The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine is a powerful team building exercise built for a half-day training session and an excellent debriefing. Dutchman is used for large event management retreats as well as organizational team building and development training. Here are some user testimonials about the simulation.
Testimonials for lost dutchman's gold mine teambuilding
I have been running the Dutchman game for 19 years
now and it has never failed to impact leaders and
demonstrate many key learning points. If you are
looking for a business simulation that will engage
your leaders and allow them to understand the
importance of planning, executing and collaborating,
then The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is one of
the very best. It works amazingly well across different
Robin Speculand, Bridges Business Consultancy, Singapore
I've received tons of positive feedback about
the exercise - that it was the best one that
they've ever done, it was fun and they learned
something, etc. While I've always had an open
door policy, people are using it more now - I
have heard about more issues unsolicited in
the last ten days than I had in the previous
five months, which of course means I can do
something about them. It's been great. I
think they even liked the cowboy hats!
Senior line manager, electricity and gas company
“I wanted to let you know that the feedback received from out
team of global managers about the Lost Dutchman team building
session was excellent. We couldn’t have found a better way to
kick off our collaboration and process improvement effort than
The exercise was a great way to generate that initial push
toward working across normal boundaries like operations and
research and marketing to make the real work of planning and
implementing more effective. There are few things like Dutchman
that can work with senior managers to involve and engage them
in organizational improvement efforts. Not to mention, it was
tremendous fun too!” Testimonial source available on request
It’s a Great Game!
We used the Lost Dutchman exercise to help our church
become aligned to a shared vision. The game provided us
with a fun time as well as a great shared experience to
help us talk about our goals and our choices for how we
could improve our teamwork to have a better sense of
purpose and community. The outcome far exceeded
everyone's goals and this gave us a retreat that will have
real benefits for the next few years.
This is a great tool for improving communications and
building a plan of action to implement change.
"When you need to discover what needs
to be done for improvement, I suggest
people start with The Dutchman.
An outstanding exercise.”
Karl Closs, Chadd's Ford, PA
We played the Dutchman game with our
sales staff and the simulation was quite
successful, which is a difficult assignment since
we sell training games to clients and our staff
can get picky and critical. The Debriefing was
an excellent surprise – the way questions are
prepared, the flow and the links to desired
outcomes makes it the best prepared
Simulation Debrief I have ever seen or
Training Consultant, International Training Company
LDGM is a Great Game! I had the chance to run Lost
Dutchman for the first time after seeing Scott’s
presentation in Mumbai in December. I just delivered
a brilliant program for UK-based firm for 18
participants. It was engaging and lots of fun, went
very smoothly and we got excellent feedback for the
It was a wonderful feeling to deliver such a power-
packed program with power-packed debrief. It clearly
shows the benefits of making learning and
organizational development fun by using interactive
training exercises like yours.
Solomon Salvis, Chief Executive Officer, EduRiser Learning Solutions. Mumbai
I led The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine for our senior
leadership team as part of their strategic planning initiative, since so
many of the key learning points about Dutchman relate to the issues
involved in creating and sharing a vision and getting people to act in
alignment. It is far easier to talk about working together and
collaborating for shared goals and outcomes than it is to actually do
that, and Dutchman demonstrates that really well.
The beauty of the Dutchman game is not so much in the play but in the
actual debrief and what “nuggets of gold” can actually be mined within
the discussion and its application to your organization. Senior Leaders
are not always the most open to training simulations but since we have
done the activity, we are still talking about “aha’s” that we have
uncovered and plan to apply in our strategy for the upcoming year. I can
recommend this game to anyone dealing with senior managers or large
groups of people. It is fun, but it is also very effective.
Mary Lo-Samrick, Director of Training and OD, NuVision Federal Credit Union
For several years I have used large-scale games and found them to be high
impact, motivating, and leaving a lasting impression. The latest example
and one of the better ones is "The Lost for The Dutchman's Gold Mine.” We
used it for an international sales meeting to reinforce the importance of
planning and strategy in successful sales activities. The game allows a
serious debrief that exposes the learning points and decisions taken by the
groups and why some groups outperform others.
