Is the Magic of Business Simulations… Group Learning?


Every business simulation developed for our clients is designed with a set of learning objectives andgroup-learning-business-simulation outcomes in mind. For the most part, these objectives revolve around helping learners to better understand business acumen topics such as developing and executing business strategies, reading and applying financial statements, enhancing problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, and understanding cross-functional decision-making.

But should improved business acumen skills really be the objective of a simulation? It’s kind of crazy to think about, but should the outcome of a simulation-centric learning journey be something different? Could the true magic of business simulations be a learning environment that helps participants focus on how to be more collaborative and better team members when dealing with individuals with diverse backgrounds and personal goals?

For this blog post, let’s think about the value of a simulation as a tool that has the following critical components as the focus of learning.

  1. Peer and Team Discussions: At the heart of every business simulation lies the invaluable opportunity for peer and team discussions. Participants engage in conversations that highlight diverse viewpoints. These dialogues help participants to better communicate their ideas as well as share insights based on their previous work experiences.
  2. Getting to Consensus: In business, the ability to reach a consensus is critical. The structure of a business simulation encourages participants to collaborate, negotiate, and arrive at shared and aligned decisions. This consensus through group learning mirrors the challenges faced back on the job and helps the participants develop skills needed to build buy-on and deal with perspectives that may be in direct conflict with their own.
  3. Building Trust: The friendships forged within a simulation team are often an undiscussed output of an Advantexe simulation. Due to the complexity of running a business, a simulation offers a unique platform for learners to meet new people and learn how to build trust.
  4. Connecting Business Functions: A successful business thrives on the integration of its various functional units. Business simulations expose learners to areas of the business that they do not know about. They are able to quickly see a department’s tension points and build a deeper appreciation for roles and responsibilities.
  5. Learning in a Psychologically Safe Work Environment: Business simulations create a psychologically safe environment where participants can experiment, fail, and learn from mistakes without real-world consequences. Because learners often do not know each other in a training session, the anonymity of the learning allows participants to take risks without fear of judgment.

    While building actual business acumen skills remains a critical output of simulations, appreciating the significance of collaborative group learning is also a vital part of the magic of the simulation experience. The simulation is centered around group dynamics and helps to foster trust, open participants to new ideas, expose learners to diverse and new viewpoints, help to build confidence, and create a safe, risk-free learning environment.

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Jim Brodo

About The Author

Jim is an award winning marketing executive with a proven background in driving pipeline value and revenue creation