Top Performance Consultancy use Simulations to Supercharge Customer Offerings

Case Study by Ken Thompson

Background to the Customer:

The Lane4 journey began on 19 September 1988, when British swimmer, Adrian Moorhouse lined up for the final of the 100 metres breaststroke at the Seoul Olympic Games. Having qualified in the fastest time, Adrian was in lane 4, traditionally set aside for the fastest heat winner, which gave him a small but potentially crucial advantage over his competitors. Adrian came home with the Gold medal. And although he didn't realise it at the time, with the perfect name for the business he would co-found just a few years later with leading performance psychologist Professor Graham Jones and business executive Adrian Hutchinson.  

Customer Needs

Lane4 is a Performance Management Company, whose expertise is in the field of human performance, helping individuals and teams achieve their fullest potential through three interlocking areas of business, psychology and elite sport. Lane4 specialise in Change Management, Leadership Development and Team Development and needed a set of simulation tools with the following characteristics:

• Domain Support – strong support for Lane4’s domains of operation such as change management

• Team-based – played in teams to strengthen team development/collaboration in customers and allow inter team competition

• 2-Level Customisation - support for both Light (cosmetic) and Deep (Business Rules) customisation

• Informal Learning – supports the informal learning model where conversations between team members, subject matter experts and facilitators drive the learning

The Solution

Lane 4 chose 2 specific solutions from Dashboard’s comprehensive portfolio – COHORT, CREW and COMPETE.

COHORT is a Change Management Simulation where teams must win the support of ten senior executives for a major 9-month in-company change programme all in the space of a day. Lane4 have used COHORT with major customers in Engineering, Telecoms, Banking, Retail and Healthcare.

CREW is a Team Leadership Simulation where the objective is to lead a departmental team over a period of 4 weeks all in half a day. To succeed they must allocate the right staff to the right work and also team with the on-going staff and team issues. Lane4 have used COHORT with major customers in Engineering, Banking and Retail.

  Participant Feedback Below are some direct quotes from Lane4 consultants who facilitate the simulations with their customers:

• I like the fact the simulations don’t take over – they leave me the facilitator in control so that I can decide what happens next – not the simulation……

• The “off-simulation” briefing materials are very realistic and ensure that teams are not just sitting looking at a computer screen all the time……

• The mix of team collaboration and team competition is very engaging - participants love it and learn great insights almost with realising it…….

• Customising a game is a great way to collaborate with your senior customers and usually ends up them feeling huge ownership of game and looking for other ways to deploy it - which is great for Lane4……

• The games are credible to the players because they produce detailed results with scorecards and profit and loss reports which make sense and allow the cause and effects to be highlighted……..

• The simulations are “facilitator friendly” with full manuals, briefing notes, FAQs and agendas which mean I can concentrate on the customers and the learning instead of worrying about how the simulations work….

Overall Conclusions and Value

We asked Dr. Austin Swain, Client Services Director, Lane4 Management Group for his overall assessment of the value of these simulations to Lane4

“Using these unique business simulations we have been able to develop a whole range of new services for our clients in key areas such as business acumen, strategic thinking, team and leadership development. After every simulation session the participants are always delighted with their new insights and the manner in which they have gained them – fun, fast, social, compelling, collaborative and highly competitive!” 

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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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