Olympic RingsYesterday marked day one of the first-ever Rocket Matter Olympics.

The Rocket Matter Olympics is a week-long competition devoted to leadership development, team-building, company idea creation, and creative problem solving. It’s a time for engineers to work alongside sales and support people, and for the staff to say horrible things to one another as they talk smack in the hallways.

Just kidding! We are a highly competitive bunch, but we keep it civil.

It works like this: we divided our staff into 6 teams with 6-7 people per team. Each team has built-in slack for absenteeism. The teams were designed to be cross-departmental, so that the engineers or marketing teams would not all stick together. Plus, the variety of activities we’re doing requires left and right-brain thinking, so diverse talents are a must.

Every day the team must pick a new leader. The leader cannot have served in that capacity the day before. The leader must make executive decisions, settle disagreements, maintain pace, and be responsible for handling game instructions.

The events take place around an extended lunch hour. We would supply lunch all five of the days, but our team likes to do potlucks. Our employees are a very diverse bunch of people and as such, when people bring their own food you get to try all different kinds of cuisines. It’s pretty awesome, I have to say.

DAY ONE

Employees assembled in our large-group conference room and teams were announced. They had 15 minutes to invent a name and a 10-word cheer. The first-ever Rocket Matter Olympic teams are:

Team Force
Legions of Doom
Rocketdogs
Shark Tank
Underdogs
Business Casual

Next came the activity. Day one’s activity required them to build a structure out of 20 strands of hard spaghetti, 1 yard of tape, and 1 yard of string. Then a marshmallow needs to be placed atop the structure. The highest marshmallow from the base of the structure wins. The teams had 25 minutes to complete the task.

The winning team was Shark Tank, with a marshmallow height of 26″. The winning structure is below. Immediately after the competition concluded, one of our interns, Lauren, promptly ate the marshmallow.

winning-marshmallow