AirLift!

AirLift! is a very popular team exercise which raises awareness on how to split jobs into mini-tasks, delegate the parts and ensure communication is maintained throughout. Ideal to quickly assess team problem-solving competencies - and a range of other team skills.

Learning Objectives

  • Stresses the need to break a task down into component parts
  • Tests whether teams can maximise their use of resources
  • Illustrates the need for a logical approach to problem-solving
  • Shows the need for team members to keep each other informed
  • Sharpens teamwork towards an objective and against a tight deadline
  • Participants

    For 3-24 (up to four teams of 3-6 per team)

  • Timing

    1 hour

  • Uses a computer?

    Yes - 1 PC required

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Delivery charges do not apply to digital downloads.

  • UK delivery

    (normally next working day)

    £15

  • Europe delivery

    (1-2 working days)

    £29

  • World delivery

    (1-5 working days)

    £39

Returns

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The Activity

Teams must coordinate an airlift of tents, food and medicines, in various combinations and quantities, to eight isolated villages after a devastating earthquake. Special crates must be prepared, packed with the correct supplies (represented by coloured blocks), labelled – and loaded into the cargo hold.

If teams don’t match their chosen route with the order in which crates go in the hold, then supplies will be dropped to the wrong villages. The cargo hold is jam-packed so there’s only one way to pack it – and limited fuel prevents any re-routing of the flight! Having solved all aspects of this tough problem, teams fill in their pilot’s log and their solution is assessed. Computer program included but not essential – can be scored manually.

Trainer's Role

Divide the participants into teams.

Introduce the activity using the PowerPoint presentation.

Issue the Team Briefs and other materials and allow teams 60 minutes to work on the task.

Collect in the Pilot’s Log from each team and issue short questionnaires for teams to review how they worked.

Lead a discussion on how teams tackled the problem and then issue the results followed by a Debrief on the key points and how the lessons can be transferred to the workplace.

Full details provided in the Trainer’s Notes.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • Computer Program (optional / & Windows compatible only) and PowerPoint Presentation
  • Team Briefs
  • Cargo Holds
  • Pilot’s Log Sheets
  • Wooden Blocks
  • Card, Scissors, Rulers, Sticky Tape

The exercise proved to be an excellent learning platform and one of the highlights of the course. We used 'AirLift!' on a leadership course with 32 participants aged 24-40. The exercise brought out very clearly the need for teamwork in setting objectives and controlling the work of a group. The greatest learning points were that any team needs to spend time planning a structured approach to a task and ensuring that everyone is totally clear on what has to be achieved.

E. Davidge, RAF

We used 'AirLift!' at our Leadership Event and the groups thoroughly enjoyed the activity. We're excited to use it going forward!

Kat Sandell, Virgin Australia

We used Airlift! during an intern selection event. It was great fun and we will be using it again with our interns and apprentices.

Dawn Lansley, Talent & Performance Manager, Canon Europe Ltd

AirLift went really well and provided for some great team bonding. One team got the perfect route and packed the crates perfectly. One team got the second best route but packed the cargo hold terribly; and one team spent all their time doing the maths in intricate detail and they ran out of time to build the crates (and got the maths wrong!). A big success!

Richard Howle, Director of Ticketing, The Ticket Factory

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