Spanning the Gap: Teaching Teamwork with Candy

Published: January 19, 2018

by Justin Difazzio

team works on candy bridge together

You may not think it’s possible with all the cool stuff we do, but occasionally one of us takes a little trip to do some work out in the community. Recently, Brian, our fearless leader, got a chance to speak to the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy.

The Leadership Academy is a program that runs one full day a month for nine months. Its purpose is to help develop community leaders in the local business and nonprofit world. Through these nine sessions, participants learn about the community and meet and network with other up-and-coming leaders. Brian spoke previously at last year’s academy commencement and was invited back to run a class session in January.

During his two-hour session, Brian engaged the participants in a hands-on presentation on teamwork. Each team was tasked with creating a bridge made of candy that spanned the gap from their workstations to a central Candy Land board in the middle of the room. Teams had a blast building bridges with (and eating) candy and were judged on aesthetics, smoothness, and stability. The real moment of teaching came with the addition of special rules. For example, after a few minutes of building, teams had to name the person who talked the most, after which that person was not able to talk for the next five minutes. These rule shifts happened every five to ten minutes and were followed by questions about how these limitations affected the group dynamics and overall effectiveness of the team.

bridges to game board

closeup of single candy bridge

From building leaders to building literal candy bridges, Brian has spoken on many topics and to many different groups. He’s had experience speaking at conventions, presenting to chambers of commerce, and training boards of directors. With 20 years of marketing and advertising experience, he’s become an expert on a variety of topics he’s always willing to present on. So if you’d like to have him share his wisdom with your group, or if you just have a sweet tooth and a desire to build bridges, call the OC Creative office and give us a reason to get out there in your community.