Last week we had the great opportunity to share time with our team in an activity that, unexpectedly, helped us see glimpses of what makes the CSW Solutions team magical. We went in to the Escape Room, trapped with a Zombie inside!
The premise of the activity is simple. You have one hour to solve clues and puzzles to unlock a key that will allow you to escape the imminent zombie threat. Every 10 minutes, the zombie will be allowed to have more chain, in order to be able to reach you and your team. So, solving the puzzles and clues, while dealing with the zombie intelligently, will allow you to escape the room in one piece! It is not easy. Over 70% of those who enter, crumble under the pressure, and get eaten by the zombie!
12 of us entered. How many do you think came out unharmed?
The gloom and the heat helped set the mood for what was about to come. Initially, we paced around the room slowly, trying to see all the items scattered around to get a feel of where we should start. We looked under books and up and down the walls. Nothing stuck out as dramatically important. Rather, it seemed like many scattered items, unconnected. So we kept looking.
At the 10-minute mark, the initiation time was up! The zombie came out! It surprised me in particular, that the chain allowed the zombie to reach all the way to the middle of the room! We were cornered in an instant. We knew then that this would be an uphill battle and we needed to work fast. So we got to it.
After sizing up the threat, observing its speed, we split up to tackle all the issues. Some of us went to the clues and started connecting the dots. Others utilized the tools that attracted the zombie to remove the threat and let the other members work on the puzzles. The zombie was attracted to sounds, dancing, and flesh. Obviously. So, many of us, coming from Latin roots, weren’t shy to show some of our dancing skills to deal with the pressing issue.
Each of us utilized their best skills to tackle problems and find solutions in the most efficient way. We know ourselves better than anyone else. So, each of us tackled the issues we could help the most with. All of us touched all the clues and utilized 12 brains instead of 1 to solve each one of them. By collaborating, we solved issues swiftly and connected those results with other parts to continue advancing in our quest.
30 minutes passed. We were under pressure. However, it never felt as if we wouldn’t be able to accomplish the task. The best thing about the activity was that there was no shouting, no commandeering, no insurmountable stress. I did scream a little when the zombie inched by me and charged at us rapidly after receiving a bonus of chain length. No biggie though.
We connected more and more clues. Hints and signs in pictures, newspapers, boxes and masks started taking shape. Locks were opening, new items were being retrieved and showed to the team to continue the collaboration efforts. We wrote down clues, opened briefcases with those, and the quest continued.
Then, more chain. We saw the zombie coming and we all bundled together and started running away from it. We ran around the room looking back to see if was still chasing us. If you’ve ever seen cartoons, or the three stooges, you can picture the shenanigans. It almost got us, but we managed to control it by wrapping around the chain that held it back around a large piece of furniture. We had to work fast.
More boxes opened and more clues were discovered. The lock that held the key had to be opened by inputting a combination of seven directional movements. No easy task. We had a couple sections of the combination figured out, but we needed to piece it all together. We shared ideas and worked out the magic. We had the combination and the zombie lunged once again!
We tried it once and yanked on the lock. Nothing. Oops. We yanked the lock twice to clear it from the last combination entered. We modified the approach and yanked again. Click.
Everyone’s eyes lit up! We were saved. Now we only had to get out of there!
We took out the lock, lifted a rock-like object that hid the key to salvation. We took it and opened the lock to the door that would lead outside.
We made it!
It was an excellent exercise to find out when everything is on the line, would the difficulties create more stress (as it usually happens) and make the team crumble? Or will the group combine perfectly to solve the issues and come out triumphant?
Fortunately, it was the latter.
The Zombie escape room highlighted some of the features of working with our team. It showed how a team that has been curated over the years has become a well-oiled, fantastically designed, machine of cooperation. Through collaboration and excellent team chemistry, we are able to overcome difficulties and come out triumphant. Interestingly enough, it reflected what we have done for over 12 years working together. A group, more like a family, solving the most difficult issues and laughing at the end of the struggle.
It’s great to be a part of the CSW Solutions family. Learn more about us here.