What do you get when you mix 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow? A deceptively simple design exercise that reveals clear and instructive lessons in collaboration and innovation.
During an innovation forum today at Team Detroit, Elyse Pachota on our Enterprise Digital team introduced me to The Marshmallow Challenge, which asks teams to build the tallest free-standing structure out the spaghetti, tape, string and marshmallow (which must be placed on top of the structure!).
Watch Tom Wujec's TED talk in which we learn how The Marshmallow Challenge underscores the benefit of rapid prototyping, iterative ideation and the need to uncover hidden assumption early in an innovation process.
Wujec also reveals how Kindergarten kids embrace these innovation principles better than MBA grads and CEOs. (CEOs score better only when their Executive Assistant participates. Seriously, I know.)