Good Work Foundation’s new Mpumalanga Operation’s Manager, Byron Ross, introduced our entire team to a game called “Pipedream” yesterday, as part of our “induction week” team-building workshops.


Byron drops the marble into the pipe. The team dreams of success on the first attempt.

Using half-pipes (long and short), the team’s mission is to roll a marble across the length of an entire football pitch and into a small (read “tiny”) cup.


And – for the record – it was at least 30 degrees Celsius under a blazing African sun.

“BUT” said Byron, “as with everything in life, there are obstacles. And of course, there are rules. And if a rule is broken, the team has to start at the beginning again. Even if you are one pipe-length away from the cup.”

Rules are:

  1. The entire team is behind the line when the marble is placed
  2. No touching pipes
  3. No touching hands
  4. No touching feet
  5. The marble must not stop
  6. The marble must not roll backwards

The exercise encourages the team to work as a group, discussing where mistakes are being made, coaching group members who are struggling, electing a leader, and perhaps hardest of all, dealing with failure.


“Good Work Foundation has set some incredible targets for the year” says Byron “and I wanted the team to work on a task that was challenging, that required them all to work together and communicate with one another. This is a task that required huge amounts of focus, energy and leadership.”

Di Myburgh said “I loved this exercise. All 25 of us made a mistake. But we laughed it off and tried again and again and again. Life does not always deal you smooth sailing and success. Failure is part of the journey. Keep the spirits up and try and try and try again. Never give up.”


After attempt number 49 (and close to breaking point), Linky exclaims: “We were so close.”

And the group certainly didn’t give up. They even called themselves out when a rule had been broken and they had to start again.

It took well over 50 attempts to get that marble across the soccer pitch and into the cup, but when it finally rolled in, every GWF team member had helped.


After more than 50 attempts – SUCCESS!



A very happy team – well done everyone!

Success comes to those who learn from their mistakes and persevere. This was a great moment. Anyone would have thought that the team had won the Superbowl!

If any of our readers are looking for a great team-building exercise – get in touch with Byron and ask him about “Pipedream”.

I think we’re going to try again tomorrow! This time we’ll do it in less than 20 attempts!