4 Business Simulations for powerful experiential learning about Innovation

Article by Ken Thompson, last updated February 2021

We have 4 Business Simulations specifically designed to provide powerful team-based experiential learning on different aspects of Innovation. To help you position these simulations for your specific innovation interests let's first introduce a simple generic framework for Innovation which we call IDEAS.







We represent the IDEAS model visually as above to make 2 important distinctions: 

  1. Ideation (or Invention), Design (or Development) and Adoption (aka Innovation Diffusion) are the main operational elements of innovation. These three "blue" elements need to be intimately linked in an on-going iterative cycle of collaborating, experimenting, reviewing, testing and refining.
  2. Environment (Leadership and Culture) and Structures/Systems (Governance, Processes and Tools) are the key management elements of innovation.The purpose of these two "green" elements is to create the conditions where the operational elements of innovation can be effective.


Simulation 1: SPREAD for Agile Innovation,  Model Mapping: IDEAS

SPREAD allows you to simulate any kind of project which requires you to a) build something and/or or b) get a community to adopt something or both of these. We have number of Off-the-Shelf Innovation SPREADs which allow you to simulate the development/launch of different types of products and services.

Simulation 2: SPREAD for Innovation Environment/Culture, Model Mapping: IDEAS

We can also use SPREAD for Innovation Leadership where the project goal is to create a culture of innovation within the organization. In managing the SPREAD project you need to plan, select activities, manage risk, create community leadership, develop organizational readiness, develop artifacts, manage budgets, react to the unexpected and move the community up through different stages of adoption.

Simulation 3: DILEMMA for Innovation Management, Model Mapping: IDEAS

DILEMMA is a configurable business strategy simulation which can represent 6 commercial enterprises (B2C or B2B) competing for market share through their commercial acumen, strategy, execution, product marketing and market development. It runs for 4 rounds (a round can be a month or a quarter). Each round is a developing story about the market, the products and different innovation challenges resulting in 4 challenging management decisions covering different aspects of innovation leadership. Results are measured commercially and also in terms of Organizational Health and Organizational Reputation.

Simulation 4: COHORT for Innovation Leadership, Model Mapping: IDEAS

COHORT is a configurable change leadership simulation where you try to win the support of 10 important stakeholders in an organization for a major change programme you are leading. In this example the major change is “Creating a culture of innovation”. Each stakeholder has a different level of power, influence, reputation, relationship and attitude to the proposed change. You make different direct and indirect interventions with each of the stakeholders to try and win their support. As you meet with the stakeholders they also give you feedback on your plan for introducing the change which you must also address in the simulation

Let's Connect

And a member of our Team will be in touch


We have 150+ articles on a wide range of Business Leadership Topics
Explore articles

Spread Simulation

Want to know more about SPREAD?

More about Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Ken is a practitioner, author and speaker on Leadership, Collaborative Working, High Performing Teams, Change Management, Project Management and Business Acumen. His work has featured in major publications including The Guardian , Wired Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Henry Ford Magazine. Ken has also spoken at many international events including TEDx, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Learn Tech (London) and NASA.

Ken is Founder of Business Simulations Ltd.

Contact Ken

Want to know more about this topic?

As well as starting the conversation we will send you a FREE Executive Summary of our Book:

A Systematic Guide to Game Based Learning in Organizations


We transform Leadership Development using Business Simulations, guided by three principles:

Goals, Roles & Souls

Why Choose Business Simulations?

We champion Business Simulations as an effective and engaging form of Leadership Development. 'Learn by doing' hones skills in a safe and controlled environment.

Learn more

Let's Talk Business Simulations

We would love to tell you more about what we can do for your Business.
Feel free to give us a call on +44 2896 237253

Close App
Request a Consultation