Author Profile Picture

Mike Morrison

RapidBI - Diagnostic OD tools for change


Read more from Mike Morrison

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

risk activity – can you help?



I am looking for an activity which demonstrates risk taking ability

For some time i have been using the same simple activity to identify peoples propensity to take a risk - a "guess the weight of the cake" type activity. 

It is now time to try something new - I'm hoping the TZ team have some ideas to share.

I am looking to demonstrate that most people underestimake their ability, i.e. that they could "do more" without really causing any harm or damage. A practical "doing" type activity is prefered rather then an intellectual one - but one where ability is not a limiting factor

The activity needs to be "enjoyable" and professional in nature, probably lasting no more than 20 minutes

any thoughts?

thanks in advance

5 Responses

  1. Balls

    In a Bucket

    Candidates are each given 15 Play Pen Balls – A waste paper basket is placed in the centre of the room a maximum of 10 Feet away. The participants are asked to estimate how many of the 15 play pen balls they can land in the waste paper basket.

    There are all sorts of nuances you can add, like estimating without seeing the balls or the position of the bucket. Estimates with and without a practise session. etc etc.

  2. Risk


    What about setting up some stations around the wall with a series of pictures or real objects, models etc.

    ie… A Car, A ladder, A Diving Board, Canoe, High Wire, etc etc etc  Each item has a flipchart with a question…"What is the highest you would jump from?" "What is the fastest you would drive?" "How far would you windsurf offshore?" "How far would you freefall parchute jump?"

    Round 1

    Station exercise (in 2’s they visit each station for 1 minute then move to next) and answer flipchart question

    Round 2

    Do it again, maybe with an incentive of £100 if they can go a bit further

    Round 3

    Do it again, maybe with an incentive of £10000 if they can go a bit further

    The wash up is a discussion around risk / reward. At what point do you say NO MORE?

    ie If they would jump into a pool from 20 meters I’m sure they could achieve 22 meters. If not 23 meters how about 22.2 meters…At what point does the benefit outweigh the risk?

     Risk Matrix below can be used to plot responses?  

  3. financial risk

    The £talian Job Part II


    Make a bridge out of paper which joins two tables

    On one table put a big pile of £ coins and a Radio Controlled car

    On the other table give them the controller

    They have to take a risk as to how many coins they can load on the car and safely get back across the bridge

    They can make three trips but the more they bring quickly the more "interest" you will add to the money they bank on the home table

    If they collapse the bridge, they lose everything

    There is a time limit as well

  4. Boy With Tape on His Face

    Go to 1:59 on this video and watch the ‘competition’. I am certain you could easily develop this into a risk based exercise asking people to bet how far etc etc. Funny too.

  5. Time for tea?

    Hi Mike,

    The following is a risk activity that has always gone down well for me – mainly because of the use of biscuits!

    1.  Ask for 2 volunteers from the group.

    2.  Explain that we are going to play a game, and the winner is the person who can dunk their biscuit into their hot drink for the longest without it breaking.

    3.  Ask each to select their drink of choice.  (Coffee/Tea, with milk/without, what about sugar?)

    4.  Make the drinks, then ask each to select their buscuit of choice. (obviously different biscuits will take different lengths of time to disintegrate)

    5.  Ask them both to dunk their biscuits.  Remind them that the aim is to keep their biscuit in for as long as possible, but it must not break or they lose.

    6.  After the exercise, a brief discussion normally ensues about what happened.  At this point everyone else usually starts tucking into the remaining biscuits, so it’s quite a good exercise to do near a break!


Author Profile Picture
Mike Morrison


Read more from Mike Morrison

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!