It provides for lots of fun and interaction along the way and the instructions
include guidelines on how to align the game to your organizational goals
and event themes, and to align your debrief as well. This event had the
highest rating of the conference and people still refer to it 18 months later
when holding meetings / coaching on sales efficiency and productivity.
Tim de Nordwall, Kimberly-Clark Health Care
Jacqueline Galleano, President & Founder, The Training Depot, Inc.
The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is fast-paced, engaging and fun.
Beyond that, however, it delivers the lessons of teamwork, collaboration,
communication & planning in a way that sticks. I have a real bias for
experiential learning because there’s nothing like learning by doing. Many
of the so-called soft skills are still delivered in very mundane, boring,
“talking head” types of delivery. You can talk until you’re blue in the face
about why people should do something or not.
When people experience the consequences of their actions in fast-paced,
real-world, believable simulations like this one, that tends to stay with
them for a long time. That’s the power of good experiential learning. Scott
Simmerman has developed one of the best experiences I’ve ever used. It’s
applicable to the real world, the debrief is right on target, and my clients
Steve Biondo, Senior VP of HR, Family Christian Stores
I want to express my deep appreciation for the quality team-
building event you delivered for the first annual Vender Day for
Family Christian Stores and our vendor partners. The pressure
was on to establish a meaningful connection and deliver
substance. We wanted to ensure that our vendors had a quality
experience with us and would take back solid content that
could improve either their operation or our relationship with
them. The Search for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine event met
the goal perfectly.
Feedback received from vendors and employees confirms that
Dutchman delivered results that will shape behavior and help
all of us “mine more gold” together.
The feedback from the participants was fabulous.
I led The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine for our Store Manager
development as part of their annual store manager’s conference. During
the game, there were a few “aha” moments but what really brought the
point home was the debriefing. There was a lot of great debriefing
material to use and I focused on how the game paralleled our business
and how much better the results could be if we collaborated better as an
Scott was extremely supportive and was always available to answer my
questions or give me suggestions. I would recommend this game to
anyone that wanted to build collaboration among and between teams.
It is fun and effective!
After renting the game to initially test it with two large groups, we
bought the Professional Edition to run this company-wide.
Kyla, trainer with a large retailing organization
A ton of gold in value! Greatest value of the game is
it's flexibility and the ease in which it engages
participants. Suitable for virtually any training
objective since the feedback options are limitless
and through the group dynamics any issue can be
tackled from role conflict to leadership vacuum to
poor communication patterns. Flexible also in terms
of adjusting to crowd size and time constraints. All in
all a great (and fun!) tool for any trainer or
company! Aki Protopapas, Athens, Greece
This simulation is the most effective
exercise to aid organizations, associations,
and companies to maximize their
competencies in the following areas:
Teambuilding, Leadership, Planning, Time
Management, Utilization of scarce
resources and most importantly
COLLOBORATION. Michael Brown
The Lost Dutchman Exercise is an essential
resource for any team builder's tool kit.
Experientially based, it encompasses just
about every process issue a team encounters:
planning, communication, risk taking, decision
making, competition and collaboration just to
name a few. It's one of my favorite team
Michael Madras, consultant and trainer
Dutchman is used in my workshops
because it is a phenomenal business
simulation that brings to life the
tough challenge of both planning and
executing in a highly interactive and
Robin Speculand, Bridges Business Consultancy, Singapore
Simply Superb! We use Lost Dutchman all over the US
with our clients and it is ALWAYS rated as one of the
best programs delivered. It works in all types of
companies and drives organizations toward
Collaboration and Teamwork! The debrief options
allow you to fully customize the delivery to any
audience. Well designed and easy to deliver. That,
combined with all of the knowledge and support of
Dr. Scott, and you have the best Team Building
simulation out there... BAR NONE!
