client roster

Triangle Training Center
1654 Hamlet Chapel Rd
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Change Management Simulation

To schedule Shifting Sands,
Megan,  (919) 542-1332.

Fast Company
Click to read Fast Company's article on Shifting Sands and other workplace simulations.

Is Your Organization Prepared to
Cross the Desert of Change?

Change is like a desert. It is vast, it can seem endless and it is easy to get lost.

Shifting Sands is a multimedia simulation of an actual expedition across the Sahara Desert. This engaging experience was developed in partnership with Steve Donahue, one of North America's leading change management authorities. It is based on Steve's real life odyssey across the Sahara, the world's largest and most treacherous desert.

This program presents your organization with a powerful template for crossing any desert of change. With this shared metaphor as part of your corporate culture, employees will be better prepared to help each other seize opportunities while moving efficiently through any transition. This is a modular program consisting of seven optional learning modules that can be inserted into the four core story modules. This story could unfold over time by applying the learning from a session, then coming back for follow-up components.

Triangle Training’s approach draws from organizational development, leadership training and experiential learning to help individuals, teams, and organizations maximize their performance during times of change. Our team is passionate about delivering the highest quality of facilitation, consulting and customer service. Our presentation of Shifting Sands is a powerful and transformative tool for any organization experiencing change.

Target Audience

  • Organization Renewal
  • Team Building
  • Organization Development
  • Organization Renewal
  • Leadership and Executive Development
  • Merging Organizations

Participants Learn Change Principles About

  • Defining organizational purpose
  • Defining processes to transport the organization
  • Finding balance
  • Saying good-bye to ‘old systems’
  • Ensuring you keep moving without getting stuck
  • Recognizing the importance or rest, rejuvenation, reconnecting
  • Finding new ways to do business
  • Examining the appropriate speed to move through change
  • Examining the adaptability of the team
  • Drawing opportunity from crisis
  • Identifying the benchmarks that indicate completion

How it Works

The simulation parallels Steve Donahue’s attempted crossing of the Sahara Desert. Participants apply the highly effective parallels of desert travel to the issues, challenges, emotions, and strengths of themselves and their organization.


Shifting Sands is available in half- and full-day versions depending on the issues present in the organization. With guidance from our experienced consultants, you will choose which of the following eleven modules will bring the maximum awareness, discussion, and action to your group.

Overview of the Eleven Modules

1. Choose Your Vehicle
What processes will your organization use to transport itself across that desert of change?
Define what processes or systems are needed to get the company to the other side of the desert.
This explores the WHAT of the change process.

2. Choose Your Purpose
Is there alignment between the individual's, team's and organization's reasons for crossing the desert of change? Challenges teams and individuals within organizations to find both personal and shared alignment - by defining "what's in it for me."
This answers the WHY.

3. Load Your Vehicle
Do organizations come out stronger on the bottom line but use people up in the process?
Finding the right balance while going through organizational change. Addresses HOW to go through the change process.

4. Saying Goodbye
What must the organization say goodbye to as it moves into the desert of change and what rituals will help mark these good-byes? Acknowledging aspects of the "old ways" that will be missed by defining not only:
What must we say goodbye to? but also How will we say our good-byes?

5. Keep Moving
What can be done to create emotional movement, when people become emotionally stuck?
Experiencing organizational change on a personal level often requires moving
through a range of emotional states rather than becoming stuck in one state.

6. Stop at the Oases
Oasis I - Rest and Rejuvenation: Are we trying to cross the desert without stopping at the oases?
Oasis II - Reflection and Change: Do we stop to reflect on how we are working together and whether our purpose is guiding our actions?
Oasis III - Reconnect and Deepen: Are we taking the time to build relationships on a personal level?

7. Travel Light
What must be unloaded to move more quickly through the remainder of the crossing? The methods, systems, attitudes or actions that have carried a company part way through a journey can become excessive weight in new terrain.

8. Becoming Nomadic
What does it take for our organization to become more nomadic?
Adaptability and ease of alliance with diverse tribes and people characterize the nomadic people of the Sahara.
How can we move quickly into new territory by forming alliances? How do we attract nomads and retain their contributions?

9. Moving at the Right Speed
How does the organization know when to move quickly, slowly and even when to back-up as change is implemented? Address the issue of the disparity of how the people in the organization, and the organization itself, will move through change at different speeds.

10. Opportunity and Crisis
How can organizations help employees see the opportunity in change rather than focusing on the crisis? Brainstorm to uncover the opportunities in a crisis.

11. Hot Shower
How will organizations know when they are getting through change?
Establishing milestones, signs or symbols that will indicate "We've crossed it!"

Length and Group Size

Shifting Sands is available to teams of all sizes in half-day, full-day and two-day formats, depending on group needs and depth of change management sought.


The Shifting Sands experience provided a wonderful vehicle for initiating change by opening up a dialogue that helped us understand, confront and facilitate our change process.

-- Steve Hicks, Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

Triangle Training Center • 1654 Hamlet Chapel Rd • Pittsboro, NC 27312
919-542-1332  • Fax 919-542-2148