Play Jeopardy

How can you combine team bonding, education, and training?

And laughs?  Lots of laughs!

Ryan McFarland, Service Desk Manager at Vertikal6 has a solution.

Every Friday he creates questions to lead a Jeopardy game for his team of help desk techs.  The winner gets a $25 gift card, but that’s not the primary motivation.  It’s the friendly competition and laughter that’s the main draw.

Here’s how he formulates the questions:  Ryan chooses a different client every week.  He researches the client’s tickets over the past week to a month and develops 30 questions plus one bonus question based on the actual tickets.

Yes, it takes some work.  However, vertikal6 has an incredibly strong culture and building each other up while having fun is an essential ingredient.

Ryan then loads the questions and answers into for the Jeopardy game.  This creates 6 columns with five questions each, ascending in value as you work your way down the column.  The game typically takes 20-30 minutes and his team of millennials love it.

Wouldn’t you?

Consider the benefits:

1.      Everyone on the team learns more about a Client so they can serve them better.

2.      Laughter and friendly rivalry bonds the group.

3.      The leader (Ryan) sets an example that having fun is okay, if not encouraged when it’s positive and respectful.

4.      The cost is $25 plus about two hours of Ryan’s time weekly.  (Researching some Clients takes longer.)

5.      When Clients that have been the focus of the game call in for help, the service they receive is more consistently excellent and personal.

Vertikal6 is a rapidly growing, advanced IT solution provider that has doubled in size since we worked together a few years ago.  The company has been recognized as a Best Place to Work in Rhode Island. Because they get “the people” right (culture), they provide superior services in their region.

Vertikal6 sends every new manager through the Manage 2 Win Certified Leader program, however we are just a piece of their organizational success.  Their leaders get the credit for their growth and culture.  It starts with Rick Norberg, the founder, who is a visionary.  Harry Curran, his right hand man who runs operations, is a down-to-earth, humble leader.  They hire carefully, give their leaders a lot of authority and opportunity, work diligently with their teams, and have built a culture where everyone embraces excellence.

You may not be able to match vertikal6’s growth rate or culture, but why not start with this game?  It’s a winner.

Laughter echoes in the halls of every great organization.

Why not yours?


David Graham Russell

Leadership Activist & Author