Creativity and team building. Ping-Pong, yes or no? Tommy & Clerius [Chapter 6]


The arguments of creativity and team building are contrasted with those of productivity and distraction when companies evaluate having a Table-Tennis table. The time has come for Tommy and Clerius to evaluate this topic and respond to the request of one of their main employees who requested, almost demanded, a space for a Ping-Pong table. Let’s see if table tennis fosters team building and creativity.

Creativity and team building. Ping-Pong, yes or no?

The creative pause

Clerius, who between the two partners was the one with the most developed interpersonal skills, with a very notorious charismatic leadership, exposed him to Tommy:

Of course ping-pong strengthens teams. But that’s not the most important benefit. The most important thing is that it allows a creative pause. Some members of our team have an obligation to find creative solutions to complex problems, as well as to create new products and services. Pausing and playing a game generates enormous benefits to their creative and innovative process.

The creative pause (formally introduced by Dr. Edward de Bono) is proven to help unleash people’s creative potential.

For jobs that involve repetitive or predictable tasks, it is not so important, and in effect, can distract and reduce productivity. But for roles that do require creativity, such as software developers (creating new products), designers (graphics, industrial, user experience, etc.), architects, etc; it is a fundamental tool.

In fact, there are studies showing that it is also useful at the C-level and Board of Directors. The definition and execution of the organization’s strategy require high levels of creativity (Strategy needs Creativity, HBS).

The goal of the creative pause is to avoid getting stuck in the routine, mails, pending tasks. It allows you to be aware and make the most of the possibilities (your skills, your team, the environment). Therefore, it is a benefit transversal to all the people in the organization in decision-making positions.

In this context, table tennis is a very effective instrument for creative pauses, boosting players’ creativity.

Strengthening teams

Tommy, with his almost famous pragmatism, said to Clerius:

You can’t build a team by playing ping-pong. Although I must admit, the game allows different configurations that can strengthen the bonds between team members.

To stimulate creativity and team building you can have various, for example:

  • Continuous rotation: 5, 6, 7 or more players, rotate continuously around the table and each one hits the ball. The one who loses his hit (throws it out, hits the net, etc.), leaves the round. This modality allows integrating big teams, in a very funny dynamic.
  • Mixed tournaments: A doubles tournament where each pair must have a man and a woman. And each player returns one hit. The tournament modality also strengthens the bonds in each couple, over several matches, which can be in several days (such as creative pauses).
  • Inter-team tournaments: The idea of these tournaments is to form couples whose members are from different units or teams of the organization. This way, people who do not work together get to know each other, enabling collaborations and synergies in the future.

This game-configurations, clearly shows that table-tennis fosters team building and linking between players, even when they come from different organization units.

Creativity and team building

Tommy and Clerius, after this analysis, had no doubts. The ping-pong table already had its place on the ground floor of their offices. It is not only an element of well-being but also a key instrument for creativity and team building, enhancing cohesive teams that can interact with each other.

Table-tennis fosters team building and creative pauses. It allows stronger bonds between team members and inter-organizational units.

And of course, his team loved being able to play ping-pong for a while every day 🙂

And if when releasing your creativity playing ping-pong, automating and improving your processes came to your mind, we can help you. In Flokzu we offer a free trial of our Premium service for 14 days. We also offer free advice to help you set up the first process in minutes, painlessly.

You can also schedule a work session here to model a real-life process in your organization together.