More Than The Business Simulation

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When people think of a Sim training program, they often think of just the software itself. In reality, this is only a part of a leadership development simulation or business training simulation. A very important part of the solution is the case study. The case study often is thought of as secondary when it should be thought of equally important.

Importance of the Case Study for a Leadership Development Simulation or Business Training Simulation



The case study is where the corporate strategy, structure, uniqueness and details are revealed. This is important stuff! Because people often get over excited about the software part of the simulation, the case study is usually sent to the back burner. It is very important to keep the case study in focus or the foundation of your corporate development program will be diluted. Here are some key things to think about:

- Does your case study take into consideration your corporate development needs?
- Does your case study take into consideration the corporate strategy?
- Does your case study have enough information for participants?
- Does your case study have too much information (yes, this can happen)?
- Does your case study share a story and foundation?

These are some important parts of a case study when using a training simulation for corporate development. In many cases, its not a bad idea to hire a copywriter. Adding a sense of reality without duplicating your company verbatim is the balance you're trying to find.

So, in summary, don't put the case study in the background. You'll find its equally as important and needs ample attention.

Hope this helps!
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Top 3 Trends We See in Business Simulations Today

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Are you asking, "What are the latest trends in the strange world of business simulations?" Of course you are :^). Well, since you probably aren't really asking that, we'll ask for you:

Top 3 Trends in Business Simulations



3. More Focus - We're seeing a trend towards people using a business simulation for a specific outcome or use. For example: Diversity training. This is an example of an application where a business simulation is deployed for 1/2 day. Gone are the monster multi-day business simulation training program. If you're considering getting a huge multi-day simulation, you either must have endless budget to spend or a consultant has taken over the steering wheel of your training program or leadership program.

2. Special Focus on Immediate Knowledge Application
- We've been seeing this for some time, but its happening more. There is an increased need to be able to have participants immediately use the skills they learned from practice within the business simulation.

1. More Accessible Business Simulations
- We're seeing greater and greater accessibility to business simulations. This is great news and primarily due to lower cost of development and platformization of the technology.

Hope this helps!
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Computer Based Business Simulation or Paper?

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Paper_Business_Simulation
When most people think about a business simulation, they automatically have visions of computer screens, tablets, phones, mice, and keyboards. They also begin to think about data management, modeling, game theory, equipment setup, financial modeling, reporting, and more. This creates that hot feeling of being completely overwhelmed.

As Bill Hall wrote in his book about getting started with business simulations and serious games, have you ever thought about starting small and starting with a paper based simulation? If not, this is definitely something you should think about. Paper based business simulations can be incredibly compelling and very easy to manage. You don't have to create a board game, game pieces or anything fancy. Just print out some materials and you're on your way.

Paper based simulations are a very effective way to get started using business simulations, strategy simulations, or business gamification. Here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Clearly define what the participants need to teach. The more tangible and clearly defined the better
2. Work from the goals of the learning backwards. Create all simulation exercises from the goals.
3. Create units of measurement. What this means is there needs to be a means to measure. In very simple terms: Scoring :^)

If you do a search for paper based business simulations, you'll find quite a few examples out there. This might be a great place to start.

Hope this helps!
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Top Tips To Getting Starting With a Business Simulation

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Happy New Year! Hope you're well. Let's dive right in!

Are you looking to get started using a business simulation? Great! Here are some of our top 5 tips to getting started:

Top 5 Tips To Using A Business Simulation



1. Start Small! Don't try to do too much too fast. A tightly focused and highly content aligned simulation is the way to go! You might be tempted to do too much too fast. Try to take a step back and make sure you are staying core to the top 3 reasons you're using a business simulation. Or better yet, the top 3 metrics you'd like to measure success against.

2. Go Paper? This might seem strange, but are you sure you really want to go with a computerized business simulation or software business simulation? I'm sure you already know how hard it is to manage technology, now try to imagine creating a business simulation on top of that and then having it all work. Yikes! In many cases, a good solid paper based simulation might go far. It will also potentially save you money as well.

