Welcome to the Jungle: 3 Corporate Team Building Lessons from Jumanji

“Trust one another, and never blink.”

It’s the start of a prophecy, but it’s also a major theme running throughout Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the wildly successful jungle adventure movie. Verrrry loosely inspired by the 1995 original, this reboot sucks four high-schoolers who don’t get along into a Jumanji video game, each taking the roles of the game’s heroes. Hijinks ensue.

More than just dodging rhinos and saving the world, Jumanji brings together a group of individuals, with all their quirks and fears, and forges them into an efficient, successful team. And it’s got a few tips for your office’s next team building effort. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)

1. Play to Your Strengths, and Acknowledge Your Weaknesses

Shortly after getting zapped into the bodies of their video game avatars, our heroes learn that they have some very literal strengths and weaknesses. Ruby Roundhouse is good at fighting but weak to venom. Kevin Hart’s little Moose Finbar knows his zoology but is, um, explosively weak to cake. The Rock’s Dr. Smolder Bravestone is fast, fearless, smolderingly good-looking, and bad at basically nothing.

You and your co-workers probably lack a glowing screen detailing your own strengths and weaknesses, but you know you’ve got them all the same. And any team works better when its members shine where they can, and let others do the same. In a Watson Adventures Trivia Slam game, for example, Steve can know everything about pop culture and nothing about sports, and his team has a better chance of winning if he steps back and lets Angela handle the sports stuff instead.

Take it from Dr. Bravestone: “Between us, we have a lot of strengths. If we stick together, we can win.”

2. Play by the Rules

Every time the heroes of Jumanji try to outwit the game or start ignoring the rules, things go wrong. When they argue instead of working together, a character gets knocked off a cliff. When someone tries to cheat by sneaking around the final boss, he gets eaten by jaguars.

Ideally nothing that drastic happens during a corporate team building event, but you won’t get anywhere productive by gaming the system. Don’t change answers to questions after the fact, eavesdrop on other teams, or try to wheedle extra points on technicalities. It’s not fun, and it certainly isn’t great for building camaraderie and team spirit.

3. Get in the Game!

Jumanji is a silly movie for audiences and a weird game for the characters. “This might be the lamest thing I’ve ever done,” one character complains. Wrong attitude! Embrace it, and everybody wins. When the heroes finally start dance-fighting guards, snatching friends from the air in a helicopter chase, using their zoology knowledge to defang snakes, and even taking one for the team in the form of a venomous bite that makes them explode, they save the day and have fun doing it.

Whether it’s a corporate scavenger hunt or a bowling night, when you’ve got a team building event, get into it! If you’re the boss, show everyone how it’s done. If the premise sounds like a little goofy or you feel like you’ve been “dragged” there, don’t be a fuddy-duddy. Chill out a little, let yourself have fun, and grow a little closer with your co-workers. It’s good for you!

Speaking of Games to Get Into…

Watson Adventures offers team building scavenger hunts activities just about anywhere—in your office, at local museums, in your favorite neighborhood—all over the country. On teams, you’ll follow clues to uncover secrets about the places you visit, take creative team photos, work together to solve intricate puzzles, and more. Learn more or contact us about team building scavenger hunts.