Seeking a Solution

Hi Kris:

I found your challenge “Elevate an Apple” on your website and my team attempted to try it with your instructions. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck. I purchased your book hoping to find a solution, however it isn’t included. Would you be able to give me some guidelines on how to achieve this task?

We are doing a take off of the “Amazing Race” with our department and want to use this task. We felt it would be good if we, the planning team, could accomplish it ourselves before we asked the teams to do it.

This sounds like fun! I assume this is a corporate training event for a business or professional organization. I contacted the letter writer directly, but decided I'd like to address this here, too.

There are correct answers or solutions to the SATs, math problems, and DMV driving tests. There is not a single correct solution to any of the challenges you'll find on this site or in my book, Team Challenges – don't go looking for an answer key. It's the thing that makes these challenges different from other activities like this - no two teams will solve the problem in exactly the same way. As you might guess, I've seen kids excel at many of these challenges while adults are stumped - we're used to thinking inside that box.

The challenges have many possible solutions, each one clever and creative in its own right. Some may be more elaborate than others but the key here, remember, is to get a group of people working toward a common goal. Whatever method they use to get there IS a successful solution!

The letter writer followed up, confirming my statement about adults being stuck inside that box. She said that her trial team assumed that all of the materials had to be used in the solution. Nope. If the challenge doesn't state that something can't be done, then it can. If a challenges doesn't state that you must do something, then – as long as it's safe – you can.

You can see examples of several different solutions to the Elevate an Apple challenge here and here.

Have a question for me? Want to share your Great Solution? Email me at teamchallenges ~at~