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Gold of the Desert Kings ®
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The Programme is run in teams, faced with identical tasks.

They have at their disposal limited resources and limited time so they have to work with utmost effectiveness. On their journey they have to contend with sandstorms, heat and the infamous Tomb of the Kings. Eighty pecent of teams which embark on the distressing journey manage to succeed. The other twenty percent perish, forever lost in the desert.

The feelings of stress and anxienty evoked by the Gold of the Desert Kings programme is not dissimilar to what workers experience in their workplace daily. All the teams start off with the same resources and time. They have to contend with the same pressures and risks. Nevertheless, some teams manage to get much more return on their investment than the rest. Why? because some teams play to win, ahile others play only to survive.

What participants get out of their experience

  • Planning can pay significant dividends
  • Setting goals is a prerequisite for maximising productivity
  • Visions and goals influence individual and team productivity
  • Grasp how managing resources impacts productivity
  • Learn to work smarter, instead of harder
  • Realise the significance of asking “What is achievable?”

The benefit brought by the Gold of the Desert Kings programme stems from from reaching goals and focusing on the relevant key learnings.

Striving for the Maximum

In this programme the most succesful teams will be those who set out to win. Unlike teams who play for safety, so as not to lose. The programme will prove to particpants that the old “get going” approach, insufficient planning and preparation, make them fall far short of “reaching the possible” in their sphere of operationts.

A basic requirement for reaching a good result is to pose the question “what is achievable”. It is just the question to enable proper target setting for the salesforce, and the optimization of results. Improved productivity and better results stem from working smarter.

Using information

Information is a critical resource for every salesman or woman. Information can be effectively used only when it can be collected, ranked and analyzed.

In the Gold of the Desert Kings programme, the participants will have at their disposal a whole range of information sources. Some information comes direct, some they will have to obtain and verify themselves. The programme will demonstrate to participants the value and significance of effective use of information in reaching maximum results. Among the information sources usable in the workplace we can include customers, and information from headquarters (territory potential and its penetration).

Effective use of resources

For the teams in this programme the adventure begins with the fact they get the same resources, information and opportunities. Some teams will reach very good results, while others will get lost in the desert. Why? For the same reasons that some people manage to work effectively. One of the cornerstones of success is the ability of teams to allocate and deploy the resources they have (including team members and time) in pursuit of maximising results.


Although the communication skills of the teams tend to be quite good, there is always room for improvement. It is very important to focus on how effectively we communicate opportunities. That is true most of all when we need to draw on support from other functional groups. In our programme we see many teams setting out on their journey without a clearly communicated goal and without clearly defined roles. The usual outcome is bad performance and a fractious team. This factor also complicates decisionmaking in critical situations – the team is incapable of reacting effectively.


The teams within the programme will need to evaluate their goals against criteria, which are: Specific, Achievable, Measurable, Agreed and Communicated. The programme will remind participants of the importance of consensual buy-in, which is crucial to the whole team's productivity.

Implementing and monitoring the plan

During their trek through the desert, the teams will have to deal with sandstorms, heat, and other obstacles. They will also be faced with the much feared Tomb of the Kings. Key to team success is keeping as close as possible to the agreed plan and monitoring this. The teams will check their progress against their plan through a series of control points, making their subsequent task of evaluating the effectiveness of their actions all the more easy.

Time management

Under the GDK programme the teams have 25 game days to reach the mountains, get their gold and return to base. Each day lasts 3 minutes. Each team's aim is to maximise their use of time to get the best possible results.

Furthermore, teams will come to distinguish between activity and productivity. At the onset, all teams will have the same information and resources. Some teams will perish in the desert, while others will get exceptional results. Why? Because some teams will distinguish between activity (being busy) and productivity (time spent in the mountains).

Project management

The teams will be buried under volumes of information and will have many routine tasks (e.g. giving daily reports to their banker). The teams must manage their resources (e.g. information, and the team members) and come to terms with the duties and challenges thrust upon them in the programme by unstable weather. Yet they must not lose sight of their primary goal.

Planning, planning, planning

Productivity is most affected by decisions taken beforehand. Most people are aware of this fact, but do not devote quite the time to analysing available information, forming a strategy and setting up a plan to enable them to determine the maximal goal to reach.

The Gold of the Desert Kings programme is aimed at the reasons why we do not spend enough time on preparation (e.g. time pressure, competition or the urge to “just go for it”), how to take command of such factors and what are the consequences of not sticking to standard methods. The programme also sheds light on the components of an effective plan. An effective plan pursues a specified goal, effectively allocates resources, eliminates or deals with risks, controls external pressures, defines roles and last but not least can be monitored and modified.

Translation: Václav Pinkva