Battle for the best leadership development

Does the thought of an away day building a raft with your colleagues leave you feeling excited or nauseous?

Does a new concept in leadership training; (a 3D multiplayer online puzzle-based game, set on a tropical island - see video here), float your boat or sink your sandbags?!

We compare traditional ‘outward bound’ style leadership activities with leadership development serious game “Unlock: Leadership”.

OB stacked.PNG



  • A change of environment, fresh air
  • The group bonding effect of being out of one’s comfort zone
  • The buzz (for those who enjoy that kind of thing!)


  • Large group out of the office for a whole day or more and the opportunity cost associated with that
  • The dread…falling out of the raft and getting soaked - standing around in the cold
  • The expense
  • Pre-existing group dynamics still perpetuate
  • Lack of effectiveness – it was fun, but what did we learn?! Translating back to the day job
  • Need to have all participants in same physical location – travel costs
  • Not inclusive - and possibly divisive as less physically able people cannot participate in the same way in some activities
  • Efforts involved in setting up the activity including exploring the alternatives, booking in advance, arranging travel and accommodation etc
Inwardly feeling the Outward Bound fear

Inwardly feeling the Outward Bound fear




  • A new and unique game experience
  • Group bonding out of comfort zone (psychologically but not mentally)
  • An exciting prospect for those who are open minded about using games (increasing majority of today’s workforce)
  • Only one group of four needs to be away from their work at a time, although there can be multiples of four
  • Depending on whether the game is facilitated it can take as little as 2 hours or can be stretched to a day with supporting exercises and reflection
  • The fear is reduced – physical discomfort and embarrassment are no longer an issue. There may be some trepidation about the unknown, but this is positive
  • Expense is significantly reduced. Unlock: Leadership is priced below training days and with the absence of travel costs, and opportunity costs of time away from the office, the net cost is far more manageable – meaning it can be rolled out to a wider group of workers
  • The anonymity in the game, combined with the mechanic of using instant messaging to communicate levels the playing field. All voices can be heard – not just the loudest. The game has also been designed to switch roles, allowing each player their moment to step up as leader
  • Integrated feedback, as well as a summative report on performance, mean that the learners take away information that they can apply to their positions after the game even if it is played without any facilitation. The addition of facilitators can further enhance the learning benefit
  • There is no need to ship anyone anywhere. Unlock: Leadership is accessed online and can be played anywhere around the world
  • Consistency - not affected by surroundings, weather, participants moods


  • Its more screen-time, and lacks the invigorating fresh air of an outward bound experience (*unless you take your laptop outdoors!)
  • Some learners might resist a computer game as a serious training medium – until they play it. The game’s been designed so that even the most extreme technophobe can pick it up intuitively


And the winner is....

We think you should decide for yourself! Contact Totem Learning today for a free demo.