We design and facilitate games that simulate the challenges of the business world, where players decide to compete or cooperate for payoffs, according to an agreed set of rules. The games are intended to enhance the participant’s decision-making skills, especially under conditions defined by limited time and information. They vary in focus, from how to undertake a corporate takeover to how to expand a company’s share of the market.
Unlike in the real world, managers are free to experiment with policies and strategies, without fear of jeopardising the company. This process includes the kind of reflection and inquiry for which there is no time in the hectic everyday world, therefore managers learn about the long-term, systemic consequences of their actions. Such "virtual worlds" are particularly important in team learning. Managers can learn to think systemically, if they can uncover the subtle interactions that thwart their efforts.
When running these types of simulation games, we:
- Offer theoretical instruction: The facilitator goes through certain relevant aspects of a theory and participants can intervene with questions and comments.
- Introduce the game: the participants are told how to play the game and do a couple of test rounds with the facilitator
- Give participants the opportunity to practice their knowledge and skills during the game, by changing different parameters and reflecting on the possible consequences of these changes. There is permanent contact with the participants and a positive, competitive and humorous environment throughout the game.
- Conduct group discussions: Each group is given the opportunity to present and compare their results from the game with the results of others groups. The facilitator continuously looks for new ways of enriching the discussions, and helps the participants to find the connection between the game results and the problems in the real world. This group discussion plays a relevant role, as it will affect the participants’ transfer of knowledge and skills into the real world.