teams

#1. All Abroad

This is one of the interesting change management exercises to improve the adaptability as well as problem solving skills of your teams. The goal of this game is to make everyone stay on a ship until its size is completely reduced.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: A room or outdoor space with a flat surface, tarpaulins/blankets; one per team

Team size: 3-8 members

Instructions

  • First, divide the participants into small groups.
  • Next, get some tarpaulins or blankets and set them on the floor, which will be considered a ship.
  • Now, ask each team to stay on their ship for some time.
  • Then, reduce the size of the ship (fold the tarpaulin) and ask each team to stay on it again.
  • This activity continues by reducing the size of the ship and every member should try to stay on their ship.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • As a team, how did you plan this activity?
  • What challenges did you face during this activity and how did you overcome them?
  • Did you learn something that you can apply to your real work? Please explain.

#2. Balloon Frenzy

The goal of this activity is to keep balloons in the air and prevent them from sinking to the floor. This activity helps to improve the adaptability skills of your employees and tackles resistance to change.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: A large room or open space, lots of inflated balloons of different colors

Team size: 2-6 members

Instructions

  • Initially, have lots of inflated balloons of different colors. Then, split the participants into small teams.
  • Now, give an equal number of balloons to each team depending on team size. Make sure that each team has different colored balloons.
  • Set a time limit for the activity and ask each team to launch their balloons into the air.
  • Each team should keep their balloon in the air by hitting, but they are not allowed to hold it. Balloons that hit the floor must be eliminated.
  • Finally, see which team kept the highest number of balloons in the air.

Advice for the facilitator

Make sure you remove the dropped balloons from the field. So, you can appoint a non-participating member for that.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • What were the interesting as well as challenging aspects of this activity?
  • Did you have the fear of failure during this activity?
  • “Being more adaptable will make you a better team player.” Do you agree? If so, why?

#3. Bounce Back

This is a simple exercise to deal with change. In this exercise, the participants should bounce a rubber ball back and forth, and then they need to explain what was in their minds when the ball has hit the ground.

Time: 3-5 minutes

Materials: A room or outdoor space with a flat surface, a rubber ball for each team

Team size: 2 members

Instructions

  • Initially, divide the participants into pairs. Then, hand a rubber ball to each pair.
  • Next, instruct them to bounce the ball back and forth for some time.
  • Now, one person from each team should do it first. Then, he can hand the ball to his partner to do the same.
  • Finally, ask them whether they worried that the ball wouldn’t bounce up after hitting the ground.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • Did you think the ball wouldn’t bounce up after hitting the ground?
  • Like the ball hit the ground and bounce up, can you come back strongly in tough situations?
  • What quality do you need the most in order to face challenges?

#4. Change Your Seats

This activity is ideal for both small and large teams. In this activity, the participants should observe an object from different seats and notice the difference.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: A room with enough space, chairs for all the participants, and a random object for each team

Team size: At least 3 members per team

Instructions

  • Initially, divide the participants into teams.
  • Then, ask each team to place chairs in a circle and take a seat.
  • Now, place an object in the center. Then, ask each team member to observe the object for a few seconds.
  • Next, ask them to change their seats and observe the object again.
  • At last, instruct them to repeat the process once again and notice the change.

 Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • Did you feel any differences when you observed the object after changing seats?
  • What message did you get from this activity?
  • Do you think viewing things from different perspectives will help you perform better? If so, why?

#5. Cross Your Arms

This is one of the popular change management activities. In this activity, participants should try to cross their arms in different ways.

Time: 3-5 minutes

Materials: A large room or outdoor space

Team size: Any

Instructions

  • Arrange the participants into teams.
  • Instruct each team member to cross their arms.
  • Once they are done, ask them to cross their arms the other way.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • How did you feel when you crossed your arms at first?
  • What changes did you feel when you crossed your arms the other way?
  • “To be successful at work, we need to go out of our comfort zone a little bit.” What do you think?

#6. Forward or Backward Game

This change management exercise tests how people respond to a change. In this exercise, the participants can respond to certain change-related words either positively or negatively by moving forward or backward.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: A large room or outdoor space, a list consisting of some change-related words

Team size: 3-10 members

Instructions

  • Before you start, prepare a list of change-related words like “alteration”, “conversion”, “transition” etc. Probably, you can write 5-10 words.
  • Next, spit the participants into teams. Then, instruct each team to stand shoulder to shoulder horizontally.
  • Now, ask the participants to move forward if the word they hear induces a positive response and move backward for a negative response.
  • Then, read each word louder one by one and see what happens.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • Where did you move the most – forward or backward?
  • Were you confused about where to move at any point?
  • “Moving forward is confidence and having enough confidence will help you accomplish more.” Do you agree? If so, why?

