by Joel Sigrist
Navigating from strategy to execution presents tremendous barriers and risks. To successfully implement strategic priorities, today’s leading organizations are adopting experiential learning methods and are increasingly discovering the value of business simulations. Business simulations have evolved into one of the most effective methods for accelerating strategic transformation initiatives, improving business acumen, building new leadership skills and enabling sales transformations. However, there is debate over the application of customized and off-the-shelf (or generic) business simulations.
Well-designed custom simulations are powerful tools for immersing learners in a company’s business and providing a risk-free environment in which to practice strategy execution. These experiences produce and deliver new behaviors and tangible action plans that are tied to real-world outcomes. Customization done well allows employees to become more open to changing their ways because the experience is relevant to their current role. End results include behavior change, on the job action, and quantifiable business impact.
Generic simulations, on the other hand, build foundational skills in a more fun and engaging way than traditional lectures and case-based approaches. Common in academic settings and management training programs, these standard simulations provide exceptional skill and capability development. However, without customization, companies increase the risk of exposing learners to the wrong assumptions and tradeoffs for their business. When participants go back to their jobs and apply these assumptions and trade-offs, the consequences can be severe.
Companies that deploy customized simulations successfully enable the practice of execution by aligning the organization to the strategy, creating the appropriate mindset, and building the essential skills and capabilities required for success. As management continues to recognize their true power, customized business simulations will come to play a crucial role in every successful corporate transformation.
For more on business simulations, read our latest white paper Navigating Strategy-Execution: The Case for Custom Business Simulations.
About the Author: Joel Sigrist is Senior Vice President for BTS Western Europe