The Lost Mine is...
an exciting challenge that focuses on the extraction of gold and fun, but at the same time as a very serious objective, namely to generate ideas that will improve the performance of the workplace.
Target group Maximum no. of participants Recomanded time span

  • managers
  • entrepreneurs
  • organizational teams
  • 20 - 50 participants
  • 1/2 days
  • 1 day
The Lost Mine exercise is an exciting challenge, which focuses on extracting gold while having fun. However, the objective of the game is a very serious one: how to generate ideas for improving performance in the workplace.

The Search for the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine exercise is part of Evolutiv Consultants Network experiential learning workshops’ portfolio.

General presentation 
Participants will be divided in three teams; each team is made up of six members and each member gets a distinctive role in the team. Teams will receive a challenging mission, as well as resources and information for an expedition. They would have to make a lot of decisions and make their plans work. Working with their own assumptions, decisions and choices participants will develop strong ownership over all the processes.

This is an excellent teamwork practice that can be used to develop important skills, competencies and behaviors such as:
- teamwork
- communication
- intrinsec motivation
- leadership skills developing
- collaboration and co-operation
- commitment and innovation
- groups alignment and synergy
- strategic planning
- project management
- optimizing organizational profitability

Learning objectives
Participants can easily link changing objectives with leadership or motivation and can discover the benefits of building interpersonal trust and good communication.

Main themes of the workshop are:
• Main Objective is to get as much gold as you can mine
• Leadership – the leader’s role is to help the team to be successful

Improving the Organizational efficiency
The Facilitator who is also the Leader of the Expedition has a wide range of options about the themes that can be discussed, based on what happens during the expedition. All the behaviors during the exercise cand be related to various workplace situations that could be improved.
Rich in discussions this workshop can become an exclusive and powerful instrument for change and development.
Among other themes, discussions could be channeled to reflect how this workshop mirrors the need for good planning, leadership, mission and clear values or teamwork and collaboration issues.

The skills that can be practiced during the workshop:
+ Ownership - direct participation in making decisions and be accountable for them
+ Motivation - through energy and self-generated commitment
+ Orientation towards innovation and organizational development by identifying the common objective of all teams
+ Competition vs. collaboration, advantages and disadvantages
+ Developing performing teams, through sharing all the organizational resources
+ Strategic planning
+ Risk management, by being accountable for decisions even though bits of information are missing
+ Project management, the expedition could be a project to be managed through all its phases, taking in consideration the triple constraint: quality, time and costs
+ Information management, as part of the resource management system

Overcoming communication barriers, among colleagues and with the managers
Leadership, through the hands-on involvement of the leader in the teams’ performance during the workshop

The process
This workshop creates an ideal learning context. Lessons learned can be instantly applied, during the workshop and then in the workplace.
This program uses a lot of experiential learning tools: auditory, visual, kynaesthetic.
Participants will improve their management skills by “playing” with various decisions and contexts provided in the workshop. They will plan and act in more and more complex activities, challenging situations will occur, just like in real life.
The main idea of this workshop is to work together, to have fun, plan and collaborate with each other and try to avoid competition. It is a game of abundance not of poverty. All the teams will win; but the better the planning and the collaboration in the team the more successful the team will be.

Teams will have 20 days, two minutes each day, time to organize the expedition to the Mine and then back home. There are three different paths, with different risks, they are supposed to choose. During the planning phase they will need to take into account the changing weather and they should focus on how to make good use of the resources and the information they get.
This workshop is a very dynamic one-day or half a day program that can be richly debriefed in the second part of the day. By the energy that is released and its powerful metaphors this exercise could be, as well, the foundation for another one-day or more training sessions.

This exercise is a half-day dynamic program that allows more extensive debriefing in its sequel.

Through the energy and the powerful metaphors used, the exercise can also be the foundation for one or several days of training sessions.

And please remember,
The objective is to get as much gold as you can!

OPTIMUM classroom setup