This powerful business simulation immerses participants in an ‘underwater’ world where they struggle to perform as part of a complex system that sets the stage for participants to gain profound insights.

When we don’t see systems we are at their mercy.
Barry Oshry

The Aquanauts experience is framed as a competition between two organizations, yet it is the obstacles encountered internally that set the stage for participants to gain profound insights.

The Red and Gold Schools are each comprised of High Command, Pod Leaders, Aquanauts and Swimmers. Each School seeks to claim treasure and territory. The underwater world of The Aquanauts is crystalline and beautiful. However, when a fiercely competitive battle erupts, it is also dangerous.

Soon, in both the Red and Gold Schools, miscommunication and confusion between the High Command and Pod Leaders leave the Aquanauts and Swimmers gasping for air. Trust evaporates. Confusion reigns. The front line becomes isolated and is left under water without enough information or air.

High Command members are dry in their land-based offices, while the Pod Leaders get pulled in two directions in the middle. Neither school will be able to claim victory over the other unless each is first able to understand and operate effectively within its own system.

What happens when information does not flow the way the organizational chart said it should? Why are resources going to average Swimmers when the best and most capable are left gasping for air? Where has the trust gone within the system? What happens when the front line Swimmers discover new and strategically important information? Can the entire school adjust their systems and processes mid stream and integrate new findings?

This powerful simulation experience leaves participants eager to plunge into a significant discussion on how systems work and affect their performance; and how they can move themselves and their organizations forward.

Learning Program Focus:

  • Leveraging Systems & Context Thinking
  • Fostering leadership at all organizational levels
  • Aligning strategy and implementation with mission
  • Maximizing teamwork across horizontal and vertical organizational boundaries Creating effective and efficient communication vehicles Valuing others

Duration of the Program:

Four hours

Participant Numbers:

The recommended minimum number is 18. The recommended maximum is 36.