FlyZone: Engineering Team
This exercise is intended to demonstrate key concepts of design and interpersonal dynamics within and between coordinating teams. It is based on the example of the "Gimli Glider," an Air Canada aircraft that ran out of fuel and crash-landed in 1983 because of a series of errors caused by an incorrect fuel calculation when converting between the metric system (kilos) and the imperial system (pounds). Participants are put into either a design team (based in India) or an engineering team (based in the United States) and have to coordinate the construction of a small paper airplane within time and budget. The trick of the exercise is for the teams to communicate their different measurement units in time to manufacture correctly. This exercise offers an opportunity to experience team leadership on three levels: (1) managing one's own level of frustration and energy, (2) leading internal team coordination effectively, and (3) leading across teams so the joint outcome maximizes interdependencies.