3. Get Aligned. What does this mean? It means to ensure the reasons you think you need a business simulation align with the solution you are looking at. This might seem like common sense, but we can't tell you how often we've seen people far from where they thought they'd be just due to the confusion of getting started using these action learning tools.

4. Get Buy-In. You're going to find that there might be some resistance (or curiosities) about using a business simulation. It is a good idea to get people involved. Getting people involved does add complication up front, but it will make the process easier down the road.

5. Create a budget. Yes, this seems obvious, but it is important. This will automatically create focus for you when getting started using business training simulations.

We hope this helps. Happy New Year!
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Top Tips To Getting Starting With a Business Simulation

Hello World!

Happy New Year! Hope you're well. Let's dive right in!

Are you looking to get started using a business simulation? Great! Here are some of our top 5 tips to getting started:

Top 5 Tips To Using A Business Simulation



1. Start Small! Don't try to do too much too fast. A tightly focused and highly content aligned simulation is the way to go! You might be tempted to do too much too fast. Try to take a step back and make sure you are staying core to the top 3 reasons you're using a business simulation. Or better yet, the top 3 metrics you'd like to measure success against.

2. Go Paper? This might seem strange, but are you sure you really want to go with a computerized business simulation or software business simulation? I'm sure you already know how hard it is to manage technology, now try to imagine creating a business simulation on top of that and then having it all work. Yikes! In many cases, a good solid paper based simulation might go far. It will also potentially save you money as well.

3. Get Aligned. What does this mean? It means to ensure the reasons you think you need a business simulation align with the solution you are looking at. This might seem like common sense, but we can't tell you how often we've seen people far from where they thought they'd be just due to the confusion of getting started using these action learning tools.

4. Get Buy-In. You're going to find that there might be some resistance (or curiosities) about using a business simulation. It is a good idea to get people involved. Getting people involved does add complication up front, but it will make the process easier down the road.

5. Create a budget. Yes, this seems obvious, but it is important. This will automatically create focus for you when getting started using business training simulations.

We hope this helps. Happy New Year!
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TechTip: Private Cloud Storage: OwnCloud For Simulation Development

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This is a little off the beaten path for a post, but we're so thrilled with a piece of technology, we thought it worth sharing.

Do you know of DropBox, GoogleDrive, or Microsoft OneDrive? Of course you do. So do we. But, we take data security extremely seriously. We also believe in technology simplicity and effectiveness. As a result, we took a look at a solution called OwnCloud.

OwnCloud is a solution that lets you create your own version of DropBox, GoogleDrive, and OneDrive (and soooo much more). Best of all, you retain complete and total control over OwnCloud. It is incredibly easy to use and is written by the open source community. We have been testing OwnCloud for Simulation Development and we have two words: It Rocks!

OwnCloud just works and works exceptionally well! Since it's mostly larger companies that read these posts, you'll love the fact the OwnCloud is Open Source, but you might be even more excited to know there is a turnkey commercial version available as well.

We have chosen to run OwnCloud on a $49 open source single board computer called BananaPi. We installed Linux onto an SD card, loaded up OwnCloud, and we had a complete Cloud Storage solution up and running in a matter of an hour or so. The BananaPi/OwnCloud 'server' has 15 computers banging on it all day long. Of course, you'd probably want to run your OwnCloud on serious iron, but this is a nice example of scalability.

We can't recommend OwnCloud enough. Its secure, its fast, and it just works.

You can learn more here:
OwnCloud Open Source
OpenCloud Commercial

Happy Holidays!
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Top 10 Uses For a Business Simulation

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Let's just jump right in:

Top 10 Uses For a Business Simulation


- Business Simulation for Leadership Development
- Business Simulation for High Potential Leaders
- Business Simulation for Business War Games
- Business Simulation for Sales Training
- Business Simulation for Strategy Testing
- Business Simulation for Operational Excellence
- Business Simulation for Strategy Exploration
- Business Simulation within Business Gamification
- Business Simulation for Business Strategy Gamification

"What can a business simulation actually be used for?" There you go: Just 10 ideas. Of course, there are many more, but this guideline should inspire some ideas for you to think about. We've even heard of using a business simulation to teach fifth graders about money and business. Interesting....

