Business simulations bring complex ideas to life. Simulations enable adult learning because they engage learners in using and applying new ideas and enable them to see the impact of their decisions on organizational performance and business results. Many simulation-based leadership development programs, however, can take days of learner time.
Leadership Express simulations deliver the value and interactive learning of a simulation experience in a short window of time.
Leadership Express simulations focus on the dynamics of specific situations or scenarios. They highlight a narrow set of learning objectives and can be used in a plethora of ways: to introduce a corporate change, train on a key skill, or trigger team discussion of a particular cultural norm or dynamic. Because they are short form (two to four hours), Leadership Express simulations can be run in conjunction with other meetings or gatherings and enable organizations to embed learning into the business cadence.
Insight Experience has designed Leadership Express simulations for numerous clients and learning objectives. Here are the top three questions about these unique learning experiences and their effectiveness.
How do simulations teach leaders new skills?
Simulations can provide visual information and illustrate interpersonal dynamics that are difficult to capture in real life. A business simulation can highlight the impact of individual actions on such intangible metrics as team skill level, trust, and morale. Bringing these metrics to life reinforces a leader’s understanding of how her actions and communication impact team performance and business results. A simulation can also highlight the degree of collaboration and relationship between functions so that leaders can reflect on how to amalgamate more effectively.
How are these Leadership Express simulations different from traditional ones?
Leadership Express simulations mirror challenging situations in real life, including embedded complexity and ambiguity. They can capture archetypes of stakeholders and present a company’s unique cultural dynamics or strategic mindset. Participants must make decisions about what to do, say, or ask others to do—the kinds of actions and choices that leaders must make back on the job.
These simulations are designed to set the stage and then explore: What would you do? Designing scenarios with only plausible decision options makes the choices more challenging. The multiple “good” answers in a scenario trigger group debate and discussion, which leads participants to reflect on their own approaches to challenging situations.
What are some other benefits to these short simulations?
Flexibility: These simulation modules are more flexible in delivery structure than a multiday program. They can be conducted during a business meeting or a leadership offsite; they can be run virtually to create a shared experience for distributed teams; and they can be facilitated by an organization’s leaders or by a trained facilitator.
Culture & Communication: Leadership Express simulations are also an engaging and salient way to introduce or reinforce new ideas to a large organization. A simulation-based learning experience is particularly effective for delivery of a consistent message across geographies: It provides a consistent foundation for leadership discussions. Insight Experience has used Leadership Express simulations to introduce new leadership behaviors, build allyship across newly merged companies, and reinvigorate a commitment to cultural norms across geographic boundaries for a global client.
If you are interested in learning more about our simulation-based leadership development programs and the Leadership Express simulations, contact us here. We would love to hear from you!
Amanda Young Hickman
Amanda Young Hickman has more than 20 years of experience advising and leading clients on the design and implementation of strategic change initiatives and leadership development experiences. She is an expert facilitator and a seasoned program designer who works in all phases of learning experience design and delivery. Amanda is a founding partner of Insight Experience and believes in the impact a leader has on an organization and its results.