It's a matter of Ice Shards!!
One of the funnies in the game is a quote from the A-Team: "I love it when a plan comes together!" If you'd like to hear Mr. T doing his version of that, click here!
Option B - "The Ice Shards Version!"
Lost Dutchman was designed to make the interactions simple after Day 12 to speed play and allow more time for the debriefing.
A team's early strategies and decisions would have forced them to take certain routes, return on certain days, etc. Thus, by Day 10 or 12, the transaction times could be quite short and play would go quickly. In fact, the last 10 days generally take less than a minute each for most groups.
However, feedback from Jesper Meyer in Denmark, in a meeting with my associates at House of Training (our Dutchman re-manufacturer in Europe), caused us to rethink dynamics for a couple of debriefing possibilities. The thinking was that, after Day 12, there could be more challenge or "excitement" as teams completed their journey, making for more complex interactions at that point.
Because we are open to options for improvement, this began to come together and be known as Option B, which is now included as a standard part of the purchase of the Professional Edition of the exercise along with the Quality and Outdoor Versions.
Ron Dibble had previously added "Pima Joe, the Indian Guide," to his Lost Dutchman games -- Pima Joe would ferry teams across the flooded canyon for all the cash in the simulation. Ron also added the idea that teams must return on a different route from the one that they took to the mine. Our thinking bridged from Ron's ideas into this more complex iteration. With a couple of minor changes, we add another aspect to inter-team collaboration and discussion.
The core idea is to have Ice Shards!! on Day 16 and to make them occur on the Middle Block of the Plateau Trail. Thus, teams planning to come back to Apache Junction on this "safe" trail and reach the Junction on Day 20 would encounter these Ice Shards!! and thereby need a Spare Tire to continue on. These Spare Tires might be obtained in the initial trading or gotten from another team (such as one initially planning on returning on the Low Country Trail but discovering a Turbocharger and thus not needing a Spare Tire).
(Apologies for jumping into some of the technical details that might be confusing for new readers but we also have users and purchasers updating their information from this website. A bit of surfing around these materials will make some of the concepts much clearer.)
This scenario forces the teams to take one trail to the mine and return a different way. We add ten dollars to their Start-Up Envelopes and also a "Shovel" Card which replaces the Spare Tire as the useless item.
We also add Ron's "Pima Joe" idea, expanding on it so that "Joe" will take either cash or Spare Tires that he will probably resell. This change forces the group to engage in a variety of interactions to share or sell resources between teams on Days 16 and 17.
This simple restructuring generates a lot of interaction between teams and individuals on Days 15 through 17, making it link to the personality inventories with more "pop." And Spare Tires are now useful!
The Weather Forecast on Day 15 (still for the cost of one battery) now becomes more valuable since it tells teams where and when the Ice Shards!! occur.
Teams that were planning to leave the Mine on Day 14 returning by the Plateau Trail will now find their path blocked (this was formerly the optimal strategy since they returned on Day 20). With the Day 15 Weather Forecast, or with information about the Ice Shards!! from the Mine Video, they would now leave a day early (mining one less Gold) or they will NEED a Spare Tire -- this gives them the information one day earlier than shown on the weather transparency at the front, so they may be able to negotiate an advantageous trade with another team which thinks it is not needed.
We also change the information in the Mine Video so that teams will know that Ice Shards!! will occur on Day 16.
These changes will result in a lot more inter-team interactions around Days 15, 16 and 17. Thus, the exercise can be more easily linked to MBTI, DiSC, Extended DISC or any of the other tools focused on interpersonal relationships or information processing preferences and styles. It can help verify Belbin team types, as well.
Please also recognize that this option will add at least 10 minutes to the play and make the debriefing much more complicated. Be sure to pilot this with a group of 3 to 6 teams before committing to any Big Sessions--the dynamics need to be under some control to prevent confrontations and potential angry people--teams do get emotional about "winning" and can forget that this is just a game!
Inventory Management Option -
I screwed up! I left ALL of the Resource Cards on the table and when I went to set the game up for the last half of a full-day leadership training, I was confronted with a real dilemma!
So, faced with the challenge of playing without cards, I quickly created a form to track virtual inventories and we played the game. The result was that I had, for the very first time, the actual resources of each team each day. Having this data allowed me to interact and coach the team, set the opportunities for direct exchanges of resources and information between teams DURING the play and thus modeling real leadership.
It created some very interesting dynamics! And the debriefing was excellent. As a result, I created this as a distinct option for delivery and include this on the Dutchman 6 and Professional Editions of the exercise, with all the necessary forms and complete instructions.
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