Why Business Simulations in Assessment and Development Practice?


It is a long established fact that pilots, military personnel and disaster response teams use simulations to build effective decision-making and confidence when faced with live events.

When managed correctly within solid assessment and development frameworks, the same approaches can be applied to management challenges. Why would we place leaders and their teams in situations without first giving them a chance to practice critical decision making in a risk free environment.

A customised business simulation of your enterprise, business unit or process, using real-world competitive dynamics, places leaders in a context where they step out of their normal day-to-day role and gain exposure to the big picture marketing interactive simulation.

Participants make decisions in a risk-free environment, allowing them to experience critical decision making against your organisations key performance indicators (KPI’s)

Leading corporations are increasingly turning to simulations when faced with a range of business challenges in relation to executive potential, i.e.:

· Developing a ‘leadership mindset.’

· Re-evaluating key performance objectives against a new strategy.

· Improving fiscal decision making with limited resources.

· Developing sales and other ‘front line’ expertise, i.e. stakeholder management.

· Measuring attitudes to change business culture.

Simulations have a broad range of applications, from building organisational commitment to developing leadership and decision making capability. They involve participants in the ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ of an organisational personality, which promotes both the corporate brand and identity.

Detailed background information can be sent to the participant to study before the assessment day. Within minutes of being placed in a simulation, participants can then be challenged with issues and decisions that they must make – immediately. A year then gets compressed into a day or less. Competition among teams spurs engagement, invention and discovery.

Real life experiential development exercises can be developed quickly, consistently and cost-effectively. Post event, participants own their ‘new performance and attitudes,’ sharing their commitment, energy and drive, promoting a positive cultural shift within the organisation

Arguably, the deepest mindset shift takes place if exercises are well designed and aligned to the nature and culture of the host organisation.

Return on investment can be measured against internal performance management criteria, from which bottom line impact can be measured.

In conclusion, business simulations as a development or recruitment initiative engages through well aligned, live involvement with real business issues.

Tell people and they will forget, show them and they may remember, involve them and they will understand! – Old Chinese proverb.

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