Business games 1 of 4: Why and when of gaming


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Guido Cohlst
Posted by Guido Cohlst on Oct 13, 2012

Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Management

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“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I am doing and I understand”, Confucius once said. In business game simulations, focus lies on the latter aspect, understanding by doing. As a participant, business game simulations are the best training method to get the most out of yourself. And as a company, you get the most out of your investment in training! Experiencing common organizational issues and problems with each other offers the ideal opportunity to start a conversation (or discussion) about it. By listening to each other’s insights and ideas, the different interests people have are shown immediately. This overview and insights offer a starting point for reaching a certain shared (organizational) goal.

Business game simulations offer, in our opinion, a great help to create awareness, to actively involve employees in organizational changes, to map different interests (and to get understanding for it) and to create a joint starting point which creates energy on the office floor! In a short matter of time you will accomplish more than you would normally would in a longer period of time having meetings, convincing others and writing memos. 

Participants experience realistic situations/problems based on their own practice, but are freed from daily hectic and routine in the fictive environment the business game offers. We therefore try to create a save learning environment, in which participants can experiment unlimitedly with new ideas and solutions. In our experience this ‘freedom’ leads to a lot of new and positive insights and that the drive and energy displayed in the game will be taken back to the office. 

By working with short learning cycles (Figure 1: Learning Cycle Business Games) in the business game simulations, the biggest effect is established, since the effects of proposed solutions are literally visible at once and positive results are celebrated immediately. Evaluating directly after work has been done and linking relevant theory, is a good basis for making plans on how the ‘problem’ can be solved in the best possible way.

Participants will feel actively involved and being heard, they get a better sense of the need for change and will see opportunities to realize changes. Business game simulations suffice these three factors!

In the following Blogs the next subjects will be addressed:

  • Gaming and Business Process Management
  • Demonstrating Enterprise Architecture in a game
  • Conclusions and Best Practices

Follow the steps in this blog series to discover why and how Business games could suit your organization. If you would like to know more, please leave a comment.

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