Building a Tower = Building a Team =The Marshmallow Challenge.

The structure of One World Trade Center is sound. The building stands as a testament of American free will and prosperity.

It would sound ridiculous to build any sort of free standing structure out of spaghetti, especially One World Trade Center.

Or is it?

The “Marshmallow Challenge” requires small teams to collaborate in order to solve a problem.

The Problem:

Each team is given 18 minutes to create a freestanding structure using spaghetti, tape, string and a marshmallow. The team with the highest standing tower while supporting the marshmallow wins.

The process sounds simple, and it is. The execution, however, can be the stick in the wheel.

The standard structure of most teams falls under this category.

Notice that Uh-Oh?

It’s usually towards the end, when time is running short, that the team begins to stress and things fall apart.

Let’s take a look at how kindergarteners solve the problem:


The interesting piece of information, here, is that kindergarteners test throughout the process. They don’t wait till the end to see if their plan worked. Those extra steps are great for finding executive methods.

How did the C3 Metrics team perform?


Out of the 5 teams, 2 were left standing.

Of those two teams, the winner was decided by an inch.

The winning team took their time, planned out what they were going to do, and changed the plan based off of what was working.

Sometimes you need to change the plan half way through instead of sticking to what you already have. You can’t fit a square peg in a circular hole.

You can have the steel to build a tower, but you the need a team of gold to implement it properly. The Marshmallow Challenge is a prime example of that.

All photos provided by Chris Yonker.

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