Steve Welland, consultant and trainer
It's rare to find a simulation that works well with
small groups (ex. 8 participants) as well as with with
groups of over 100 participants. Dutchman is an
excellent simulation for stressing the importance of
planning, collaboration and communication. It's a
great team-building exercise and easy to learn and
We've used Dutchman 9 or 10 times over the last 24
months, with groups of various sizes (8 to 130) and
have not really found any downsides to the
simulation. Andy M., corporate trainer in Canada
We use this exercise as both a customized
course for specific departments and for open
enrollment classes. Classes rank this as being
one of the best hands on tools allowing
participants to experience topic prior to
debrief and driving home an idea or concept.
It’s very flexible and can help with multiple
topic areas. GREAT ITEM and well worth your
investment. Patti Greer, consultant and trainer
As a 12-year user of Dutchman in a technology multinational, I
have run over 300 sessions with multiple conglomerates using
the exercise to break down inter-departmental barriers and
increase motivation, innovation and engagement. Dutchman
really builds collaboration. It works with very senior
executives as well as front-line employees. Now, with a much
larger multinational, it was one of the first tools I acquired to
impact my new organization's people and performance. Lost
Dutchman’s Gold Mine will be an integral part of our
organizational development activities focused on
performance improvement and team building.
I know of nothing in the marketplace that offers the kinds of
impacts and learning points about people and performance
and that can align people to missions and strategies.
Shantanu Chakravorty Head – CoE – Experiential Learning Cognizant Academy
We put 80 leaders through Dutchman this week. It
was awesome!! Everyone loved it and said it was
the most effective, thought provoking activity they
have experienced in a learning environment.
Thanks for your coaching and support. Cause, ya
know...it's just a game, so let them play and
discover!! Phylecia Bare, Organization Development and Training Manager
We’ve been using The Search for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine as
part of a law enforcement leadership training program for
almost two years. These sessions include law enforcement
personnel from all over Texas from city, county, school district
and even state agencies. Participants regularly comment
about how much fun they have and how much they learn
about cooperation, collaboration and communication. Their
formal evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive. The
director of the program is also very positive about the
sessions and says that he has seen improved interaction
between and among participants for the balance of the three
Chris Hartung, Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Institute of Texas
We purchased this product for an offsite meeting to discuss
Resource Allocation and Collaboration. The Lost Dutchman's
Gold Mine was a breeze to facilitate. The participants loved it
and more importantly walked away with lessons that they
were immediately able to apply back at the office. The slides
and materials allow you to guide the group in almost any
direction imaginable. I am still getting comments weeks after
the session about the impact it made on the business and
the improved performance. A small investment that
generates huge results.
Herb Steigelman, ING
Best "Learning Game" I have ever used…
I use Lost Dutchman to help build successful
teams. The lesson taught is one no one will
ever forget. I have used this program a
number of times and have always gotten great
results. You will love it!
Russell Disberger, Aspen Business Group
I have used Lost Dutchman time and time
again in courses on teamwork, virtual teams
and effective collaboration. It is easy to
understand, quick to set up and provides
always more review material than there is
time for. A great design which is complex in
dynamics yet simple in the management of
Andi Roberts, international trainer and consultant
Well I ran my first Dutchman today! YEEEHAHHH!!! I
had 12 people whom we split into 3 teams of 4. Let
me compliment you on a great game! The timings
were perfect, the debrief was awesome, and
everyone was happy! They may even ask me back to
run it for their Senior Managers they were so
Thanks again - I'm fired up!
Eugene Zanozin, OD consultant, Australia
We had a Ball!!!! And learned!!
Dutchman was a huge success. Thanks for all
of your help.
Tom Fortney -- VP Operations, Western Region. KDA Holdings
The TEAM Approach has used “The Search for the
Lost Dutchman's Goldmine" with many clients over
the years. Our clients have found the game to be
engaging, fun and valuable in stepping back and
looking at their organization "together" and then
deciding "together" what they might do about the
things that they have found. While there are many
approaches to getting people to work more
effectively together and to assess their environment
and plan for change, few will have the memorable
impact of the Dutchman simulation.
