innovation | September 25, 2012

Spark: Innovation Speakers — Tom Wujec's Marshmallow Challenge [VIDEO]

Innovation speaker Tom Wujec encourages Fortune 100 companies to play with their food. Why? Because “The Marshmallow Challenge” (where teams compete to build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, tape, string and a single marshmallow) teaches simple, yet powerful, lessons on collaboration, creativity and generating fresh ideas.

While stringing together a tower of edibles may not seem like a valuable team building exercise at first, the fun and fast-paced nature of the project forces participants to be inventive and think on their feet. The team is involved in the entire design process, from concept to completion, and it provides an opportunity to tackle a project in a new and challenging way. The takeaways? That flexibility, the ability to change plans on the fly, and an overarching emphasis on the team over the individual delivers the best results. Wujec has used this simple design exercise to help numerous companies reevaluate how they tackle new projects and create the next big thing.

As a frequent TED speaker, Autodesk Fellow and influential writer, Wujec has shared valuable insights with a wide variety of clients across the globe. His lessons on thinking outside of the box apply to all industries, from gaming and visual effects companies to consumer product and automotive manufacturers. In his popular books, such as Imagine Design Create and Return on Imagination, and in his forward-thinking presentations, Wujec provides practical principles that keep companies on the cutting edge.