When running a simulation as part of a business-acumen training class, time really is of the essence. Besides the three or four 2-hour decision-making rounds within the simulation there are also business concepts, including strategy and finance, that need to be adequately covered.
But holding a 10-day class so that all the content can be leisurely delivered is not realistic: the opportunity cost of 30-40 people pulled away from their jobs that long is far too high. And after a certain point the experience becomes simply a game instead of an experiential learning process.
At PriSim we have found that a carefully curated 2-day or 2.5-day agenda is typically adequate to accomplish the learning objectives of most business simulation courses. The pace will be fast, but it can be done without feeling rushed. Follow this link to view a sample 2-day agenda: https://www.prisim.com/resources/agenda/
Here are some tips and tricks to add rocket-fuel to your business simulation agenda:
- Balance the time spent making decisions in the simulation with time spent discussing business concepts. Making decisions without covering the underlying concepts will shortchange learning; too much discussion doesn’t allow for discovery and practice within the simulation.
- It takes time for the Instructors to manage and administrate the simulation (collecting decisions, processing, advancing to the next round, etc.). That time needs to be worked into the agenda during breaks for the participants, or in parallel with non-simulation activities.
- Avoid over-long days and homework assignments – 8-hours a day of class time is enough. There is value in non-structured time that allows participants to decompress and let the content sink in.
- Do what you can to keep the audience’s energy level high – and that begins with the Instructor!
- Avoid calling them lectures – they’re interactive two-way discussions, not one-way dumps of information.
- Tie the simulation results and business topics to the real world, not as just academic concepts.
- Invite guest speakers from the company to help bring the concepts to life.
- Include pen and paper exercises and board-games on finance or other topics as a tactile way to reinforce learning and to cement complex concepts.
- As soon as the simulation has catalyzed all the learning it can, end it! 15 competitive rounds are not needed for the participants to benefit – it just becomes a game at that point.
- Motivate attendees to be on time – or suffer a horrible punishment such as having to eat a “yucky” jelly bean in front of the class. Read more here: https://www.prisim.com/how-jelly-beans-can-change-the-world/
- If a team finishes their simulation decisions before others are done, have backup activities for them to complete instead of just taking a break.