Lisa Lambert, Comtech Services, Inc.

Attendees of the Best Practices 2010 conference were asked to participate in an interactive collaboration exercise.


The Marshmallow Challenge is a remarkably fun and instructive design exercise that encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity.

The task is simple: In eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.

If you need to kickstart a meeting, get a team into a creative frame of mind, or simply want to encourage your organization to think about what it takes to dramatically increase innovation, invest 45 minutes to run The Marshmallow Challenge.

The winning tower from The Best Practices Conference:

Height: 36.5″
The winning team:
Michelle Walter (Medtronic)
Jannie Liu (Citrix Systems) Neville Fleet (Cisco Systems)
Linda Owens (Alcatel-Lucent)
Stacey Della Valle (Alcatel-Lucent)
Rachel Grimes (Fiserv)


Another fantastic tower sent to us from Mike Eleder (Alcatel-Lucent).


For instructions for running your own Marshmallow Challenge, please visit:

Lisa Lambert administers the CIDM conference program.