It’s about Mining as much GOLD as WE Can – Collaboration and Results

The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine game has the theme of mining gold, and we put the tabletops into the context of collaboration with slides that talk about “WE” — but what teams hear is more along the lines of, “My Team, My Team, My Team” rather than on the idea that all the different tabletops could work together to optimize overall results. It generates some pretty wild and interesting inter-team dynamics that make for a good debriefing, for sure.

My Team My Team haiku 2


In our followup and in the debriefing itself, it is important to discuss the issues and opportunity costs of choosing to compete rather than collaborating.

LD Gold Hand Mining poem

So, we use the gold hand image in the game as well as in followup messages we sent to the people who played. The goal is to optimize ROI for the group, not just a tabletop.

It represents a really good learning lesson, so we give out refrigerator magnets to remind them of the reality of working:

Gold Hand Magnet Image for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine exercise


For the FUN of It!

Scott Simmerman, Expedition Leader for Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine Team Building Exercise


Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at

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Scott’s blog on Poems and Quips on Workplace Improvement is here.


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