Industry Insights

What is the key role of business simulations in management training?

Posted by Sam Zalcman on Dec 4, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Today, the notion of classical learning has been disrupted. Work patterns and structures are becoming increasingly complex and businesses must identify new opportunities to develop creative corporate training programs.

Across the range of solutions that exist today, it is not easy to find the right option and to provide employees with reliable and effective tools. Therefore, what direction should you take? Let’s discuss the possibilities.

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As companies become more international and have flexible, cross-functional teams with a permanent quest for efficiency, there is an increasing demand for impactful training solutions. E-learning solutions through webcasts or MOOCs have flourished – but while these options provide some distinct advantages, they may also present some significant challenges.

In reality, these new training models, empower the employee to direct their own training regime. But there is a distinct challenge for employees to successfully manage their own availability within a professional structure and internet-based courses require, beyond a mastery of new technologies, discipline to maintain focus over a period of time. Experience strongly suggests that a proper balance must be found between face-to-face training courses and e-learning.

The winning choice is the idea to combine these two approaches to learning in a single training system.

The training market must therefore go through a revolution and a plethora of solutions is born to accompany the growing influence of the web on everyday working habits.

Finding the right balance between flexibility and effectiveness is the key element of a successful training program. Let's go back to basics as the 70/20/10 model is applicable to all. In this context, a balanced solution must make the most of the experience, exchanges and professional contribution of the participants. Gamification may therefore prove to be the most effective solution by providing the opportunity to learn from experience and peer-exchanges alongside pedagogical content aligned with the strategic objectives of the company. In addition, this solution will use the components essential to any training program: stimulation and motivation.

It is clear that a training program based solely on Gamification, as enjoyable as it might be, may quickly show its limitations when it comes to performance and efficiency. A recent Gartner study supports this idea by revealing that real world implementation of Gamification in training fails to achieve the expected impact around 80% of the time. One simple reason explains this thesis: the use of a game is not an end in itself and is not a substitute for learning.

Training programs should ensure that they keep the company’s key objectives as the main focus to guide the experience. Introducing a fun aspect into the training program must only be used to strengthen the impact of learning and help participants understand and retain knowledge of complex concepts. Both the employee and the company must be able to see a tangible benefit.

To address these risks, companies are turning more and more towards advanced business simulations to facilitate real and lasting changes in behavior. Finding the perfect combination of learning and fun, these simulations are now the most powerful solution on the market. They can be aligned perfectly with the strategic focus of the business, and designed to reflect the dynamics of a specific industry and customer priorities.

As an accelerator of real learning, this solution enables infinite customization of scenarios while providing the opportunity to participate face-to-face or remotely, tapping into the 70% of learning from experience. This approach combines the right aspects of Gamification while respecting the professional environment to achieve a strong and sustainable impact.

What is Experiential Learning? 

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