About Human Synergistics International

What We Do

Our mission, Changing the World—One Organization at a Time®, is a challenging one. We are working toward it every year by introducing more and more organizations—in increasingly diverse industries and geographical locations—to our surveys and team-building simulations. Our world-renowned products include the Leadership/Impact® 360, Desert Survival Situation™ simulation, and Organizational Culture Inventory®, the most widely used culture survey in the world. We strive to help organizations initiate changes so meaningful and powerful that they “spill over” and extend beyond their boundaries—effectively promoting the development and effectiveness of communities, countries, and ultimately the world.

A Broad Client Base

When you choose Human Synergistics International, you’re in good company. A focus on quality, research, and ethics—underscored by a mission to constructively change the world through individual and organizational development—has resulted in HSI materials being used by the majority of Fortune 500 companies, Fast 50 companies, and Ivy League universities.

Out of the Desert

The Desert Survival Situation™ is perhaps HSI’s best-known product, introduced in 1970. In fact, Desert has been cited as the most widely used training and development tool in the world. Our capabilities, however, extend far beyond the desert and group process simulations.

HSI offers assessments to help organizations reach their full potential by strengthening their individual contributors, leaders, work teams, and cultures.

HSI’s most widely used assessments include:

  • Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI)
    One of the first 360-feedback assessments, the LSI continues to be highly regarded and used throughout the world by managers, professionals, and individual contributors to promote self-awareness and develop Constructive thinking and behavioral styles. The LSI has received praise on LinkedIn, been cited in numerous articles published in books and journals in business, psychology and talent management, and mentioned in newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal.
  • Leadership/Impact® (L/I)
    L/I is a 360-feedback assessment designed specifically for those in leadership roles—primarily senior managers, high-potential middle managers, and CEOs. L/I leverages the cutting edge of leadership effectiveness research by providing executives with feedback on how to transform, shape, and influence the environment within which people operate and the ways in which they approach their work and interact with each other.
  • ACUMEN® Leadership WorkStyles™ (LWS)
    Building on the Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI), LWS helps self-motivated leaders strengthen thinking and behavioral styles that promote their effectiveness and moderate styles that prevent them from realizing their potential. This assessment provides leaders with highly personalized feedback on how their ways of acting and reacting to people and situations shape their effectiveness.
  • Group Styles Inventory™ (GSI)
    Designed for serious team-building programs, the group styles measured by the GSI are directly related to team effectiveness, solution acceptance, solution quality, and synergy. Used in conjunction with a team-building simulation, the GSI provides significant practical insights into how a group functions, allowing the group to focus its efforts precisely on where improvement is needed. 
  • Organizational Culture Inventory® (OCI®)
    The OCI is the most widely used and thoroughly researched tool for measuring organizational culture in the world. Numerous research studies utilizing the OCI demonstrate the importance of measuring and managing culture. At the organizational level, the research shows a relationship between the Constructive culture styles measured by the OCI and outcomes including employee engagement, safety and reliability, successful merger integration, creativity, adaptability, and customer satisfaction. Similarly, at the societal level, research underscores the importance of the Constructive styles and demonstrates a negative relationship between the Defensive culture styles and World Competitiveness.

To learn about all of Human Synergistics International’s offerings, visit humansynergistics.com.

 

 

Is improving leadership really as simple as maximizing extroversion? Empirical evidence is actually far more mixed than the HBS curriculum might lead one to believe. For example, in one team-building exercise at HBS [Harvard Business School], students engage in a role-playing game called the Subarctic Survival Situation.

Why a simulation?

  • ‘Because wisdom cannot be told.’
  • Action/involvement is vital to how people learn. (We learn by doing.)

The most memorable example of the power of teamwork in solving problems was from an exercise I participated in over 16 years ago. It was such a compelling lesson about teams solving problems, I still have the exercise booklet. The exercise is from a company called Human Synergistics and was a ‘Subarctic Survival Situation’.

I would recommend this experiment highly. It does a great job of showing how to improve team work and communication. It is also a great way to get to know your team better!

Lesson: If you don’t have the expertise, figure out who does; if you do have the expertise, say so. Communicate or die.

To be honest, I also thought the Subarctic Exercise was quite instructive…

I have found that the sub-arctic survival simulation is fun and naturally encourages student participation. Students learn that in order to ‘survive,’ they must cooperate and support one another, that the collective is greater than the individual, and that teamwork is necessary for enhancing their success in their academic and professional careers.

Human Synergistics International thanks trainers, practitioners, consultants, and educators across the globe for making our team-building simulations the most widely used and acclaimed in the world.

Team-Building Simulations from Human Synergistics

The Subarctic Survival Situation is one of our most popular group problem-solving survival exercises. Developed by Dr. J. Clayton Lafferty and his colleagues, the simulation places participants in an isolated area of northern Canada where their plane has just crash landed and challenges them to rank, first individually and then as a team, 15 salvaged items in order of their importance to their survival.

Human Synergistics’ team-building simulations provide a unique opportunity to quickly and objectively measure whether your teams are achieving synergy. They are designed for team building, developing more constructive group processes, and demonstrating the impact of communication and collaboration on solution effectiveness. HSI offers a wide variety of team-building simulations in four series.

The Business Series
  • Project Planning Situation™
  • Meeting Effectiveness Situation™
  • Customer Complaint Situation™
  • Envisioning a Culture for Quality™
  • Cultural Change Situation™
  • Turnaround™
  • Coach – Co-achieving


Visit Human Synergistics’ website for more information.

All of HSI’s team-building simulations can be administered using a Leader’s Guide and one Participant’s Booklet for each group member.

Please note that all HSI simulation materials are copyrighted and may not be reproduced.
The Challenge Series
  • Organizational Change Challenge™
  • Critical Thinking Challenge™
  • Ethical Decision Challenge™
  • Constructive Negotiations Challenge™
  • Strategic Planning Challenge™
  • Performance Management Challenge™
  • Project Management Challenge™


Visit Human Synergistics’ website for more information.

All of HSI’s team-building simulations can be administered using a Leader’s Guide and one Participant’s Booklet for each group member.

Please note that all HSI simulation materials are copyrighted and may not be reproduced.
The Safety Series
  • Fire Safety Situation™
  • Back Injury Safety Situation™
  • Tornado Safety Situation™


Visit Human Synergistics’ website for more information.

All of HSI’s team-building simulations can be administered using a Leader’s Guide and one Participant’s Booklet for each group member.

Please note that all HSI simulation materials are copyrighted and may not be reproduced.
The Survival Series
  • Desert Survival Situation™
  • Desert II Survival Situation™
  • Bushfire Survival Situation™
  • Reef Survival Situation™
  • Tsunami Survival Situation™
  • Subarctic Survival Situation™
  • Cascades Survival Situation™
  • Earthquake Survival Situation™


Visit Human Synergistics’ website for more information.

All of HSI’s team-building simulations can be administered using a Leader’s Guide and one Participant’s Booklet for each group member. Some simulations have optional DVDs, which bring the situation to life by showing the outdoor scenario followed by the expert’s ranking and rationale.

Please note that all HSI simulation materials are copyrighted and may not be reproduced.