Business Simulations as a Teaching Laboratory
“Edison’s Lab” by Elfboy is marked with CC BY 2.0. To view the terms, visit 
I like to think of a PriSim course as a business laboratory in which students learn by doing; but also, as a teaching laboratory in which instructors improve the learnings with small but valuable adjustments. One such small adjustment is integrating non-financial components, like company culture, into a business simulation.
For example, PriSim’s Brokerage Challenge business simulation includes an experienced hire bidding process. Originally, the only factor determining which team won the bidding for an experienced hire was a signing bonus. The team offering the highest signing bonus would get the experienced producer (i.e., salesperson). Bringing in this experienced producer, among other benefits, has the potential to improve client acquisition and retention. To make the experienced hire process more realistic, about a year ago, we included an assessment of company culture as an additional dimension to the process. The better the company culture, the easier it is to acquire an experienced producer. And just last month, while at one client’s location, a guest speaker discussed the importance of an Employer Value Proposition in acquiring/retaining talent. Included in the topic was a role-play that helped teams develop/highlight the most important aspects of their company’s value proposition. In real-time, we adjusted our experience hiring process to award the best experienced hire to the team with the best employer value proposition. This adjustment is now core to that client’s delivery.
Thinking of a class as a teaching laboratory shifts the instructor’s mindset to be on the lookout for valuable adjustments. These small adjustments alongside staying nimble and flexible have made our courses more engaging, realistic and helped us better drive the key learnings from our classes.