The forming triangles activity is a great energizer with a valuable message on self organizing teams. I have used it from small to large groups of people.
Running the activity:
This activity is to be run twice.
The facilitator asks the group to walk (individually) in a random direction
When the facilitator says the magic word “triangle”, each group member has to find other 2 people and from an equilateral triangle (each person is a triangle vertices, and should point each arm toward the other two people representing the other triangle vertices; each person is a triangle vertice on one triangle only).
The facilitator takes the time of how long it took the group to from the triangles.
The facilitator selects one person to be the group triangle organizer.
The facilitator asks the group to walk in a random direction
When the facilitator says the magic word “triangle”, the group triangle organizer has to form equilateral triangles with all group members (including himself in one of the triangles).
The facilitator takes the time of how long it took the group to form the triangles.
Conversation to follow
The first run shows a self organizing group; the second run show a group guided by one organizer (the group triangle organizer).
Typically, the self-organizing triangle formation runs faster than its counterpart, and the team feel more engaged on the activity.
I find this activity very useful for starting a conversation about self organizing teams.
I learned this activity from Heitor Roriz, a friend and Scrum coach and trainer from one of his trainings. Kudos to him for applying a fun activity for fostering the conversation about an essential concept of successful agile teams: self-organization.