The StratX ExL experiential learning approach provides a powerful yet risk-free environment that places leaders of Fortune 500 companies in front of real-life business challenges. The aim is to test-drive key skills to lead diverse teams, execute best practices and collaborate to win.

Here, we explore our experiential learning program backbone – business simulations, and how you can use them as a transformative solution to prepare your leaders today and for the future.

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What is a business simulation?

A business simulation is a highly immersive, web-based challenge that puts participants on realistic business scenarios that reflect today’s competitive world.

The challenge can be adapted to run a highly intense 3-day program or stretched over a more comprehensive 2-week experiential learning journey, depending on your business objectives and needs.

We use this digital learning solution alongside other blended learning tools, exercises and challenges to create an impactful learning experience for teams and equip leaders with key relevant skills of today and tomorrow.

Albert Einstein

"Learning is experience.
Everything else is just information."

- Albert Einstein

What are the benefits of business simulations?

By using business simulations in your learning programs, participants can develop both their soft and hard skills while helping accelerate growth of the organization as a whole. There are many other benefits including:

1. A safe space to practice new, agile ways of working

Simulations run over the span of multiple business years. Each round (business year) allows participants to analyze the effectiveness of their previous decisions and adjust their strategy accordingly. Combined with the risk-free environment, business simulations give participants the confidence to take risks, stretch themselves and practice transformative moves and agile ways of working.

2. Builds trust, collaboration and alignment  

Participants will need to successfully collaborate with their teammates to lead their fictitious company through a variety of challenges while driving long-term profitable and transformative growth. They will be exposed to different areas in the organization while working in cross-functional and diverse teams that encourage conversation and peer-to-peer learning.

3. Learning by doing  

Business simulations allow your leaders and teams to experience the consequences and see the outcomes first-hand. Our Experience-Learn-Apply methodology is based on the highly acknowledged 70:20:20 model, in which it is said that successful leaders gain 70% of their learnings from on-the-job experiences. It is not hard to see why this approach to learning is effective and is becoming so popular!

4. Equips leaders of the future 

Skills such as emotional intelligence, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking will be essential for the leaders to navigate their teams through the challenges of the future. These skills are learned over time through experience and reflection. When business simulations are used alongside assessments such as 360-feedback and peer learning, participants learn these vital skills, build flexes and empower them and their teams in making decisions.

5. An engaging and collaborative experience

Arguably one of the most powerful benefits, the competitive nature of business simulations helps to build an emotionally charged and highly collaborative environment which leads to lasting on-the-job change and business impact.

Gamification has been one of the top trends of 2021 and we believe that it will continue to blend with other learning technologies years forward.

What key skills do business simulations help develop?

Business simulations are suited to address several key management leadership skills. StratX ExL experiential learning programs focus on the following:

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By managing a simulated company in a tough VUCA environment, our programs boost core strategic, marketing, and operational competencies. The team challenge also serves as the perfect environment to test and improve on key leadership competencies such as unconditional collaboration, creativity and inclusive leadership.

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Participants are equipped with both the tools and confidence to lead innovation in their entities and gives them a risk-free platform to practice developing and bringing innovations to market.

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Executives and managers are tested to make sound fact-based business decisions under extreme time pressure. This requires excellence in building, and ultimately in implementing a customer-centric strategy with a specific budget and clear objectives.

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Participants are challenged to build and shape new customer offerings to boost value and compete in the marketplace.

Experiential Learning for Impact User's Guide 


Business Simulations at StratX ExL

Our experiential learning initiatives use a wide range of modalities and tools to create a meaningful learning environment. Explore our suite of business simulations below, created and developed by our in-house experts, and see why our business simulations get participants talking about our programs for years to come.

CentrX B2B For Future-Proof Leaders & High-Performing Teams

Centrx B2B is a highly engaging learning solution for leading B2B firms. Our initiatives meet a wide range of B2B business needs such as mastering commercial and marketing excellence, enhancing business acumen and customer-centricity to developing the leaders of today and tomorrow. Discover how we helped transform a leadership program using CentrX B2B.

Centrx b2b

CentrX BioPharma Towards Holistic Patient Experience

A biotechnology and pharmaceuticals learning solution focusing on the six critical areas of development in the industry; leadership, commercial strategies, multi-stakeholder value, holistic patient experience, engagement in a digital world, and the startup mentality. See our BioPharma case studies.

Centrx pharma

BOSS for Customer-Driven Innovation

The BOSS simulation designed in collaboration with the authors of the book Blue Ocean Strategy enables participants to experience Blue Ocean Strategy methodologies and helps organizations to create a culture of customer-driven innovation. See our Casebook.

StratX Partner Simulations To Boost Business Performance

We also work with our long-term partner, StratX Simulations, to provide the Markstrat, BrandPRO, MixPRO, Digital MediaPRO and the BOSS simulations within our management development programs.



Experiential Business Simulations Online Demo 

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What our clients say about StratX ExL Simulations

“It was a very exciting task where both soft skill and technical skills were required (…) it was different to regular training and I thank the organizing team for arranging such an interactive session.”

Leadership & Business Management Program, Remote, 2020

“The simulation was great! It wasn’t easy because we had different backgrounds, but it allowed us to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the group to reach the objective.”

Leadership & Business Management Program, Remote, 2020

“Not only lots of take-aways for business learning, but also a great reflection on my leadership style and tendencies.”

Leadership & Business Management Program, Remote, 2020



Measuring impact with business simulations

For any learning and development program to be a worthwhile investment, it needs to lead to tangible benefits to the organization. At StratX ExL, we use a variety of globally recognized methods of evaluating the impact of our corporate programs including the gold standard in program evaluation—the New World Kirkpatrick model.

The Kirkpatrick approach focuses on four distinct levels of program : Evaluation-Reaction, Learning, Behavior and Results, which is introduced to the employees prior to the beginning of the program, so the process of reflection is pre-empted. We supplement the Kirkpatrick methodology with additional tools such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Formetris, TypeForm & Survey Monkey.

To find out more on how we measure learning impact, download our Experiential Learning for Impact: A User’s Guide

Experiential Learning User's Guide

Business Simulation FAQs

What is the typical duration of a business simulation experience?

The experience can be three to four hours for simple simulations to a 10-12 hour experience for more strategic and immersive business simulations. We even have simulations used in international MBA programs over an entire semester! The power of simulations is that they compress time, so you can experience years of simulated activities in a few hours. This is an effective way to see the consequences over time of participants' decision-making, and it helps to develop a big picture, strategic perspective.

What competencies are best developed via business simulations?

Simulations address and develop business skills like strategic thinking, finance acumen, innovation and other industry-specific hard skills.

When experienced in teams, they also provide a perfect environment to practice soft skills like how to build high performance and agile teams, how to lead in a VUCA world. They provide a unique and safe way to experience the link between teamwork and business performance.

Can you customize simulations to fit the needs of the organization?

StratX ExL creates customized experiential learning programs matched to the clients’ needs. We can customize the simulation experience, as well as the other pieces around it, such as teamwork, learning sessions and application tools.

We also find that starting with an industry that is different from the client’s business, that is neutral, can help set up a more powerful learning experience.

Can business simulations be used for remote learning?

Absolutely. While we do recommend that learning programs benefit from a blended approach, when face-to-face is not feasible, business simulations and experiential learning provide a highly impactful learning method for driving engagement in what can otherwise be a challenging learning environment.
At StratX ExL we’ve helped a number of Fortune 500 companies transition large-scale face-to-face programs to blended or 100% virtual with great success.

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