How could a game tackle a topic as serious and complex as business finance?
You already know that requiring financial training for your employees can feel like pulling teeth.
Financial lectures are “boring,” the subject matter is overwhelming, and employees in non-financial fields usually believe they can’t possibly master the topic.
Most employees don’t understand how financial literacy could apply to their role in an organization. Finance is perceived as a mysterious department on the other side of the building where a few nerds hide out with their calculators and generate frustrating budgets and regulations for everyone else. Surely finance isn’t for everyone, right?
Income|Outcome is shattering all of these misconceptions with a revolutionary approach to financial training: a hands-on business simulation experience in the form of a board game.
Sound silly? Think again. This is not a glorified version of Monopoly.
To date, over 100,000 individuals have experienced the Income|Outcome program worldwide, and the resources are available in 12 languages.
Clients include Fortune 500 companies like Michelin and Hewlett-Packard, as well as top business schools like Texas A&M, Cornell, Vanderbilt, and Duke, that offer highly regarded Executive MBA programs.
Here are the answers to three FAQs that help illuminate why the Income|Outcome program is so revolutionary.
1) What sets this apart from other financial training programs?
First of all, let’s talk about what the simulation isn’t.
It’s not a boring lecture — participants may have had a finance class or two at university, but upon arrival to an Income|Outcome workshop they immediately notice that there isn’t a Powerpoint presentation or Excel workbook in sight.
This is also not a throwaway exercise or a gimmick that thinly veils the same kind of training they’ve suffered through before. It’s a radically different experience altogether.
“The doer alone learneth” — Nietzsche (Click to Tweet)
Income|Outcome is a low-tech, high-touch experience that has participants doing within the first few minutes. There is no element of chance, no dice, no cards, so every movement and result in the game is contingent on the actions of the teams. Teams are in control of their fate.
Almost immediately, participants begin to connect the dots and see how the skills they’re learning within the game can apply to their work. Not only is financial acumen a valuable tool for an employee to use, but financial prowess also makes the employee more valuable to the organization.
2) So why is it so effective?
Initiating change is a challenge. Even if your employees are willing to learn something new, they’re busy with their own jobs and lives so it’s hard to keep their attention during educational seminars, and even then, retention rates for new information are low.
We believe that a little bit of suffering can facilitate change. You can probably relate to this in your personal life — which “life lessons” have stayed with you the longest? Usually the ones that resulted from some kind of threat, strain, or adversity.
Think about the last time you started a new job. There were some moments of stress and suffering, right?
You probably felt off-balance for the first week or two because you had to navigate the unfamiliar interpersonal dynamics of your workplace, learn the company lingo to communicate with your coworkers, get a feel for the way the organization relates to clients, and many other challenges.
Because of the struggles they face in a new job, people have to learn rapidly, adapting to the new environment and quickly absorbing as much information as they can. Employees are intrinsically motivated because they want to perform well and establish a good reputation.
Income|Outcome takes advantage of this psychological insight by fostering a controlled environment for individuals to experience the challenges of business management in an engaging, immersive way in order to learn from the struggles they face.
3) When a team fails in the game, is it still worthwhile?
Within Income|Outcome, there is massive potential to completely fail, but the simulation provides a safe place to crash. Huge failures in this context offer massive learning potential, and if you “lose your shirt,” thank goodness it’s not a real shirt!
Much like a flight simulator for pilots, Income|Outcome creates an experiential learning environment where teams can make huge mistakes and learn from them, without suffering the high-stakes consequences of reality.
Participants tell us all the time that this is the best financial training they’ve ever had, and that every organization needs this tool. We believe this immersive approach to holistic business and financial acumen training can improve your organization in countless ways.
This tool de-mystifies the principles of finance, and language-enables participants to hold their own in high-level business conversations.
Whether you want to teach basic financial literacy to low-level managers, or equip your senior sales team to go global, Income|Outcome will revolutionize your company’s approach to finance.
To learn how Income|Outcome can develop real-world business acumen throughout your entire organization, contact our team today.
This post was written based on a conversation with Nikolai Usack, VP of Sales for Andromeda Training, Inc (the makers of Income|Outcome).
Nikolai is a master trainer for Income|Outcome and has trained managers at leading companies including Abbott Labs, McCormick, MeadWestvaco, and Hewlett Packard.
In past years, Nikolai held the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification while managing a Change Management Program at BearingPoint. He has also served the American Red Cross as an Oracle Trainer and Business Analyst.