Let us know if you have other ideas of how to use these valuable tools and we'll add it to the list.

Have a great weekend!
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Business War Games: Business Simulation for Strategy Testing

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This has been written about a few time, but thought it was worth bringing up again.

Using Business War Games



What: What is a Business War Game? Business War Games are a tool that is used to test and 'play' with a potential future strategy. These don't necessarily have to be a simulation, but they often share the same characteristics with a business simulation. Business War Games also don't have to be computer based either. In many cases, these can be simple paper based solutions. This helps save money. But what these tools are is effective. They are also complex to create. There are a lot of moving parts to a business war game. The same is true for a business strategy simulation as well. Business War Games let executives test their strategy before they commit to it 100%.

How: How is a business war game used? Business War Games are used like this: Traditionally, you'll bring in a few executives that are involved in creating the strategy. You don't need many. Just a few. You'll have each person take on the role of a different company that only includes 1 ‘version’ of your actual company. You'll actually begin competing against each other testing your strategy. You can see why it's similar to a business strategy simulation.

Why: Why use a Business War Game? This is to enable you to squeeze out strategic elements you hadn't considered while creating the strategy. Most importantly, this includes the human reaction to a new strategy. This is often the least thought of during strategy development.

As you can see, a Business War Game is very similar to a Business Strategy Simulation or a Business Training Simulation.

Hope this helps!
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Business Simulation for Sales Training or Sales Conferences

Hello World- Once again, too long between posts. Sorry about that!

We've seen quite the uptick in companies using business simulations for sales training and/or within sales conferences. These sales training simulations are a lot of fun and very educational for the sales managers. What happens in many cases is that the head of sales wants to introduce their sales force to the challenges above or across from their position. Doing so gives sales managers a far wider perspective of what it's like to manage a sales team or company.

Three Components to a Successful Sales Training Simulation



1. Competitive business simulation is preferred - A competitive sales training simulation aligns with the position of a sales manager. This makes the game relevant and real.
2. Ensure you have the customer needs- As a sales manager, you're often focused on quota. Don't forget to integrate a strong focus on meeting customers needs and demonstrating why this is important.
3. Have fun! A sales training simulation should have a spirit of competitive fun. If it's serious and boring, sales managers will probably disengage.

Sales training simulations are a great use of time at a sales conference. Utilizing a business simulation can make the content of the conference relevant and unforgettable. It will be the part of the conference participants won't forget.

Hope this helps!

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Business Training Simulations for Leadership Development

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Once again, it's been too long. We've simply had too much work than we can handle. Sorry! The good news is that we've just hired 3 people to help work on things. Thanks for your patience. Ok, the topic of the day:

Business Training Simulation for Leadership Development Overview



Isn't this a leadership development simulation you might ask? Well, yes it is. But there seems to be a misunderstanding about what/when/where/how. Let's take a look.

First, the definition: A leadership development simulation is simply a business simulation that has been customized to a specific leadership development program. This includes utilizing specific leadership competency and tools. In many cases, these business training simulations will have a business portion of the simulation as well. There has to be a business to use the leadership tools, right?

These tools are traditionally used within corporate leadership development programs. In some cases, they might be used for strategy training. Why? Because there is traditionally a large people component of business strategy. While we're talking about tools, business simulations are often used to help people learn HR people development tools such as assessment and more. Business training simulations for leadership development is a great development tool to get people up and running quickly using your models andor tools.

You'll start to see more and longer posts once we get the people up to speed.

Have a great August!
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5 Tips to Applying Human Resource Tools to the Business

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Are you thinking of increasing the adoption of your Human Resource tools? This trend seems to be on the upswing at the moment. We have seen a lot of tool development and application within large enterprises. We have a few tips from an outsiders perspective:

5 Tips to Human Resource Tool Adoption


1. Keep the tools simple to use- This probably goes without saying, but it's a good reminder. Remember, managers have a very busy job. Unless the tools are easy to naturally use, they won't be used. Keep the tools you choose to use simple and easy to utilize.

