Industry Insights

Preparing Future Leaders With Business Simulations

Posted by StratX on Sep 29, 2015 6:00:00 AM

It is now established that the acquisition of new skills by senior management operates largely through the practice of their profession. 70/20/10, The famous model, estimates that 70% of learning is bound to real experience, while the influence of employees and formal training represent only 20% and 10% skill transfer.

In many sensitive situations that may face senior executives, learning "on the job" is, for now, a substantial cost in terms of efficiency and sometimes a risk to the sustainability of an activity. In order to integrate this practical dimension of learning, new training offerings, based on so-called experiential learning methods are emerging. What are they and do they really differ from traditional training methods?


Use the right type of simulation

To learn from the 70/20/10 model while avoiding the risks of learning through practical work, training offers traditionally integrate a portion dedicated to a simulation. A situation is presented to the learner: he is asked to respond in a way that seems most appropriate and then he is given corrections or guidance depending on his answer.  Besides being ideal and often disconnected from real situations encountered, these simulations do not take into account the pace or pressure of real work scenarios. This exercise often reduces to a formal inquiry whose teachings are proving difficult to transpose into daily managerial activity.

Immersive and realistic training

Experiential learning is a strategy that is based on immersive methods. But it has a strong impact and generates positive results in both the short and long term for an employee's learning experience as much as for the company, it must be based on realistic business simulations which incorporate both interactive and collaborative applications. Designed to overcome the recurring deficiencies of traditional training, these simulations mimic the rhythm of normal work of managers and put them in situations drawn from real activity sometimes encountered daily, adding new and unforeseen parameters.

These methods based on advanced technologies allow to take into account many variables in real time. As a result, they give managers the opportunity to make mistakes, and thus learn, in a context similar in all respects to the one they know, provided the content of the "business simulation" is rich and that it is not akin to a "business game".

The effectiveness of these methods is largely in their ability to take into account the emotional dimension that includes the learning experience. Because experiments are meaningful only when they leave a strong memory, the design of the training methods should seek the commitment of the future leader. The experiential learning put on two key drivers to stimulate this emotional involvement: collaboration and playful dimension simulations.

Collaboration and gamification: a winning combination 

The collaborative aspect of training allows expertise-sharing within teams, the development of synergies in the manner of team-building, but even more, it leads managers to engage through a healthy and collective emulation. Learners will more effectively retain the lessons learned and apply these lessons as though they had been exchanging with real-life collaborators. The commitment and exchanges between managers are significantly stronger when the simulation is fun due to its scripting, the immediacy of the interaction or the quantification of results.

Gamification is a trend whose methods are still little exploited through training seminars, in particular those for executives. Yet the benefits of this type of method are widely documented: quicker skill acquisition, developed expertise sustainability and a better perception of training methods in general.

Innovative learning methods are solicited, but the challenge of business simulations first is the wealth of content that form the base material of the training session. It is primarily through the creation of media-rich and engaging lessons that these new methods transform the strong experiences training at times lasting impact.

Quick and effective results 

Experiential learning, combining the benefits of gamification and collaboration to those strictly realistic simulations to rich content, provides executives with an operation for transposition of the teachings to concrete situations. This saves time for the leader, who can acquire in a few days the experience of several years, resulting in a sustainable efficiency across the enterprise gain. The conjunction of innovation achieved through the experiential learning via gamification and represents an unprecedented opportunity to improve the impact of training and to fully integrate the teachings of the 70/20/10 model. The impact on the results, corresponding to the goals set in advance, are convincing and proven.

What is Experiential Learning? 


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