by Scott Simmerman, PhD. CPT CPF
My company has been selling the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine game for almost thirty years now and users worldwide continue to tell us that Dutchman is the best program in the interactive team building business simulations. And it continues to surprise me that the exercise seems as fresh to me today as it did 20 years ago when the materials were fully developed, fine-tuned and polished.
It is also surprising that the organizational opportunities for improving inter-organizational collaboration are still evident everywhere and corporate team building seems to continue to be an area of high leverage for impacting productivity. Companies should have made more progress than they have! But with remote working now the norm, building teamwork and collaboration across a workplace requires even more and better tools, so we wanted to announce that the virtual version of Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is in final testing.
We have active consultants working with corporate team issues, worldwide, and the opportunities for trainers and internal consultants to use this exercise and approach seems like an untapped opportunity. After all, don’t these internal people see an advantage to using a bombproof exercise that generates the precise competitive behaviors that need to be better blended with collaboration and engagement opportunities as well as the need for inter-organizational alignment?
We have built solid relationships with two Asian firms on the delivery of the exercise. Work Happiness in Tokyo has been running our Japanese translation of the game (Zipangu) for over 20 years with amazing success. Another company is Asia has run programs for many dozens of corporate organizations and tens of thousands of players. The successful use of the exercise is global and it plays well with front-line workers as well as senior executives. Our virtual version will work the same way.
Conversations with an outdoor training organizations in Asia resulted in a collaborations and networking them to blend Dutchman into their other offerings. It seems like the collective idea of sharing and the learning about positioning team building simulations into the other kinds of corporate teamwork programs is a simple and straightforward one. I am glad that my network continues to be quite collaborative in sharing ideas for delivery and marketing.
And, with the release of the virtual version of the exercise, we will offer a very unique team building simulation to many many more workplaces.
You can find a pretty solid description of the Dutchman game in this slideshare overview, which shares key design features and benefits:
You can also find a solid video about how I debrief the exercise and link the behaviors exhibited to the organizational issues here. This is not a marketing video but a candid discussion of what I see as organizational realities and potential ways to impact performance improvement opportunities:
The new design looks to be able to focus on these same issues and we will know more as we begin deliveries and rollout. It will differ from our board game LDGM because it will be designed for more followup and better wrap around the implementation of the ideas that are generated by play.
An overview about how we use our Square Wheels illustrations as tools for debriefing the Lost Dutchman team building exercise is found by clicking the icon below:
Those tools are also moving toward solutions for virtual / remote work situations.
I hope you find this information and the links of use in evaluating our Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine game into your corporate team development. We are more than happy to discuss specific issues and desired outcomes for your improvement efforts at any time,
Dr. Scott Simmerman CPF, CPT is still managing partner of PMC, since 1984
Scott is developer of the Square Wheels® images and the board game version of Lost Dutchman and collaborating with Jeff Simmerman on the development of the virtual version of the simulation.
Scott has presented his concepts in 47 countries and collaborates with consultants and trainers worldwide.
Also published on Medium.