Outback Participant Booklet
There's one reason why training simulations are a popular choice for team development training. They work. That's because they're an effective way to introduce the concept of synergy and help team members quickly develop vital group-process skills such as consensus decision making, problem solving, communication, and conflict resolution in a nonthreatening learning environment.
Each adventure simulation in HRDQ's TEAM ADVENTURE SERIES starts with a suspense-filled scenario that challenges teams to work together to escape danger with only limited resources - and each other. While most people can rest assured knowing they'll never encounter these survival situations, they do experience the similar feelings of stress and conflict that accompany everyday organizational life.
The Outback Scenario
One morning a group of friends decide to take a daring hike in the Australian outback - without a guide. They follow a herd of wild ponies, but before they know it, the sight of any recognizable trail is lost. Every tree, shrub, and patch of ground suddenly looks exactly the same, and now they're officially lost in the Australian bush. A rush of panic strikes the group as they realize it might be days before they're found. Dressed in khakis, t-shirts, hats, and hiking boots, they must find a way to survive the elements with only limited daypack supplies and the clothes on their backs.
- Hone group problem-solving skills using a five-step process
- Learn techniques for team conflict resolution
- Understand four techniques to improve communication
- Discover the advantages of consensus decision making
- Learn the three elements of synergy
An unforgettable trip to the wilds of Australia brought about the idea for Outback, a survival simulation that demonstrates “team synergy” — the belief that decisions made by groups are better than decisions made by individuals acting alone (Michaelson, Watson, & Black, 1989). Groups bring a greater sum total of knowledge and information to the discussion of a problem, as well as a greater number of approaches and perspectives. The simulation can also demonstrate “process loss.” This phenomenon occurs when a knowledgeable group member outperforms the group, indicating that the member’s knowledge was lost sometime during the group discussion. In order for group decision making to work, unique information must be shared and absorbed by the group (Stasser, 1992).
How It Works
This powerful roundtable simulation challenges teams to rank 10 action alternatives and 10 daypack items — first as individuals, and then as a team. As the facilitator, you’ll begin the exercise by introducing the adventure scenario. Participants will then rank the alternatives and daypack items on their own, using pressure-sensitive scoring forms. Next, each team conducts the same ranking process as a unit. Finally, you’ll lead the participants into a group action planning discussion, providing the team with the opportunity to apply the learning to the workplace.
Uses for Outback
- Illustrate the concept of team synergy
- “Break the ice” among new or conflicted teams
- Give teams a nonthreatening opportunity to work together
- Help teams practice consensus decision making
- Improve active listening, probing, and confronting behaviors in a realistic setting
- Train team leaders in team facilitation skills
- Open or close a learning session
- Introduce an organizational change, such as the transition to self-managing teams
- Interject a fun activity into an otherwise serious agenda
- Supplement outdoor experiential learning
What to Order/Product Contents
Order one Facilitator Guide per trainer and one Participant Guide per team member.
Note: Outback works best when participants are divided into teams of seven or fewer per table.
Facilitator Guide includes:
2-hour workshop design
Experiential learning/training methodology
Training design options
CD-ROM containing Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation, reproducible masters, and color slides of scenario location
Updated page layout
Sample copy of Participant Guide
Convenient binder format
- Adventure Scenario
- Pressure-sensitive scoring form
- Background Information
- Northern Territory Map
- Conversion Charts
- A Guide for Improving Your Team Discussion
- How Effective is Our Team?
Call 1-888-889-2184 for your Outback 2nd Edition Theoretical Background.
How To Order