Some Business Acumen is Timeless

PriSim is in it’s 21st year of creating and conducting business simulation-based courses. A lot has changed over the years, but it’s interesting to note the consistency in learnings that come out of our exercises.

At the conclusion of all of our courses we ask competing teams to present a final debrief, or After-Action Review. They answer questions regarding intended Mission/Objectives/Goals vs. actual results, competition, strategies, tactics, successes, struggles, and most importantly – key learnings. At our final class of 2017 we heard presentations that were remarkably similar to our first courses from 1997: proving that some business acumen is indeed timeless. These include:

  1. It’s not easy: Leading/running a business is difficult (and scary at times)
  2. The team: choose wisely, staff appropriately, healthy conflict is good, look for passion, have fun (more than just a paycheck)
  3. Intended & unintended consequences: understand the local, near-term as well as global, long-term impacts of decisions, strive for alignment
  4. Management by the numbers: don’t hide from KPI’s, trust the gut only when it can be trusted, do the math, “hope” is not a strategy, finance is FUN!
  5. Change: is necessary to stay relevant, maintain flexibility & agility
  6. Positivity: “work” is more enjoyable when we’re having fun, when the bad/unexpected occurs – stay positive, adapt, adjust, and reformulate
  7. “In” vs. “On”: Short-term vs. long-term perspective is key, “management” vs. “leadership”, it doesn’t take a lot of time to get “on” the business so there are no excuses for failing to do so
  8. Focus: don’t be too broad (you have limited resources & time), have objectives with quantifiable goals, leaders need to define success, share your focus so others can help you accomplish your objectives
  9. Customer: it all starts with the customer, stay relevant, deliver products & services that address their actual needs – not what you think they want
  10. Insurance is AWESOME!: protect that profitable book, new business can be expensive (this was for an insurance audience – so it had to be included :))