Outback Team Building Game


Outback is a team simulation for management development training. Team members learn and practice the group process skills needed to achieve synergy, including problem solving, consensus decision making, and conflict resolution.


When it comes to synergistic teams, the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. This is why most, if not all, organizations today look to teams to make important decisions, strategize, and solve problems. But in order to achieve peak performance, teams must be able to maximize a collaborative approach.

Part of the ever popular HRDQ Team Adventure Series, Outback is a survival-based classroom training exercise that provides a safe, non-threatening means for teams to practice and develop the group process skills they need to reach synergy. The simulation challenges teams to work together to overcome a disaster scenario by engaging effective methods of decision-making, communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Outback makes an especially effective training exercise for management teams.


The Scenario

One morning a group of friends decide to take a daring hike in the Australian outback – without a guide. Now, after following a herd of beautiful wild ponies for more than an hour, the sight of any recognizable trail is lost. Every tree, shrub, and patch of ground looks exactly the same, and now they’re officially lost in the Australian bush! It could be days before the group is found. With only daypack supplies and dressed in khakis, t-shirts, hats, and hiking boots, the group must find a way to organize itself into a team and find a way to survive the elements.


Learning Outcomes
Learn how to manage and resolve group conflict, Hone group problem-solving skills, Improve communication , Discover the advantages of consensus decision making , Experience the concept of synergy,
Theory and Development


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

Outback is a powerful roundtable simulation challenges teams to rank 10 action alternatives and 10 daypack items — first as individuals, and then as a team. As a trainer, you begin the simulation with a description of the scenario. Participants 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 lead the participants into a group action planning discussion, providing the team with the opportunity to apply the learning to the workplace.
If you are planning to use Outback in a classroom training session, we recommend you allow approximately 1 hour for interpretation of scores, topic discussion, debrief, and action planning. The Outback Facilitator Guide includes everything you need to lead a successful training session from comprehensive background information and activities, to reproducible handouts and even a professional PowerPoint presentation. The Facilitator Guide also offers an easy-to-follow workshop outline that expands Outback into a 3-hour program. Click below on HRDQ : Go to teams,


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