Accelerating High Performing Team Skills through Business Simulation

Case Study by Ken Thompson

We just debriefed an exciting 8-week intensive programme with a group of new and experienced managers in a global Technology/Services company.

The programme was based around the very popular CHAPTER High Performing Teams Business Simulation which allows learners to experience the ‘ups and downs’ of building and leading high-performing teams.

CHAPTER is quite unique in that it addresses both the Change Management and Process Improvement aspects of creating great teams.

Change Management Simulation Scnreenshot

Usually this Business Simulation is played in 3 or 4 teams (5-7 delegates per team) over an intensive half-day or full day session, under the guidance of an experienced facilitator. However in this programme, due to the global nature of the organization, it was simply not possible to bring the different individuals together all at the same time either physically or even virtually for 4 hours. 

What was needed was for the participants to be able to engage with the Simulation for 8 hours not as teams but as individuals, going at their own pace over an 8-week period and without the need for any facilitation. To achieve this we deployed our SOLO Simulation option which allows Simulations to be played individually, self-directed and without a facilitation over extended periods. 

To make this effective SOLO replaces the human facilitator with 3 key Simulation elements:

  1. An Online Guide – which guides you step by step through what to do next
  2. An Online Workbook – which allows the learners to record and journal their experiences and insights
  3. An Online Facilitator – a context-sensitive e-facilitator which helpfully points out to participants where their decisions could be improved

So how did the participants rate the Business Simulation?

As summarized in the figure below the participants scored the Simulation itself, its usability and its functionality very positively.

Business Simulation Ratings

What about the overall learning experience?

As summarized in the figure below, participants were positive about the whole learning experience - particularly about the effectiveness of learning through gamification and the return on own their time invested in the programme.

Overall Simulation Experience

General Delegate Comments on the programme

At the end of the programme, delegates were asked what they found most valuable about their 8-week Simulation-based learning experience - here are some of the main things they said:

  • Working out each intervention with the team members and the team overall was brilliant and reminded me of taking incremental steps to change management.
  • Feedback being given directly after doing the Simulation via a Report was very helpful.
  • The 2 tools included in the Simulation provide a great way to look at a team, analyse it and initiate the change process and team processes.
  • The training material on team processes and creating effective teams was excellent. 
  • Seeing the immediate visibility of your actions in the Simulation was very helpful.
  • Sometimes I push people to move too quickly - the simulation has helped me reflect and be more self-aware about bringing people along with me.
  • The ability to focus on people and process without the distraction of other things helped my understanding of the whole team engagement aspect

Business Sponsor Feedback

We will leave the final word with the project sponsor:

“This was a good investment and an excellent use of busy manager time. We were delighted with the feedback as business simulations are a relatively new area for us. It is difficult to overstate the difference between completing a simulation like this and typical e-learning programmes in terms of both learner engagement levels and learning value. There simply is no comparison! We are currently looking to see where else we can use these simulations within the group”.

For further information on our High Performing Teams Simulation CHAPTER please visit our product page: High Performing Teams Simulation

To find out more about our SOLO Learning option take a moment to read this post: SOLO range of Self-Organised Management Development Simulations launched

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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.

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