Beyond the Valley of the Kings Facilitator Set


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Beyond the Valley of the Kings 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, Beyond the Valley of the Kings 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. Beyond the Valley of the Kings is an excellent exercise for new or developing teams, and it is particularly helpful for teams that struggle to achieve high performance.
The Scenario
Just after dawn, a group of members from an urban redevelopment project climbs into the passenger basket of a hot-air balloon to get an aerial view of the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. No one in the group has ever been up in a balloon before, so many are anxious about the adventure. Lift off is smooth and the group is soon enjoying the trip and the breathtaking views. But about an hour into the flight, the balloon suddenly lurches, and immediately begins descending at break-neck speed. The pilot can do little to control the flight of the balloon and, along with the rest of the passengers, can only brace himself for the inevitable bone-shattering crash. When the balloon and its basket finally come to rest, the dazed team members discover their pilot lying motionless, with blood trickling from his head. Stranded, the team must care for the pilot, and find a way to survive and using only the contents of the balloon.
Learning Outcomes
  • Learn how to manage and resolve group conflict
  • Hone group problem-solving skills
  • Improve communication
  • Practice consensus decision making
  • Experience the concept of team synergy
Theory and Development
The authors’ lifelong interest in Egyptian culture was the inspiration for Beyond the Valley of the Kings. They created the survival simulation to demonstrate “the power of consensus decision making,” 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 also demonstrates the concept of “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).
Uses for the Simulation
Beyond the Valley of the Kings can be used on its own, or incorporated into a more comprehensive training program on team building, synergy, or decision making. Additional uses include:
  • 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
How It Works
This powerful roundtable simulation challenges teams to rank six action strategies and 10 salvaged items, first as individuals, and then again as a team. As the facilitator, you begin the exercise by introducing the adventure scenario. Participants then rank the strategies and salvaged items on their own, using pressure-sensitive scoring forms. Next, each team conducts the same ranking process as a unit. Finally, you lead 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 Beyond the Valley of the Kings in a classroom training session, we recommend you allow approximately 1 hour for interpretation of scores, topic discussion, debrief, and action planning. The Beyond the Valley of the Kings 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 Beyond the Valley of the Kings into a 3-hour program.
What to Order
Initial Rollout
You will need to order a Facilitator Guide per trainer and 1 Participant Guide for each individual learner. Additional Participant Guides may be purchased separately.

Additional information

Weight 0.167 lbs
Dimensions 1.25 × 10.00 × 13.00 in


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