Leadership Simulation: Patient Zero

Leadership Simulation: Patient Zero


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What decisions would you make to save your country in the face of an unfolding zombie pandemic? This simulation places students in the role of a high-ranking advisor to a fictional country of their creation. After solidifying the values and construct of their country, students learn of an unfolding zombie pandemic that requires them to make complex ethical decisions they've never faced before. With no previous experience to draw from, limited information, and external pressures from a ticking clock and world events, students must choose how to respond. And as in real life, the outcomes of their decisions will be influenced by an element of unpredictability. At the end of the simulation, students will be informed of the state of their country, including infection rate, public morale, and the likelihood of country collapse. Educators can then have a rich discussion with students to address topics like adaptive leadership, leading in a crisis, working in teams, ethical decision-making, and much more.

The concept for this simulation was developed by the author in 2015. However, it presents visual content and scenarios that may be unsettling to students in light of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. Educators should consider whether this simulation is appropriate for the intended participants.

Company: Harvard Business Publishing

Approximate price: $15

Playtime: 1 hour

Learning objectives: 1. Apply knowledge of the adaptive leadership framework to solve complex problems with incomplete information and no historical solution.
2. Learn about typical team dynamics and create capacity within teams in real time to cope with problems that spark profound disagreement.
3. Explore the tension created between stated values and actual behavior.
4. Rebound from losses and setbacks by building resilience.

Link to simulation home page: https://hbsp.harvard.edu/product/7215-HTM-ENG