Problem solving. Perhaps the cornerstone of human advancement—the innate drive to overcome challenges and move ahead. We’re hard wired to solve problems.
When none exist in the day-to-day, we create them or seek them out. Crosswords, Sudoku, ‘Whodunnit’ novels, and a multitude of games and challenges requiring core logic and problem solving skills—like chess or a maize maze.
In short, humans love problem solving activities.
The Rise of Escape Games
And so, the rise of live escape games fits very nicely into our collective psyche. Combining the tension of time pressure with the need to solve a wide range of problems, thousands of live escape games have popped up all over the world.
Combining creative problem solving with critical thinking, live escape games bring logic to the fore, challenging people to engage their minds in a diverse set of puzzles.
Watching people head into our rooms, the excitement is palpable.
CRITICAL THINKING AND CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE WORKPLACE
In the world of work, problem solving is at a premium. The best people and teams are experts at identifying and solving problems, using a combination of analytical and creative problem solving.
Organisations with a high aptitude for problem solving leap ahead, and so do individuals.
But problem solving in the organisational sense is a team game. The collective wisdom, creativity and sheer horsepower of a group of people will typically outperform any individual. That’s why all the great leaders have great teams around them.
It’s the same with escape games. Individuals or even small teams struggle. Larger, more diverse teams do better.
Escapade’s most successful teams are typically made up of 5 or 6 people, most often from different genders and backgrounds.
People who apply critical thinking skills differently when presented with the same problem. The sum of the parts is definitely greater than the whole.
HOW CORPORATES ARE USING ESCAPE GAMES TO IMPROVE PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS
At Escapade, we’ve had hundreds of corporate client teams through, looking to explore and improve their decision making and problem solving capability.
They often look to mix up teams across functions, getting a balance of people from different backgrounds, education and training to collaborate as they try to problem solve as a group. It’s great to watch.
The puzzles are designed to challenge critical thinking. No one approach will work for all the puzzles, so different people with different ways of thinking are essential.
It’s not about sheer academic intellect. Everybody has something to contribute, and very often a person who might not consider themselves ‘smart’ will crack a puzzle because they come at it from a different angle.
We get lots of people saying ‘Wow, I thought I’d be terrible!’
The Listener Backs Us
The Listener took an indepth look at problem solving in a recent feature—and they even came to Escapade to check it out and watch some teams in action.
It’s very interesting stuff, and an article worth taking a look at. https://www.noted.co.nz/health/psychology/iq-problem-solving-abilities-how-modern-life-changing-skills/
The High That Is Problem Solving
Problem solving is very much in the human make up.
In our waiting rooms and bar areas, we have a bunch of simple puzzles and problem solving games. Often, we have to rouse people from their problem solving focus to tell them it’s time to head into the game room—where they spend another hour solving problems.
There’s something deeply pleasurable about pitting your wits against a game and coming out on top. At the end of a game, people are visibility excited—engaging your brain under time pressure for an hour definitely creates an emotional high that lasts a fair while.
We can still hear people as they walk off down the street sharing their experiences … it’s very gratifying.