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  • Zsolt Berend

A Culture of Collaboration in the Workplace

The Unseen Power of Collaboration

Picture this: 10 volunteers forming a circle, each holding a rope in their right hand. One by one, they pass the other end to the person across the circle until it all becomes an intricate entanglement (picture: steps 1-3).

Now, the challenge: untangle it within 2 minutes without releasing the ropes. No time for analysis, no room for complex algorithms.

The immediate reaction: Is this even possible? Anyone with advanced math skills?

Yet, against all odds, teams naturally move, and with each step, they reduce the complexity until they reach a beautiful untangled state (picture: step 4)

I learned about this game many years ago, thanks to a post by Nathan Donaldson, and have been experimenting with it in workshops ever since. This week, a team shattered expectations, untangling it just in 17 seconds. Wow.

This game mirrors the complexity we face in organisational settings, where dependencies create a web that seems impossible to navigate.

Empower your team(s) to collaborate, self-organise, and witness the magic unfold.

What challenges has your team overcome through collaboration? Please share your stories!

4 pictures showing the collaboration rope game, people in a circle connected by ropes, to people in a circle with ropes in a circle

Learning resources:

If you found this article useful you might be interested in additional Sooner Safer Happier learning resources on this topic


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