Prelude

A game designed to help remote teams build trust and learn about one another.

Screen shot of Prelude

Part of the Prelude interface

Prelude is a facilitated team experience that guides a team through the process of creating artifacts to share individual personality traits, explore those traits in small groups, and generate a team-wide artifact that helps everyone on the team understand the strengths each member brings. Through exploration and discovery, the team builds trust while creating a unified picture of itself.

The process takes several meetings over a period of time and includes individual journaling and reflection in between sessions. Individual, small-group, and whole-group activities engage everyone throughout the course of playing the game. First, each person completes a self-assessment to identify their unique mix of traits, then creates an artifact to express those traits to the group. People with similar traits gather in small groups and each group creates an artifact of its own using simple online tools. These are shared with the whole team and a team artifact is created to represent the team’s mix. Throughout the game, the process is tracked by the game’s web-based interface, and team members can capture their reflections in the in-game journal.

The process is led by experienced facilitators who keep everyone on track and help the team use the results of the assessments and discussions effectively.

Scenario / Use Case
We used Prelude with our core consulting team and some invited associates because we wanted to explore our similarities and differences as consultants and also wanted an opportunity for people who seldom work directly together to get to know one another. Over a period of several weeks, we had a full-group kickoff, individual journaling and creating, small-group work, and a final full-group session. The process was revealing and interesting, the activities were enjoyable, and the game helped our consultants feel closer as a group.

Pros

  • The game includes a personal and team assessment that helps people understand how they are similar to or different from other members of the team.
  • The tools used to create the group artifacts are easy to work with.
  • The way the process is designed to unfold over time gives everyone plenty of time to reflect and internalize what they are learning.
  • Although it is a game, it is a collaborative activity and no one ‘wins’ or ‘loses.’
  • The process is facilitated so the entire team can participate; no one has to learn how to run the activity.

Cons

  • The user interface is a little complex and new users might get lost from time to time.
  • A significant investment of time is necessary to complete the process and get the full benefit.
  • Because the process is facilitated, scheduling in advance is key.

Groups It’s Good For

  • Distributed teams who don’t know one another well and would like a fun and effective way to build trust.
  • Teams that are made up of independent professionals, like consulting teams, that do not often have opportunities to collaborate but who do need to cooperate closely.
  • New teams, teams that have recently undergone major membership shifts, and existing teams who want to build relationships between team members.

Cost & Access Information
Three packages are available: a Basic Package for a single team to complete the whole process; an iStar Psychometric Assessment, covering just the individual assessment; and a Facilitator Package for those who wish to run the game for their own clients and teams. See the Prelude pricing page for details.

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