This is one of my posts in a series telling about ways a business acumen simulation can go wrong. Near the top of the list is training that involves individuals being isolated — and here’s why.
A team-based simulation is interactive; it creates a dialogue as participants with different job functions express their views of what the simulated business needs. This is an opportunity for each person to absorb the different points of view generated by the game.
To maximize this interaction, the game should look at real-world roles, and require the team to move through the roles when making decisions: the team acts as the sales person, the team acts as the finance person, and so on. In addition to learning the rules of business and the language of finance, the participants will enhance their understanding of the various job functions, increase their communication skills and learn to better perform as a team.
Using a simulation in isolation, or using a simulation that does not cycle through team roles, will lose all the benefits of co-teaching and cross-functionality, and it can reinforce silo thinking.
Questions to ask:
- How frequent are the dialogues?
- Is the dialogue driven by the need to make a decision?
- How many roles are represented?
- Who makes the decisions – individuals or the team? (Or the facilitator?)