MANAGEMENT TEAMS INTERNATIONAL
ORIGIN OF THE EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISE
In 1984 a proposal was formulated to develop a new exercise and Dr. Belbin agreed to act as consultant to the project.
The objective was to develop a Management Training exercise which provided experiential learning to demonstrate different team role behaviour.
The design criteria were:
1) The exercise should be for four teams of four participants.
2) As far as possible, all elements of chance should be eliminated in order that the lessons of success and failure are attributed to team differences rather than to luck.
3) The exercise directors should not be required to make judgements or arbitrary decisions or otherwise be placed in a position that they could be accused of affecting the exercise.
4) The overall concept of the exercise should be easy to grasp while still allowing ample opportunity for ploys.
It was agreed to base the exercise on basic business principles, not to make it a computer game, and to have some tangible components to help ensure it didn't become a `paper and figure´ exercise.
British Junior Chamber offered a fertile testing ground for the prototype stage with the capability of supplying a mixture of managers from varying business backgrounds who would offer constructive criticism, and also fresh participants for each session. The Manpower Services Commission were notified of the project development and agreed to help with the financing. A pilot seminar was held in Portsmouth in 1986. Further test seminars were held during 1986 and 1987 with British Junior Chamber members at Teesside, Sheffield, Wolverhampton and Cambridge. These seminars provided rigorous testing and produced a robust and effective exercise which successfully met the design criteria.