It’s All About Helping You!


1. Is Lost Dutchman a good investment for a consultant?

Absolutely Positively! If you are looking for a solid team building exercise with very flexible links to your main OD issues or if you are looking to develop new applications and working with large organizations, Lost Dutchman is a proven profit-maker and a bomb-proof exercise.

​It has worked quite well with senior engineers and top executives as well as with front-line workers with limited reading and mathematics skills. It is used to teach leadership and communications / thinking styles. It is used for strategy implementation as well as for simple fun.

​The game is a proven success with participants worldwide. Thus, we think that most consultants doing team development or management retreats can use it with their clients in a high-impact manner. It’s fun and is an outstanding simulation for a client retreat or conference.

​We think Dutchman offers the highest-value simulation in the marketplace. An outstanding value for consultant users who want to be in business for the long-term and want to offer something other than or along with products and services of their own design.

2. Is Lost Dutchman a good investment for an internal trainer?

Generally, the simulations we deliver are for leadership retreats or sales conferences, often as large as 200 people and occasionally larger (600 is the largest thus far, but there are no limitations on size if one has a support staff). In that regard, it is exceptionally flexible.

Many clients use it as a kickoff to a week-long or longer training program (IBM corporate and EDS MPD are two such users) and then link various aspects of the game to issues of leadership development, personal style, communications, systems thinking, etc. The game has nice links to TQM and QFD, especially since it sets up a database for analysis.

One idea that we suggest for trainers and consultants is to use the game with their local schools, both with administration and teachers and with students or student leadership. Our schools need the help!
The simulation is metaphor-driven, which gives it a great deal of flexibility. We have built in metaphors of Square Wheels® and a whole series of other illustrations.

It is a powerful and flexible tool, and thus a good toolkit for any trainer.

3. How many versions and options are there for delivery with the Lost Dutchman game?

We sell four basic configurations:

  • LD3 for 3 teams of up to 6 people each or 18 players in total
  • LD4 for 4 teams of up to 6 people each or 24 players in total
  • LD6 for up to 6 teams of up to 6 people each or 36 players in total
  • LD Pro is for unlimited numbers of teams and players

4. How much time does it take to play the version?

Generally, 3 to 3.5 hours to introduce, plan, play and debrief is a good timeframe. This allows moving quickly through the game but also doing an elaborate job of linking the debriefing to the issues at hand.
With larger groups of 100 – 200 people, because you are only as fast as the slowest team, we generally request a minimum of 3 hours.

With smaller groups, you can play and minimally debrief in 2.5 hours.

​If you are using the exercise as part of a longer, multi-day training session, you can play and summarize results within 2 hours. You then defer much of the debriefing specifics into the course content itself.

​We have teachers who introduce the game in one class, play the game in the next class, and debrief it as desired during the course. The kinesthetic nature of the exercise, as well as its engaging interactivity, tends to make the memories of the game quite strong and thus a key learning point made later generally works quite well.

5. How does Lost Dutchman compare to other simulations?

Dutchman is not a pencil and paper team building exercise — it is a full-blown, interactive tabletop or online simulation designed to engage participants in a highly interactive and stimulating team-based challenge.

The exercise has evolved from our experiences with other training tools and was designed to be metaphor-driven and not simply a “game for a game’s sake.” It is outcome-oriented and a powerful learning tool.

​Dutchman is fast to play but sufficiently complicated to be engaging and challenging. Unlike some other exercises, it does not contain falsehoods or traps to catch or deceive people — it is designed so that teams will communicate and collaborate. It becomes the teams’ decision as to whether they work together with other teams or not and whether they get strategic planning information before starting. Teams have sufficient information and resources to be successful. Teams take risks, but do not “die” if they fail to plan effectively.

​Dutchman is somewhat unique in that it was designed so that many aspects of the simulation can be measured. We can, for example, measure the sub-optimization that occurs when teams do not work together or share information. We can track the performance of the team on objectives and goals.

6. Is the game flexible in application?

Absolutely!! And we pride ourselves on its adaptability — it is one of Dutchman’s special attributes.

We have lots of consultants with all sorts of viewpoints, experiences, processes and products linking the metaphors and experiences of the simulation into all sorts of other aspects. One client kicks off their 2-week training program with Lost Dutchman and then keeps returning to issues as they discuss and work on various aspects of leadership development. Another company uses it for their 6-week experiential management development program and have purchased a number several games from us for use worldwide.

​A large, international institute for training purchased LD6 and then used it for about 40 training sessions for one of their courses. They also planned on using it in a variety of their week-long programs as a kick-off. A well-known foundation uses a version of the exercise with their inter-city leadership development programs — it sets the stage for their other content.

​Since we started selling it in 1993, we have continued to make improvements in the game design and delivery options.