Sorry Pat Benatar…Teamwork is a Battlefield: Lessons Learned from Laser Tag

Laser tag isn’t just for kids. It’s for CEOs, VPs, Account Managers, Creative Directors and Marketing Strategists—serious professionals. Grab your team, throw on the gear, position your laser, and prepare to sweat off all that stress.

As a part of our creative approach to every project, and our desire to fully understand our clients’ businesses, we took a field trip to visit our new client, ULTRAZONE. Let’s just say that after spending eight hours a day together, Monday through Friday, the JT team warmly embraced laser tag.

We listened to the rules: no running, no foul play, laser tag each other, laser tag the bases, laser tag the hidden targets, get special powers and more. We split into three teams: Green, Red and Purple. From there all bets were off. Firing a laser at your boss was fair game. In fact, our very own intern was our most fierce competitor.

Beyond learning about our client, we found that laser tag fostered teamwork in ways that surprised us. I guess all it takes is a disruptive approach like a battlefield to bring a team together.

Personally, my first instinct was to tag as many coworkers as possible, especially Les and Charlie, collect the most points, and bask in all the glory. This strategy put me in lousy eighth place. But I wasn’t alone in my competitive thinking; it turned out that the majority of us approached laser tag with the same mindset.

Even though we were assigned teams, our instinct was to act alone and score the most points…BIG MISTAKE.

Did I mention that laser tag takes place in a dimly lit, massive maze with dead ends and hidden spaces at every turn? Needless to say, navigating the maze is a challenge; you get lost and tagged A LOT. A solo approach was not the answer.

To survive, you needed your team for protection in order to move forward and gain the most points. On our first round, the JT winning team brought in 61,009 points. Before the second round, each team huddled up and planned a strategy for success. By working together, covering each other, and staying close to one another, this time the winning team captured 82,013 points—lesson learned.

In addition to tagging opposing teammates, the team that captures the most bases ultimately wins. Naturally all teams gravitate to the bases. In other words, you need a united force to conquer the other team. In the first round of laser tag, acting as individual agents, the winning team tagged eight bases. By working together in the second round, the winning team tagged 13 bases.

The experience opened up rusty lines of communication and reminded us of the importance of teamwork. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into individual routines. Developing a team strategy before diving into a new project, just like in laser tag, we can expect to hit fewer dead ends. And at the end of the day, when we work as a team by sharing the success and shielding each other from attack, everyone wins.