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Repost: Infographic: 5 Tips To Teaching Business Acumen

As always, we have been slammed with Springtime projects. So, I'm doing a repost. I know, this is sort of a copout. But, this has been our most popular post (by far). So, I thought it was timely for a repost. Here you go!

After months of programing, I decided to do something on the more creative side. We've been getting a lot of questions about how to effectively teach business acumen. This has become an exceptionally popular topic. This is mostly due to the stock market doing so well in 2017. The swelling has led to an acceleration of retirement amongst current leaders. This is putting pressure on companies to accelerate leadership development. A huge part of leadership development is company specific business acumen. From the outside, it looks as if this is what is causing the increased interest.

Thus, I created an infographic (yes, I did the artwork so be forgiving. After all, I'm more of a strategist and technologist than artist). Hope this helps.

Click the image below to download the full infographic.



Published in Entrepreneur Voices on Leadership

I am honored to announce that Entrepreneur Book Publishing chose one of my articles to be included in their newly published book titled, "Entrepreneur Voices on Effective Leadership"

Entrepreneur publishing has been a great parter to work with and their publishing criteria is one of the more strict I've worked with. This is important because it ensures relevance and quality for readers. I received a copy of the book a week or so ago and all the articles they chose are very applicable, timely, and well written. I applaud the publishers work.

Entrepreneur chose to publish the article titled, "4 Steps to Build Strategically Critical Leadership-Development Programs".

You can find the article here:

You can get the book from Amazon here:

My sincerest thank you to Entrepreneur Publishing.

Most Popular Articles of 2017


Happy 2018! The second half of 2017 was completely unmanageably busy. We don't usually like to keep a pace like this but once in a while it happens. Thus, the posts have been very sporadic here and non-existent at BillHall.Me. My apologies about that. But, I had a request the other day to post the top 5 most popular articles I recently wrote. So, here they are in an easy to access location.

The Most Popular Articles Written in 2017

- Using Simulations to Development Millennial Leaders: CLO Magazine 2016
- The Futility of the 80 Hour Work Week: Entrepreneur Magazine 2017
- High-Tech Startups Need to Ditch the 'Engineers Rule'‚Äč Mentality: Entrepreneur Magazine 2017
- Can You Speak My Language: Huffington Post 2016
- 4 Steps to Build Strategically Critical Leadership-Development Programs: Entrepreneur 2017

These are just a handful. You can find more here: I've slowed my writing a bit which is a bummer. Will pick it back up once I find a consistent home to write for. Will post the results here. Hope these help for now!

Cheers to 2018 and have a great year!


5 Steps to Creating Business Acumen Training for Today's Learner


With the aging boomers and the lack of experience of the current middle managers, companies are scrambling to build the corporate talent bench. A large part of building this bench is effective business acumen. I'm not talking about the generic, theoretical business acumen traditionally taught in colleges. I'm talking about the real sticky stuff. The 'finance meets people meets marketing meets operations, meets IT, meets leadership, meets corporate strategy meets the impact on the bottom line performance' type of business acumen. The real stuff leaders used to learn over the course of many years. The real-deal business acumen.


Just Say No To Huge Sims!


I have had the displeasure of being hired to cleanup yet another oversized sim mess. It frustrates me to no end when I have to go into a customer's offices in order to cleanup the mess left behind as the result of hiring a huge firm that tried to create a monster sim. I feel bad for the customers and it makes me dislike my own industry (even though I love what I do for a living and couldn't imagine doing anything else). I want to be clear here:

Just Say No To Huge Sims (unless you have tons of money to waste).

Let's have a quick look why using smaller focused business simulation is more effective than monster sims.


Business Simulations and Behavioral Economics


You might be saying, "Behavioral economics? I'm outa here!" But hang tight because it's actually pretty interesting. I'm going to pull everything from online sources and I won't get into the math or anything overly deep. It is worth reading because behavioral economics goes right to the core of the reason why relativity based business simulations are superior to static model based simulations. Let's dive it.

Behavioral Economics studies the effects of psychological, social, cognitive, and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions and the consequences for market prices, returns, and resource allocation, although not always that narrowly, but also more generally, of the impact of different kinds of behavior, in different environments of varying experimental values. (source: Wikipedia). I have to say that this is actually a pretty easy to understand and overall nicely laid out description of such a complicated topic.

Business Simulations are tools utilized to reinforce corporate training and development program material. In most cases, these tools are in the form of a game based method where teams are making decisions in order to see an outcome.

There is a substantial criteria that you need to think about when you think about business simulations: Relativity Modeling. This basically means the business simulation should be setup in order for participants to compete with each other. You are probably able to see why behavioral econ and relativity based simulation modeling go hand in hand.

By utilizing a relativity model, you are more in line with the advantages of behavioral economics. The nice thing about behavioral econ is that it takes into account the human emotion part of the economics equation(s). Thus, this is why business simulations is such a great fit for leadership development programs. Leadership, at its core, is a behavior. By implementing a business simulation that takes into account the behavior of the program, you are by default adding a real-real world scenario that can be found in no other place.

So yes, behavioral economics and relativity based business simulations are cut from the same cloth. This might seem somewhat esoteric, but the general gist is that when you're looking for a business simulation for leadership development, it is important to look for a solution where teams are competing against each other and not against the computer. Also, make sure they aren't competing against the computer and then comparing their scores. This is basically the same thing. Relativity based solutions are more real, more engaging, and proven to be more effective.

Business Acumen Training Gamification - Engaging and Educational

When most people think of business acumen training, they think, "Ugh, paper, slides, and BORING!" Ok, I'll admit, business acumen is not the most exciting topic to learn about. But the method in which you can learn it can be exceptionally engaging and even more educational. Think about the idea of no reading, no more than 15 PPT slides, and all hands-on. Doesn't sound so bad, does it? Better yet, imagine getting your hands-on being able to play with your company as a game while learning business acumen. Even more exciting, right? This is basically Business Acumen Gamification and it's amazingly engaging, educational, and strategic. Let's take a look at what this looks like:

Business Acumen Training Gamification

First, let's define gamification. According to Wikipedia, Gamification is: …the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts (source: This tells us a little, but let's just think of Gamficiation as turning something boring into a game. Much easier. Now, let's just combine what we're talking about (business acumen training), and we're talking about making a business acumen training game.

Second, let's now take your company and add it to the game. I'm talking about your industry, culture, products, etc. Bringing this element of realism makes it more interesting for you and applicable for your company. Now that we have these two elements, lets look how it behaves:

In a business acumen training session we teach, participants are divided into teams. The teams then compete against each other in how effectively they can obtain profitability: Profits (at it's most simple level). Teams must control R&D, marketing, operations, people development, IT, etc.. Any decision they make has an impact on the business. This is basically a real-time business war games. Teams compete in real time business simulations that gamify the boring process of traditional business acumen training. This is training for this generation: Real, Engaging, and Applicable.

In summary, business acumen training gamification makes leadership, management, or even individual contributor corporate training exciting, applicable and incredibly valuable. Have a look soon. You'll love it!

How College Recruiters are Mining Young Talent

Interns Article

How College Recruiters are Mining Young Talent

Recruiting top college students can be challenging. Gaining a future employee’s attention, differentiating your company from the competition, and learning the candidate’s real skills are no easy task. That’s why many Fortune 500 companies have begun to implement business simulations into their college recruiting and internship programs – and they’ve found that these simulations are paying huge dividends.

The Problem With Internships

Starting the recruiting process as early as a candidate’s sophomore year helps both the student and the recruiter better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship.

Click here to read the entire article at