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  • "Your astute guidance and keen insight made our Sunday evening opening a true hit. Best of luck with The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™ and my unqualified recommendation goes out to any organization."

    Teambuilding : Lost Dutchman's Gold MineTM

    • Teambuilding & Working Across Boundaries
    • Encouraging Collaboration and Information-Sharing

    Program Description:

    For business, scientific, and technical professionals who pride themselves on intellectual horsepower and assertiveness, The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™ is an internationally successful half-day event focusing on collaboration. This highly interactive program addresses tendencies to hoard information and act competitively when collaboration is clearly more effective - and more profitable. How often do teams struggle more with each other than with competitors? The innovative format takes collaborative learning to the bottom line with emphasis on internal alignment and information-sharing. The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™ is an excellent front-end learning experience to any team building, conference, or strategic planning meeting, especially with teams that cut across functional areas such as marketing, accounting, human resources, production, R&D, and engineering.

    Appropriate for all employee levels from clerk to CEO and all size groups from 20 to 400. Besides taking away best practices, participants also get their own cowboy hat and bandanna!

    Who Should Participate:

    Any business or technical managers or employees who work in project-oriented environments requiring collaboration across department, company, or industry boundaries. The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™ is effective for:

    • Association Conferences
    • Project Management Meetings
    • Teambuilding Events
    • Team and Project Startups
    • Strategic Planning Kickoffs
    • Executive Development Programs
    • Leadership Development Programs

    Best of all, the learnings from The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™are easily transferred to the workplace -- a value-added to the bottom line.

    What Participants Learn:

    • Learn how delegating tasks and assigning role expectations improves results.
    • Discover methods of planning and goal setting to optimize performance.
    • Experience how and why people choose competition over collaboration, even when the costs are high and the payoff low.
    • Understand when to use collaboration instead of competition.
    • Learn seven best practices in team performance.
    • Experience effective and ineffective ways that teams involve top leadership in decision-making and vice-versa.
    • See the immediate financial impact of how they affect and are affected by competitive dynamics across teams.

    How Participants Benefit:

    • Participants walk away with an action plan to apply what they learned about collaboration, trust, and information-sharing. With props, music and a fun yet relevant learning atmosphere, The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™ entertains and engages while helping people experience and address team boundary and organizational issues.
    • By focusing on best practices essential for today's fast-moving business environment, participants learn more from The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™ in half a day than they would in months on their own.
    • The simulation provides participants measurable strategic opportunities to analyze the dynamics of competition and to increase collaboration for greater profit and productivity.
    • This is an excellent experience for any strategic planning, goal setting, or teambuilding, especially for teams that cut across functional areas or locations.

    What Happens:

    • The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine™ is the best simulation in the world focused on collaboration and cross-team information-sharing -- flexible, powerful and clean in its applications and links to the workplace. The setting is in modern-day Southwestern US - the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. Teams have sufficient but not excessive resources for a 20-day journey to the famous Lost Dutchman’s Mine. The task? Make as much profit as they can and return home safely.
    • All teams start out with the same $ amount of sufficient but not excessive resources (fuel, supplies, batteries, spare tires, etc.) from which to mount a gold-mining expedition into the Superstition Mountains. Each team gets a map of the territory with a selection of routes they may choose to get to the mine and back.
    • All participants have specific roles (leader, trader, collaborator, analyst, planner, or supply expert) with critical tasks assigned to each.
    • As 'Expedition Leaders,' facilitators help teams be successful and maximize their total return on investment (ROI). There are no 'tricks' in this simulation. We do not mislead teams. Expedition leaders will always tell the truth to the best of their knowledge and in the best interest of each team.
    • To do well doesn't require any special education level, just a willingness to plan, to share information, and to allow fellow team members to do their jobs.
    • A reality of most organizations is that "Nobody Ever Asks The Expedition Leader for Advice." Teams generally do not ask for assistance or help, only for clarification of the rules and permission to do things. They often prefer to behave competitively towards each other and even towards the Expedition Leader.
    • So while we as 'Expedition Leaders' could easily impose advice, best practices, history, or other resources, if asked, we allow teams to make those decisions on their own. Here, as in the workplace, teams only rarely ask for assistance. In the debriefing, we discuss the realities and benefits of getting leadership more involved as coaches and guides.
    • During the journey, there are ways for teams to obtain additional critical information to dramatically increase gold mining. Hoarding this information serves only to reduce the potential ROI of the entire system. Final results will demonstrate that the teams that didn't collaborate not only kept others from doing well but sabotaged themselves. Optimal results come from good planning, collaboration between teams, and functional interaction between team members.
    • In the debriefing, we discuss some of the structural factors involved in motivating adult performance. These factors include time limits, clear goals, sufficient resources, leadership support, clear roles, peer support, measured results and a number of other themes to promote discussions about potential workplace changes that would increase motivation, teamwork and results.
    • What does 'Mining Gold' mean in our organization? is one of the many interesting debriefing questions that kicks off discussion. Participants see the impacts of unnecessary competitiveness and what happens when people don't even bother to assume collaboration is possible!


    • Welcome and Overview
    • Team Briefing: Rules of the Territory
    • Planning the Expedition
    • Expedition
    • Break
    • Large Group Debrief on Best Practices
    • Small Group Debrief - Action Planning
    • Summary and Evaluation

    Setup Requirements: Click here


    Research Triangle Park, North Carolina USA