Business Simulations & Experiential Learning

Business Simulations are Essential in Improving Performance

Before setting foot in the real world, pilots, military personnel and disaster response teams use intense simulation to learn how to respond to high-intensity challenges.

Why do we place corporate leaders and their teams in situations without first giving them a chance to try things out? The risks are huge, new strategy investments extremely costly. BTS offers a better way of improving performance: business simulation and discovery learning programs.

Business Simulation: Key to Strategy Execution

Simulations are critical in building capabilities needed for superior strategy execution. They create a deep sense of ownership for the strategy, ultimately motivating action back on the job.

Business Simulation Definition

A simulation—of your enterprise, business unit or process—uses real-world competitive dynamics and places leaders in a context where they step out of their normal day-to-day roles and gain exposure to the big picture. Participants make decisions in a risk-free environment, allowing them to experience critical interdependencies, execute best practices, and test the levers they can use to optimize their company’s key performance indicators.

Work with the Leader and Innovator in Experiential Learning

BTS’s experiential learning and cutting-edge learning methodologies have been proven in successful implementations with leading organizations around the world. Our simulation tools allow companies to develop skills and capabilities at all levels of the organization. The competencies created ultimately drive improved business results.

Why Do Leading Corporations Use Business Simulations?

Companies are increasingly turning to simulations to help build strategic alignment and execution capability when faced with one or more of the following business challenges:

  • Implementing a new strategy and key performance objectives
  • Accelerating innovation and strategy execution
  • Improving business acumen and financial decision-making
  • Transforming sales organizations into business-results accelerators
  • Focusing leadership development on front-line execution
  • Implementing culture change aligned to strategy
  • Integrating newly merged companies
  • Modeling complex value-chains for collaborative cost elimination

Within minutes of being placed in a simulation, users are grappling with issues and decisions that they must make—now. A year can be compressed into a day. And competition among teams spurs engagement, invention and discovery.

Scenario Simulations: Build Leadership, Project Management and Sales Capabilities

Business Simulations most often involve a series of data-driven input variables designed to engage the learner in the quantitative levers that impact business performance. In scenario simulations, participants work with qualitative, branching story-lines that allow them to learn about best-practice decision making in leadership, sales and other important development areas.

Challenges and Choices Simulation

Challenges and Choices simulations are scenario simulations that are built to reflect moments in a leader's day, week or month where they make pivotal leadership decisions. Our methodology teaches leaders what "great" looks like in their organization.

Challenge and Choices Business Simulation on iPhone

Four Key Criteria for Creating an Effective Scenario Simulation

To engage learners, the best scenario simulations are developed using the following four principles:

  1. Reality-based, progressive levels of complexity
  2. Artfully scripted
  3. Evaluated and measured
  4. Run and debriefed in a safe environment

The most effective simulations are further customized to the competencies of employees and your learning objectives. BTS has customized scenario simulations for a wide range of clients and industries—from materials for leading consulting firms to disseminate to employees, to engagement management fundamentals that retailers can use for store manager and merchant leadership development.

We just did a simulation exercise with the BTS team. The feedback from the participants was amazing. Not only was the simulation highly relevant to our business, but the BTS team really inspired and motivated the teams to excel. The competitiveness displayed was really quite remarkable. My employees were very engaged – it was substantially different from most of the "training" we have sponsored previously. We are already looking at "phase 2" of this activity. I would recommend BTS to anyone.

Jim Cable, CEO, Peregrine Semiconductor

Board Simulations: A Unique Approach to Learning

Board simulations are a unique and highly effective experiential approach to learning: they place participants in realistic, problem-based scenarios. The most effective board simulations are customized to the client and industry. BTS has developed more than 200 customized board simulation programs for global clients on four continents. We also offer a broad suite of industry specific simulations that may be adapted to specific client applications.

Industry Simulations: Building the Critical Industry Expertise Necessary for Success

No industry is the same. Business models, competitive dynamics and strategic challenges vary dramatically from one industry to the next. And the pace of change is accelerating. To succeed, a deep understanding of industry fundamentals, key challenges and trade-offs, and financial levers are critical for success.

BTS has developed Industry Business Simulations, a series of high impact, board-based programs designed to provide a holistic perspective of a specific industry. The simulations enable participating employees to experience the competitive dynamics, general trends, business challenges, interdependencies and profitability drivers that are unique to their industry.

Factoid: BTS offers hybrid board-computer simulations that create a dynamic competitive marketplace.

Through the program, teams of four to six participants manage a simulated company and practice real-world decision making in a risk-free environment. Participants receive feedback and analysis of the outcomes of their decisions and strategies. Know-how sessions reinforce critical capabilities and provide new tools and frameworks to optimize performance. To maximize impact and relevance for participants, the simulation can be tailored or highly customized to the client’s business and strategic priorities.

In the end, participants develop action plans to apply back on the job and drive results. The impact is profound. Typical BTS simulations deliver a 10-12 times return on investment.

Learn more about specific Industry Simulations.

Engage Maps

Factoid: Engage maps have become the fastest growing area of new solutions being deployed with our clients.

Engage Maps create opportunities for large numbers of Executives, Managers, and Employees to understand the reasons for organizational change and to experience its implications. Through jointly developed pre-designed formats, these maps assist participants in transitioning to the organization’s new environment and allow them to try out new behaviors.

Engage Maps Play a Critical Role in Strategy Execution

Engage maps play an important role in helping companies execute their strategies. The innovative maps allows participants to explore concepts and collaborate with peers in a structured, risk-free environment.

Virtual Business Simulation: Efficient, Effective and Fun

Business Tournaments are multi-team, competitive online simulations conducted with support and coaching from BTS consultants. Teams—drawn from a wide range of companies or from within the same company—compete in a dynamic and thoroughly engaging environment, where the ultimate goal is to enhance business acumen and strategy execution skills.

A Serious Development Experience with Real-World Impact

Factoid: BTS Global Tournament is the largest business tournament in the world. Each year our global tournament attracts approximately 900 teams from companies around the globe.

Like its highly effective custom-designed classroom simulations, the BTS Business Tournament provides an engrossing and effective way for managers to hone strategic thinking, financial acumen, customer focus, and market and competition savvy.
A powerful team building experience, BTS tournaments have served more than 30,000 participants in 65 countries in the past 12 years. Teams have come from organizations around the world, including such companies as Accenture, Ericsson, and Nokia.

Save on Time and Cost with Experiential Learning Tournaments

Virtual Tournaments give teams a learning experience equivalent to a two- to three-day classroom-based simulation, but delivered through the Internet and web-conferencing. Companies save on travel and facilities costs, while retaining the benefits of experiential learning.

Participants give the experience extremely positive reviews: 98% would recommend the BTS Tournament experience to others.

In a challenging economic environment, learning and development organizations turn to BTS for innovative solutions that provide the high engagement and impact of experiential learning for both business acumen and strategic execution.

BTS offers three types of online tournaments to meet a broad spectrum of client needs:

  1. Global Tournaments: Open tournaments for teams from a variety of companies, industries and geographies, to enhance business acumen, strengthen execution skills, and build teamwork
  2. Custom Tournaments: Client-specific tournaments customized for companies with distributed and global workforces who need to align the organization to their strategy and enhance business acumen of business units, departments, or high-potential leader groups
  3. Sponsored Tournaments: Custom and/or best practice industry tournaments for companies, organizations, and associations that need to build brands, strengthen networks, and align to shared goals

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