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.

 

 

An outstanding way to prove the point that teams outperform individuals is to engage people in an exercise like Desert Survival… The teams almost always outperform the individuals and, if they do not, the reason can usually be traced to poor functioning of the team.

Listening costs money because it is time consuming. However, in the end it saves money because mistakes are corrected, potential problems are avoided, and more creative and cost-effective solutions are generated. …the Desert Survival Situation, demonstrated that teams with good listening skills consistently outperformed teams where the members did not listen to each other.

Finally, the best thinking very often results from a team effort. With few exceptions, repeated research has established that groups are usually better than individuals at solving problems where no one has deep or relevant experience…. A forceful example is an exercise called the Desert Survival Situation.

A technique used widely in helping groups to understand the value added from team performance is a classroom exercise designed to demonstrate synergy…. The parallel between lessons learned from this exercise and those learned in many aircraft accidents is more than casual.

I had been skeptical about the exercise, but it worked…. It turned out to be a particularly appropriate exercise for the first day, as it came so close to some of our real survival emotions.

In the afternoon, we divided into our old study groups and had to face the highlight of our trip to Half Moon Bay, a group test: The Desert Survival scenario.

Students discover through this exercise that applying the interaction method, the problem-solving process, and the various tools presents much more of a challenge than they had expected. Their realization stimulates them to work on mastering this material during the succeeding projects.

I met recently with the executive director of a U.S. association that works with CEOs of Chinese companies as they seek to become listed on U.S. stock exchanges.  We discussed my law practice and my time in China teaching law at Tsinghua University, but he was most interested in my experience with Desert Survival, the classic teambuilding exercise. He said that a real need for this type of skill existed within Chinese companies.

By comparing individual strategies with team consensus, the exercise graphically demonstrated the value of cooperative collaboration.

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

When Human Synergistics first introduced the Desert Survival Situation™, our clients could not get enough of this innovative team activity based on the concept of synergy—that is, people working together can achieve better results than they can individually. The Desert Survival Situation has become one of the most widely-used team-building activities in the world and has served as the model for other numerous other exercises used for training and development internationally.

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.