Do I really Need a Business Simulation? The Basics Explained.

Business Simulations can seem like a daunting topic to learn about. But getting starting using business simulations can seem completely overwhelming. Are the too quantitative? Are they too technological? Do they have any personality at all? Do they really help?

But, the big question is, “Do I really need to use a business simulation?” Like any question this broad, the answer is: It depends. To help you get started, let’s look at the top questions to answer first:

1. Do you need to teach leadership’s effect on business results?
2. Do you have to teach some business acumen?
3. Are you looking for ways to connect your training content to the business?

In general (and this is a large in general), if you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you should begin to research ways to incorporate a business simulation into your training and development programs. The big question is: “How do I get started?” A very good place to get started is to do a little reading. There is a very easy to read and easy to understand book on Amazon that is a sort of entry level guide to business simulations for corporate training.

You can find a getting started book on Amazon here

But, in case you want the high level notes, here you go:

- Talk to peers in other companies about what they’re doing, how they did it, and what they learned
- Smaller simulations are usually better than large business simulations
- Some of the best business simulations are paper based... they’re not always computer based
- You might have to use a consulting company to start, but don’t let them take complete control away from you
- Focus on the goals of the training program and don’t let the simulation distract from those goals

The book goes into far more detail, but these are the high level takeaways. The book actually reviews game theory and game construction which is pretty interesting. No matter the case, this is an easy read and an easy place to get educated.

Hope this helps!

Business Simulations to Change Employee Behavior?!?


A Business Simulation to Change Organizational Behavior?

When most people think of a business simulation, they think Net Income, Profits, Net Margins, EBITDA, and other quantitative topics. But in reality, Business Simulations are sensational tools to encourage open behavioral change within a simulation. How does a Business Simulation do this? Let's take a look:

1. People learn why- The first thing people ask when change is required is, "Why?" It's a very natural question. A business simulation helps demonstrate to people the answer to why.
2. People can experience the whole picture- When people see the whole picture, they have a better understanding how they fit in to the change. Once they understand where they fit in, they're more willing to change.
3. Fun, challenging, and applicable- Put people into training that is fun, challenging, and applicable to their jobs, they quickly experience experience why the training is so important to the organization. Once they understand the applicability and importance of the corporate training, they are far more willing to change in order to do their jobs better.

These are just a few examples of how a business simulation can create rapid and positive behavioral change within your organization. This is why some of the top fortune 500 companies globally use business simulations for leadership development.

Another question is, “Why type of behavior can be changed?” The answer here is, “Almost any.” But, let’s look at some examples:

- Reduce organizational Silos and increase collaboration- Rats! Those dreaded silos. Organizational silos slow down productivity, create competition, and are rarely in the best interest of the company. Using a business simulation to reduce siloed thinking has a huge benefit to the company as a whole.
- Organizational wide decision making- A business simulation helps individuals better understand the machine they work in. More often than not, people know their job, their division, and their responsibilities. Having employees run your business gives them a “whole picture’ view of how they fit into the entire company.
- Better understanding for the ‘why’ behind decisions- When employees live a day as your CEO, they better understand the ‘why’ behind business decisions. This creates a more nimble organization.
- Better Leadership- Giving the employees a day as a leader helps them better understand leadership’s importance, methods, and effects on an organization. This creates an employee base of leaders.

This is just an overview. The summary is that just because the word ‘business’ is next to ‘simulation’ does not automatically mean its all finance. A good business simulation has just as much, if not more, behavioral components to it.