Updated: Mar 8
I was invited by a friend to try out business simulation training last week in Shanghai. I have done quite a few simulation activities before e.g. when I was a management trainee, a MBA student. However, I find the experience last week very different. And the followings are how it is different:
Board Game – First, this simulation is a board game kind of simulation (i.e. like Monopoly Board Game) rather than computer-based. All the business simulations I did before are computer-based. The good thing of board game-based is that it is intuitive. There is no fancy mathematical model behind the simulation. Learners feel more real as they move a token (representing value) from the ‘Cash’ area to the ‘Raw Material’ area.
Fundamentals – This simulation incorporates the composition of financial statements during the process. This is very powerful for the learners to comprehend those basic concepts of financial statements, which are mysterious and boring to lots of people. Not a easy topic to teach by nature. But this simulation manages to make it lively and fun as a result of the competition among teams. In addition, the learning is ‘solid’ since the learners literally compose financial statements themselves;
Lots of possibilities – This simulation can be used for a wide range of business learning, on top of fundamental financial language e.g. Income Statement, Balance Sheet. In terms of hard knowledge, it can cover cashflow management, budgeting, acquisition, etc. On the soft skills side, as the groups work long hour and intensely together, the simulation can cover negotiation skills, influencing skills, teamwork, etc.
Whilst I am reflecting on this business simulation experience, another question which came to my mind is the implication to the trainer. ‘A well-designed simulation can really get the learners very involved. Would it be the case then the trainer’s role is less important than normal training?’, ‘Assuming that trainer is still required, will the simulation trainer be required of particular skills as compared to normal training?’
Let me think about it and share with you later…