2. Pair down the number of tools- Tools are great frameworks for people to work from. But in reality, there is certainly such a thing as too many. In reality, managers will probably utilize three at the most. Pick your top three and focus on implementing these first.

3. Train managers!- Of course, this goes without saying. But to dig a little deeper, you should think about giving managers the opportunity to use the tools before they are expected to use them in the workplace. This will help naturalize the usage of the tools.

4. Practice and followup- Give managers the opportunity to practice the tools and get used to using them. If they don't have the opportunity to try before they buy, they simply won't buy.

5. Make them relevant and real- Demonstrating how these tools impact their business is critical. If they can experience the positive results of using the tools, utilization will become natural.

Even though this doesn't directly impact business simulations, it does correlate. We create a lot of simulations that focus on utilizing Human Resource tools. We thought it would be helpful to share what we've seen work and not work.

Hope this helps!
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New Website Launched

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Today, an update to the existing web site was launched. It's a completely different platform so you may notice some things either out of place, missing, or different from before. We'll be putting things back in place as we build on this new platform. In the meantime, let us know what you think and what you'd like to see added.

Have a great weekend!
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New Solution Offering: Tailored Business Simulations

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Have you ever wanted the power of a custom business simulation, but didn't want the complexity or time of building one from scratch? Have you thought to yourself, "I really want to use my leadership model, but don't want the expense and time of a custom solution?" Great! Here's a potential solution for you. Have you looked at a Tailored Business simulation instead of a Custom Business Simulation? If not, it might be worth a look.

Should I go Tailored Business Simulation or Custom Business Simulation?
Let's start by looking at a simple graphic that outlines some of the difference:


Even though this is a generalization, it might help give you a general idea. You should look at a tailored business simulation if any of the following occur:
- Limited Budget
- No Need For Licensing
- Quick Turnaround
- Still Use Your Leadership Tools

If this is something that is interesting, you should drop us an note and we can help guide you through the what, what not's, and how's. Happy to answer any questions.

Hope this helps! Let us know what you think.
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Tailored, Custom, or Standard Business Simulation?

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Have you ever asked yourself, "What is the difference between a tailored, custom, and canned business simulation?" We've certainly been asked this question and it's a very good question indeed. Let's try to take this apart and clearly explain the differences.

Custom, Tailored, and Canned Business Simulations Explained



Custom Business Simulation- This is a simulation or gamification product that is completely custom to your business strategy, leadership, training and development, and industry needs. A custom solution is like going to Microsoft and saying, "I'd like you to build me a software solution of my own." Additionally, you'd then have to go to a consulting company and say, "I'd like you to develop a services packaged completely designed for me from the ground up that goes with our software." This is a custom business simulation. These are gigantic projects. a custom business simulation is like having designer shoes made from scratch just for you. These solution fit beautifully, work wonderfully, and align with all your needs, strategy, and goals. These are fantastic solutions. On the downside, they can get pricy quickly and usually require quite a bit of project management. These are not small projects. These are the "Cadillac' of the business simulation world.

Tailored Business Simulation- These tools can be exceptionally valuable if done correctly. A tailored business simulation takes a core set of completed work and tailors it to your needs. These are not as perfect as a custom business simulation, but often come quite close. In many cases, people can't necessarily tell the difference between a tailored and a custom business simulation. Tailored solutions are great starting points if you have complex development needs, but are just starting out using business simulations. Tailored solutions let you implement a lower cost solution, learn from it, and then apply the learning to a fully custom solution in the future (if needed).

Off the Shelf or Canned Business Simulations- These are solutions that are not at all, or just slightly modifiable. These solutions are good for general topics that don't apply to your business, strategy, or specific development goals. Some examples are: Business acumen simulations, HIPAA compliance, workplace needs, etc. These are topics that are pretty much the same for all organizations and don't require customization. Off the shelf solutions are great for this. These solutions don't always work so well for needs that are organization specific such as: Leadership Development, Strategy Development or specific organizational development initiatives. It's similar to trying to put a square peg in a round hole. You'll spend a lot of energy trying to make it fit and then try to explain to participants why it's relevant.

As always, these are generalization, but should get you in the ballpark. Hope this helps and have a great weekend!
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