The Cup of Tea Game


This exercise is designed to put players in the shoes of the ‘customer’ and illustrates how accepting responsibility is crucial to best service, how focusing on internal requirements can sometimes obscure and worsen the customer’s experience and how communication, or lack of it, can make simple systems and tasks increasingly complex. It shows how over time processes and paper work can multiply unnecessarily, and the role that attitudes and behaviours play in any service. It also tackles the barriers created by silo working, and the impacts it can have. It’s fun, analogous, competitive, chaotic, and gets the point across.


Group size

Up to 100 in teams of 10.


30- 60 minutes.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Managing the interdependencies of a complex system when all the facts aren’t known
  • Managing stakeholder relationships, team relationships and customer expectations
  • Maintaining focus in the face of frustration
  • Identifying key elements of communication and how to act upon them