#7. Tag Team Game

The tag team game helps employees adapt themselves by learning more from their colleagues. In this activity, each team needs to create a “virtual teammate” by combining all the skills and strengths of its teammates.

Time: 10-20 minutes

Materials: Pens and paper sheets for each participant

Team size: 4-6 members

Instructions

  • At first, divide the participants into small teams.
  • Next, ask each person to write down their skills as well as strengths that can help their team to succeed and then share it with their teammates.
  • Now, instruct each team to create a “virtual teammate” by combining all those skills and strengths and write a short profile description about him.
  • Finally, each team should share this with other teams so that everyone can identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

Debrief questions to ask the participants                 

  • During this activity, how did you adapt yourself to the new scenario?
  • Did you feel like you want to improve a skill or overcome some weaknesses?
  • What skill do you need to develop in order to deal with change?

#8. Tea Break

This is one of the funniest change management exercises out there. In this exercise, the participants need to taste their drinks in two different areas.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: A cup of tea or any other drink for each participant

Team size: 4-6 members

Instructions

  • Start by dividing the participants into small teams. Then, provide a cup of tea or any other drink to each team member.
  • Now, ask them to taste their drinks.
  • Then, invite them to come outdoors with their drinks.
  • At last, instruct them to have their drinks and see if there is any change in taste or feel.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • When you drink tea coming outdoor, did you notice any change in the taste or feel? Please explain.
  • Where did you enjoy drinking your tea the most – inside the room or outside? And why?
  • What lesson will you bring to work from this activity?

#9. The Alien at Dinner

This is another fabulous activity for improving adaptability and change management. Here the participants need to consider themselves an alien and have dinner with humans.

Time: 15-30 minutes

Materials: A large room with dining arrangements, food for all the participants

Team size: 3-6 members

Instructions

  • Before you start, make arrangements for dinner (or lunch) in the dining room.
  • Now, split the participants into teams and invite them to the dining room. Then, ask them to take their seats.
  • Next, instruct each participant to consider himself as an alien and the rest of the participants including their teammates as humans.
  • Then, serve food and wish them to enjoy their dinner. During dinner, each person should watch the way humans eat and talk to one another.
  • Finally, let each alien identify the unique behavior possessed by humans.

Advice for the facilitator

Some people say you can conduct this activity without providing any food (by simply asking the participants to assume they are having dinner), but I strictly don’t agree with that idea.

For the best results, you should arrange some kind of food for your employees and ask them to pretend as aliens.

If you can’t arrange a large meal, try some snacks such as burgers, chips, etc. depending on your budget.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • What was most interesting in this activity?
  • When you considered yourself alien and your teammates as humans, what changes did you notice?
  • “When we view things from different perspectives, we can avoid most misunderstandings and become more adaptable.” What do you think?

#10. The Magic Wand

This activity tests how good your employees are in dealing with change. In this activity, the participants should tell what they would like to change in the world if they have a magic wand.

Time: 5-15 minutes

Materials: None

Team size: 3-8 members

Instructions

  • Initially, arrange the participants into teams.
  • Then, ask each team to assume that they have a magic wand, which can change anything in this world.
  • Now, instruct them to tell what they would like to change. Then, give them some time for discussion.
  • Finally, each team should tell what they would like to change using their magic wand.

Debrief questions to ask the participants

  • As a team, how did you reach the solution, and did everyone agree with this solution?
  • Did anyone say that they want to change themselves using the magic wand?
  • “We constantly need to change ourselves in order to succeed in this technological world.” What do you think?

Want More Activities?

We have published a new article titled “10 Adaptability Activities for Employees in Your Workplace“. You can read it now.

Final Words

To build a successful team of employees, you need to conduct proper change management exercises. The more adaptable your employees are the better your workplace functioning will be. So, try the above 10 change management exercises and see what happens.

Like these 10 change management exercises to improve adaptability? If you have any ideas about adaptability or change management, feel free to comment below.

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