Marshmallow Challenge Is Just a Simple Game

Marshmallow Challenge (Tom Wujec)

The task is simple: in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.

My 7-year-old nephew is the "King of Monopoly". He always wins. He also the family Quirkle master. By all means. Get some kids on your team if playing one of these simple games.

If you need to kickstart a meeting, get a team into a creative frame of mind, or simply want to encourage your organization to think about what it takes to dramatically increase innovation, invest 45 minutes to run a marshmallow challenge.

NO! I think this is a wholly unsupported premise to draw from a simple game. The Marshmallow Challenge is cool, hip and fun. Interesting. But I highly doubt this means clients are going to hire a team of children to complete their next housing project.

My nephew is not going be managing the family finances.

The presentation notes, in fairly small print because it doesn’t support their conclusion, that the actual best at this are engineers.Refuting the Marshmallow Challenge

And what about the Harvard Business Review:

If you’re like most people, your network will tend to be filled with people of the same background, who went to the same sorts of schools, who are in the same industry. Diversifying requires taking deliberate steps. Ask yourself: Do you have any mentors that are 20 years older than you are? Or 20 years younger? How many of your regular associates are artists, novelists, or entrepreneurs, who routinely deal with ambiguity? How many people do you know who’ve grown up in a different country, or even better, naturally think biculturally because they’ve lived in more than one? How many do you know outside your (or your spouse’s) field?

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