On Saturday, June 15, 2013, twenty-six Deerwalkers hopped in the vans and headed to Kakani for a management workshop. Our arrival brought with it a stroke of luck: the rain had lifted and we were able to begin the day’s program outside with some team and trust building exercises. First “The Human Knot” to encourage teamwork and group listening, then “The Gauntlet” to show the importance of trusting one’s colleagues and finally a blind-folded relay race. If nothing else, the games broke the ice.
We then settled into our improvised seminar hall for the main part of the program. Surendra led the group in a discussion of various management “Do’s and Don’ts” with a particular focus on six core elements of management: delegation, escalation, efficiency, motivation, communication and ownership. Hopefully everyone learned something.
We took a tea break and prepared ourselves for the final activity: a tower building game in which teams were given cellophane tape and uncooked noodles and given one hour to build the tallest freestanding structure they could. This game was further enlivened by a number of additional rules given in the midst of the hour such as switching out a team member for someone from another team, and the requirement that the top of the tower be able to bear the weight of a marshmallow.
Finally, we had dinner and drinks while we discussed what we had learned over the course of the day’s activities, and as night fell, we returned to the vans and eventually to Kathmandu.