Why Business Simulation?
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
I want to step back a bit to discuss the benefits of using business simulation before talking about what trainer quality is required. I throw a specific question to myself here - 'What business simulation can offer as compared to other training method?'
Learning by doing – By doing rather than being lectured, people can better retain the memory, comprehend the concepts and apply the skills. Like learning to play soccer, no matter how lively your lecture is, there is so much the learners can learn before they try it on the field. As the quote said:
Staying real…. but not the risk – One of the adult learning principles is that adult learn better in solving real problem. And this is what happens in business simulation – You want your own company to be successful, and you thus need to stay on top of the asset and liabilities situation. So, you rush to prepare the balance sheet once the financial year is completed….. The above is a much more effective learning experience than just being told what a balance sheet is.
On the other hand, whilst the learning process is more real, the learners do not run the real risk e.g. bankruptcy, breaking up with the partners…
Leveraging the ‘competition gene’ – Winning appeals to most people. As there is competition in most business simulations, learners naturally have high energy – an essential element to make learning effective. Even though some learners may be less involved at the start, their energized team members will do the job in bringing them in.
One platform for all different kinds of learning – As mentioned in my previous post, a well-designed business simulation can be the platform for a wide variety of learnings. Take the simulation which I mentioned before, it can cover basic financial knowledge, budgeting, cashflow projection, valuation, negotiation, teamwork, influencing skills, etc.
So, business simulation seems to be a good learning tool. But everything (especially good thing) comes with cost. First, it takes substantial time to build (or money to buy) a well-designed simulation. By ‘well-designed’, I mean having a balance between being real and being simple enough to run within reasonable period of time. Second, running a simulation session tends to be heavy in logistics. You got to make available things like computer (for computer simulation) or board game stuff, ensure proper software functioning, arrange computer printout, etc.
Last but not the least, the quality of the facilitator….. and I will discuss it in my next post.