TMR Short List of Business Simulations.

Author:Ellet, Bill

TMR Short List of Business Simulations

In the past, business simulations were custom, high-cost products. They were typically used only in large corporations with the money to build them and at business schools where faculty had in interest in developing them.

Gradually, though, a shift has been taking place. Vendors, some big and some small, have created off-the-shelf simulations that are affordable for many more organizations than the old custom-made ones. But isn't just economics that is driving the trend.

Academics and corporate learning people have come to appreciate the learning that game-based simulations can facilitate. Probably the most articulate and thoughtful spokesmen for simulations in workplace learning is Clark Aldrich. His book, Learning by Doing, lays out a thoughtful argument about what simulations can teach. And Aldrich isn't just a theorist. He has put his ideas on the line as a designer of Virtual Leader (see below).

Here are off-the-shelf business simulations we think you should know about. We have reviewed some (and include links to the reviews) and intend to evaluate all.

Executive Challenge, general management simulation, Enspire Learning (888.534.3484).

Enspire recently launched a new version of its flagship product, Executive Challenge, a scenario-based, multi-player game. It is delivered as a one-day event with an on-site facilitator. The goal is to win funding for a software startup from the board of a venture capital firm. The new version has a back-story; requires teams to consider all aspects of the business, not just the numbers; and has a richer quantitative fact base.

ExperienceChange, change management simulation, ExperiencePoint (866.369.9888).

ExperiencePoint specializes in management development simulations concerned with execution and implementation--"tactics based," in their words. ExperienceChange immerses users in the challenges of executing major change. Nearly all of ExperiencePoint's clients use the simulation in a workshop setting with teams. ExperiencePoint, the creator of ExperienceChange, has other simulations-ExperienceCSR (also available in a healthcare industry version) and a couple of brief (and free) decision-making exercises.

International Operations Simulation, general management simulation, Intopia (812.333.5075).

Intopia is a pioneer business strategy game, developed in the mid-1990s. It involves a competition among teams (generally three to six individuals per team), each running...

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