In this three part series, we explore the different facets of business simulations that can boost competencies in the Biopharma industry.
One key way in which business simulations can help Biopharma teams to achieve success is by helping individual team members develop successful marketing behaviors. Traditional learning methods can be useful to explain theoretical concepts in marketing, like market segmentation, brand positioning, or executing various aspects of brand communications.
But in marketing and business performance in general as in other action-oriented endeavors, individual practioners don't usually fail because they lack theoretical knowledge, they fail because they have not been able to successfully integrate the actual practice of these concepts into their repertoire of behaviors. In other words, they know what to do, they just can't do it. Or at least, not when it counts.
We see the gap between knowledge and actual behavioral proficiency in many walks of life. Take sports for example, crowds in stadiums are full of people who know which tennis stroke to play, which move to make in boxing, or how to dribble a soccer ball. But the ability to be able to execute these skills under pressure against top competition is held by few.
No one would suggest that an athlete, or musician, or other performer should try to read or study their way to the top. After understanding the principles of any action-oriented discipline, everyone knows it is all about putting in the practice hours in a realistic training environment in order to be successful.
The most valuable learning experience to build individuals' skills is to review and discuss key concepts behind the marketing skills they need to practice and then translate these into the behaviors into their performance, first in a simulation environment. In a realistic simulation, they can try on new behaviors, possibly failing at first and then being given the opportunity to review their performance and make changes. Marketing skills are learned the same way any skill is learned, through repeated cycles of trial, success or failure, review and then repeated attempts to model the model the new behavior. Of course, real life experience is always the best teacher, but simulation experience provides a rapid short-cut in low-risk in a low-risk environment that real life never offers.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Developing the Plan