Behind the scenes at Income/Outcome
I read an adage in an airline magazine some years ago. I kept it in my head because it works perfectly for explaining why you can’t ‘sell’ experiential learning by asking people to read about it – they need to experience it.
I have been teaching Income/Outcome workshops since 1997. Even when I didn’t work full-time for Andromeda Training, makers of Income/Outcome business simulations, I always found a way to deliver a few programs a year in my free time. Why? Because it’s a blast to teach, because I have never had a class that wasn’t filled with energy and laughter, where people weren’t fully engaged with one of the most important topics around.
Delivering an Income/Outcome program was always a pick-me-up: happy clients, happy bosses, lots of learning, getting paid, and good times all around.
Well, almost all around.
Part of the job has always been the tricky art of “selling” Income/Outcome. Turns out I have to sell it before I can teach it 🙁
“Selling” our business simulations requires finding a way to describe the power of experiential learning to a training department, a CFO or a consultant. Usually the problem isn’t us trying to convince the training department that this is a great solution; rather, it’s often the training department trying to convince their decision-makers that this is a great solution.
It seems that “you can’t get full by reading the menu” is in full-effect here. That is, if you haven’t had the experience of experiential learning, you aren’t going to get there by reading about it (or talking about it, …or watching YouTube videos about it.)
You have to taste it to believe it
The airline magazine provided a simple phrasing to the solution to the problem. “You want to know if it’s good? Then you got to taste the cooking!”
We took it to heart. We designed a 2-hour demo of the simulation to run for small audiences: the reviewers and decision makers. We made it competitive. We made it teach some things. We made it demonstrate all that Income/Outcome can do, from one-off sessions to everyone-in-the-company adoptions. And, we made it fun!
Experience tells me that training departments often win the budget to bring us in if they secure the attendance of the decision-maker, a sample of the audience to be trained, and a finance person (to sit in to validate the model). Add to the demo our client list, the testimonials, the multiple-level approach, the ability to represent the company’s actual financials on the game board for discussion, and decision makers across many functions get excited. Then the training department gets to break paradigms and install a program that has consistent top marks and can deliver any financial or business acumen learning objective you throw at it.
Thank you Midwest Express. And rest in peace.