When Human Synergistics introduced the Desert Survival Situation™ in 1970, their clients couldn’t get enough of this innovative team activity based on the concept of synergy – that people working together can achieve better results than they can individually.

Now, in 2014 words like “teaming” and “halocracy” are on the tip of most Human Resource and Organisational Development Managers tongues.  While the way teams are bought together is changing the need to accelerate people working together effectively remains the same.


Human Synergistics built on the Desert Survival Situation™ by developing a complete line of Survival Simulations.

The Team Simulations are designed to:

  • Teach the interpersonal (people) and rational (task) behaviors involved in successful teamwork
  • Demonstrate the impact of constructive group styles on performance
  • Improve group problem-solving skills and decision-making effectiveness
  • Strengthen cooperation and communication among group member

Each simulation presents an unfamiliar scenario, such as being stranded in the desert and ask the team to rank various objects they might need for survival.

The exercises ensure that all team members have the same level of knowledge about the artificial situation (not very much!), so they must rely on their ability to set objectives, analyse alternative strategies and then evaluate them, choosing a solution that will best meet the objective.

Set in unfamiliar locations, the Survival Simulations allow group members to participate as equals— regardless of rank or position. By starting on equal footing, participants have the opportunity to fully participate, focus on group processes, and analyze their contributions to the quality of the team’s performance.

By having team members complete the exercise individually and then as a team, the difference between the individual solutions and the team’s solution can be identified. This becomes a real measure of the group’s ability to perform as a team and a foundation for improving a teaming approach.

Choose the Survival Simulation that is right for you.