Scott is author of what I consider to be among the best simulations / exercises available in the training field today - "The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine" and the "Square Wheels toolkits". I use both in the Leadership Development Programs I conduct at the University of Wisconsin and at presentations throughout the world. Scott has always been timely with help and suggestions for different formats and adjustments I need to make with respect to these exercises. He also continues to develop them, integrating new ideas and improvements with each year.
John Keenan, Ph.D. - firstname.lastname@example.org
This note is to strongly recommend "The Search for the Lost Dutchman's Gold," by the Performance Management Company, for application in your academic or business-services programs.
I learned of the Dutchman, and the associated Square Wheels materials, while consulting with EDS on developing their engineers and manufacturing-change leaders with interactive, simulation-based, learning activities. I've been using a process that puts participants in company roles as they modernize their operations. That, however, is a fairly time-consuming,Iabor-intensive simulation. Dutchman provided the perfect short, dynamic supplement to other activities.
I have used Dutchman to help organizations with teamwork, leadership and strategic planning. During the past year I have also begun using it, to very significant advantage, in our academic curriculum. I've devoted one three to four hour class to the Dutchman in courses concerning Leadership and Communication in our Masters Degree programs in Management, and in Information Management & Communication. It engagingly involves the student participants in interactive, hands-on, practical application of skills and knowledge in a fun and business-meaningful environment. One of the beauties of the exercise is its flexibility in addressing multiple objectives in a "modular" fashion. I typically extrapolate the "lessons learned" concerning teamwork, communication, leadership, strategy/planning, and resource management.
Another exciting feature of the exercise is the ability to "dress it up." For example, being jealous of 16-year-old millionaires, I have a Leann Rimes tape playing country music before I enter the room. I've also drawn some rave reviews for my Final Exam. Imagine a group oral exam, with 30 people split into five-person teams, competing or cooperating to get the best one-minute answer to twenty questions superimposed on Square Wheels slides, e.g., "What are the Square Wheels of the typical Human Resources function?" "What are its Round Wheels?" "How can HR help the firm get out of the mud?"
The Dutchman is a solid approach to facilitating people's learning of basic business-management content through experience and discussion. Use it to serve your needs. Good luck and have fun!
Michael Wood, Ph.D., then Vice President, Chief Academic Officer and Dean, Walsh College
I am writing to let you know how much I enjoyed playing the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine simulation. What a wonderful experience! I played it with a group of thirty businessmen from a company as a trial run, and the response was overwhelming.
Having played Gold of the Desert Kings over 40 different times, I was thoroughly impressed by the improvements and changes that have been made in the design and in the product of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. In a word,"it's top drawer." The metaphors, as you said, are much cleaner. I noticed in the debriefing that the discussion was much more lively. Folks got the point very clearly. I was thrilled at the time the game took; we were able to get through the game and the debrief in approximately two hours and forty-five minutes, which was roughly the playing time for the cut down version we did of Gold of the Desert Kings.
Dr. Sam Horn, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Northland Baptist Bible College
Thanks once again for your quick customer service in processing my order for the Lost Dutchman and Book of Square Wheels. I was working with a very narrow planning window, and your responsiveness to my needs saved the day.
Now that I have facilitated the Lost Dutchman, I can say I have discovered a "goldmine" of team development and training Ideas. Thanks to the user-friendly facilitator's manual and easy to follow instructions, I was able to lead a group of 50 new employees through a very effective learning experience on a simulation I had just received. With just a few hours of preparation, you helped me look like an old pro at leading the game.
Since the group with whom I was working was a newly formed team, had not known each other previously, and were about to startup a brand new $35 mIllion textile plant, I needed something that would lead them to discover the power of collaboration, communication and trust. The Lost Dutchman did this and more. Most of all, it was fun!
I have already received inquiries about using the simulation with a group of senior managers, so I may have the opportunity to lead another "expedition" very soon. Meanwhile, I appreciate all the support you have given me. If I can ever share my success story with any other "prospectors," please feel free to give them my name.
Jim McCammon, Business and Industry Services, Isothermal Community College (NC)
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