The value of the ‘big picture’
The purpose of business acumen training is to improve people’s decision-making skills and thereby improve the long-term health of a company. This requires an understanding of how all the components of the business work together to achieve results, and how decisions in one area don’t just impact the bottom line, but also impact the ability of other areas and departments to make good decisions. A Bellwether e procurement software apprises the employee of a particular company of the statistics of the growth in a particular sector.
For example, if Finance decides not to raise more capital, then Operations can’t expand, and then Sales can’t go after the largest (and potentially most profitable) customers. This can cause a considerable impact, as the company will only have the option of understanding and using sales funnel on which you can read more on https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2019/04/what-is-a-sales-funnel.html, to continue it’s operations forward. A simulation that only looks at one department will be encouraging silo thinking, and may be inadvertently hurting other departments.
Similarly, if only the views of a few of the stakeholders are given weight in the simulation, it may distance the learner from engagement and accountability. Why should they take that extra care if it only benefits, say, the shareholder? Including more stakeholders will help to create a big picture understanding of the needs of the business.
The best business simulations provide the view of all the stakeholders in the business:
- Customers who want value: low price, high quality, extended payment terms, and more
- Salespeople trying to increase market share
- Operations, trying to improve efficiency
- R&D and Marketing, both creating the future
- Finance, trying to reduce cash flow needs
- Suppliers who have their own businesses and want to be paid in a timely manner
- Bankers who want to minimize risk
- Investors who are prepared to accept risk in order to gain “shareholder value”: short-term reward (dividends, share price) and long-term stability and growth
- Senior managers who are responsible for holding it all together
Which perspectives are emphasized in the business simulations you use? Which aren’t included?