For our smaller small group challenge we were given a team building activity to help us develop our group cohesion, communication and leadership qualities. Our task was that we had to create an innovative product that students want or need, using at least five items amongst a variety of miscellaneous items given by the group that created the task. Once we created our product we had to come up with a name and a description of it. Once that was done we had to figure out a marketing scheme, either an advertisement, a sales pitch, or a speech for example.
We then had to use that idea to promote and sell our product to a stranger on campus. The final product we created and promoted was study buddy for students named Tux. Our study buddy was made out of a box where students could keep their study supplies such as pencils and sharpeners. We also made a slot in the back where we wrote motivational quotes on cue cards, that way while students are stressed and studying, they can pick out cards to give them motivation. Lastly the party aspect of Tux was that we attached two cups to the side of him that students could use for their alcohol.
We used a sales pitch to sell him to a couple of strangers we approached in Hagey Hall. We as a group decided to relocate to an empty classroom where we could lay out all the items given to us to more easily figure out what we have to work with and what we could create out of it. After we laid out all the items given to us, we started to brainstorm ideas for our product. I decided the best way to brainstorm was to write all our ideas out on the chalkboard and do a process of elimination. My role in this group was what | consider to be the secretary. First we discussed what students like, what they need and what they want.
Some ideas we came up with for what students enjoy are food, friends, drinking, sleeping to name a few. We also talked about what students need and one of the main ideas was motivational support to get through the hardships of the school year. After that assessment we came up with ideas for our product that catered to the likes and needs that we discussed earlier such as: a study buddy, a party starter kit, a student survival kit, and a drum kit. As the secretary I wrote down all the ideas that were given out by group members and kept track of what was being said.
I took on this role because I believe with this kind of assignment, where we needed to be creative and come up with a product, we could go in any direction with it. By writing down all our ideas, whether we thought they were good or not, we could see the different directions that we could consider and then by process of elimination, we could narrow down to a final idea. For each step of the process I wrote down the ideas that were given for the group for example ideas for what students like/need, ideas for products, name for the products and quotes to put on the motivational cards.
In the end, our group was successful in completing our task. Through process of elimination we decided on the study buddy named Tux because we could incorporate components of the party starter kit and the student survival kit while still creating a funny, but need worthy product for students. We faced certain challenges, mainly during the brainstorming process. Our brainstorming process took about 30 minutes. As group we offered many different ideas for our product. This initially caused a problem because we could not as a group come to a decision.
We then decided to take another take on the brainstorming process and instead of picking a product, we focused on coming up with ideas about what students like and, or need. This is where we discussed student wants and needs such as sleep, food, friends, drinking and motivational support. After this we went back to discussing products that could come out of these wants and needs. This helped us easily eliminate products that did not relate to the wants and needs we discussed before, thus already narrowing down our ideas. The most important factor that truly helped us ecide on our final idea was having an overall goal that we were all trying to achieve through our product. We realized that we were having problems thinking of a product because we were trying too hard to be practical and it was almost impossible to create a practical product. Once all group members agreed on a specific goal, by focusing on being funny and entertaining, deciding on a product was easier. We as a group decided that we wanted to create a product to help students but with an entertainment factor, with the intent to be funny.
Once we picked an idea, the rest of the process went very smoothly. We worked very efficiently in collaborating and creating our product. Another challenge we faced was not having a clear leader in the group. This affected us in the beginning because we did not have one person to make final decisions. Although this seemed to cause a struggle for our group in the beginning, I found that by the end of the process, we all took on leadership roles in different ways. Leaders emerged at different points in the process for different reasons.
For example, when we had trouble picking an idea, Sean stepped up and suggested we create a product with the intention to be funny. Alyse, Akheem and Srna took on a major role in the creation of Tux. Alyse and Srna worked together on the body of Tux while Akheem designed the head. They did most of the decorating and putting Tux together. Sean was behind most of the ideas whether it was the name or how Tux should look like. Emily and I focused on the brainstorming and keeping track of where we were as a group.
Personally, I found my role in the group helpful in the decision making process. It was an effective way to keep us organized and on the same page. I wanted to make sure that by writing all ideas down, we could make every decision as a group. One thing I would do differently if I were to do this challenge over again is keep better track of time. As a group, we all got occupied in the creation process of Tux that we did not allocate much time at the end to put together our sales pitch. We ended up doing our sales pitch on the spot.
If we spent more time formulating our sales pitch, we may have been able to sell Tux better than we did. Therefore next time, one group member should take on the role of timekeeper so we could better allocate our time. In conclusion, this challenge did help to build develop our group cohesion, communication and leadership qualities. As a group we collaborated in the creation of this product. Some members took on the role of creating and designing the product. Other members took on more management roles, by offering ideas.
Other members took on executive roles when it came to brainstorming and documenting the process. Communication was a key factor in this challenge because we had to create a product from scratch. In order to do that we had to not only share our ideas, but listen to other members’ ideas. We built off of each other’s ideas which is what led to a successful challenge. The leadership qualities that emerged varied for each member. Overall, each of our roles was essential in the completion of the challenge.