25 February 2013

Ultimate Battle game: For Communities of Practice

Ultimate Battle is a fun and interactive league table game where groups of people can share and learn about ideas and techniques they use in their professional community. It can take as much time as you have available. I find it works well in 30, 60 or 90 minute sessions.

The game takes the form of a play-off battle, searching for the most “Ultimate” technique or practice from the participants existing toolkits. The search includes challenging and exploring the techniques so people can hear their strengths, weaknesses and situational aspects that make them successful.

Learning Objectives
·         Help elevate a community’s knowledge of techniques and practices.
·         Help people hear about and learn of new techniques and practices they may not know about
·         Amplify people’s awareness of situational and contextual aspects that make practices and techniques successful.

Audience level
This is an open ended learning game so all levels of experience can make use of this activity. Diversity across the participants helps amplify the learning opportunities.

Assess your available time and people in the activity.  You will need to form a league table to track practices as they compete and either play on or are knocked out.  Draw this on a whiteboard or butchers paper to help identify team sizes and number of rounds you will need.

You should time box each round to between 2-5 minutes. You may need to have multiple league pools to work through large groups in sufficient time.

Round 1
1.        Each player writes down a preferred technique or practice that is applicable to the community that is meeting.
2.        Players (or teams) pair off and each team has 30 seconds to explain the technique
3.        The opposing player then gets 30 seconds to challenge it
4.        Each proponent then has 15 seconds to respond to the challenges
·         Players can update their cards with notes about strengths, opportunities etc as they go
5.        Based on the evidence provided the pair select  a winner
·         (An alternative is that another team or audience selects a winner)
6.        The winner collects the loser onto their team and moves to the next round

Subsequent rounds
·         Steps 2-6 are repeated with teams growing in size
·         For added interest you can post up the losing techniques onto the league table as they are knocked out

Finals rounds
·         You may have one or more final rounds depending on room size and how many league pools you ran
·         The goal is to play off the final rounds in front of the rest of the room
·         Have at least 4 groups in the finals rounds. While 2 teams play-off the other two teams are the audience. The audience votes on the winner of each round rather than the participants
·         Given the teams are larger in this round you could consider rotating the roles of each team member; First person calls out the method, Second person talks about features and benefits, third person responds to challenges from other team, fourth person challenges the other team’s technique

At the end a winner is declared; expanding our knowledge as a community.

Pens, blu-tac, index cards, butchers paper, etc

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