Susan Stamm, Partner, The TEAM Approach®
We have just completed three groups in China - two in
Shanghai and one in Beijing and I have begun the train-the-
trainer for the program here. The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine
has gone over very well. They have trouble with the
confusion but that is why we are using it--to help them break
through some of their old ways of doing things. This
simulation serves as a great foundation for all the sessions
that will follow - and we keep referring to the lessons
learned in the game and how they apply to their jobs as
managers and leaders.
Thought you would like to know of our success. Everybody
loved it and our trainers are ecstatic - everybody likes to be
Rogene Baxter, The Bridgewater Group
Scott, I thoroughly enjoyed the Dutchman game and was elated by all the
positive feedback I got... even some skeptics piped in and said they found
the experience valuable!
Here is some of the learning and feedback from the group:
• Having a role for everyone really made a difference
• Provided shared experiences for future reference
• Valuable learning experience
• Dutchman was more strategic than most exercises
• Provided useful bonding experiences
• Lessons learned were lessons we knew going in but it reinforced
• It’s important to work with people we don't often work with on a
Thanks for building a great game.
If you ever need a fun loving, raving fan who's not afraid to make it up as
you go to run a game for you... let me know.
Chuck Appleby, PhD.
Your Dutchman presentation at Anson High School was a real
success! Your message was extremely well received and the
Dutchman Game really hit home to our faculty, as they zeroed in on
the importance of teamwork and the mechanics of change. And what
fun they had in the process! The "game" was such a wonderful
technique for developing the collegiality of our staff as well as their
understanding of the benefits of effective teaming. The principles of
productivity which you shared were so much more effective through
their application in the game.
Our staff are still talking about Dutchman and the challenge of mining
for gold. We will continue to develop the real "gold" of our
organization, our people and their capabilities, throughout the year;
and we will continue to use the principles of productivity that you
shared with us.
Gail Preslar, CSR Project Advisor, Anson High School - Anson County Schools, NC
Dutchman was a superb activity for the challenges of a
geographically divided workforce. We used Dutchman the first
time we brought all the banking office managers together.
Because it was such a huge success, and one that they are still
talking about, we have planned 5 more sessions to include the
rest of our employees. The managers want to make sure all
their people have the same opportunity to develop the
collaborative teamwork needed for our company to be
successful in multiple locations and markets.
We now have a Turbo Charger traveling trophy derived from
the turbo charger used in the game.
Dutchman never fails to have great impact on all participants!
Marketing Director, Advantage Bank
A Fantastic meeting! It was great to see everyone working together, I
really felt like apart of the team. The game did reflect a lot of real life
skills that are used on a daily basis; I hope all the staff meetings will be
as good as this one!
It was excellent. It was fun, I got to know people a little more.
When you started asking the questions that related more to work, as
opposed to the game, you could tell people were getting serious.
It definitely is a worthwhile endeavor, and the number of times that it's
done should be dependent upon how fast we grow over the next while.
I found the session really valuable from the following perspective:
1) Group Dynamics - planning, collaborating and problem solving.
2) Individual Development - working with uncertainty and within a
short time frame.
It's one of best group sessions that I have attended and it was fun too!
(participant player, name withheld by request)
Thanks Scott. Yes, no phone calls from me should serve as
a good indication that your Dutchman materials were
clear, well structured, and complete. I had no problem
creating the game from the files you sent via email
(thanks again) and the result was a professional looking
set of material to run the simulation.
Everyone had fun and there were lots of comments as to
the high value of the exercise. So thanks!
John Betz, Microsoft, Redmond, WA
The Search for
The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine
A great Team Building and
Performance Improvement game
Brought to you by Dr. Scott Simmerman,
Managing Partner of Performance Management Company
Contact us at
For the FUN of It!
Thanks for your time, energy and
thinking. And count on us to
support your improvement