March 01, 2017

Be Honest, What Am I Going To Learn From A Business Simulation?

Ok, you've decided you will join me on March 30 at the VT/NH event (click here).

Now you are saying to yourself ... "Wait, why am I doing this? What am I really going to learn from a business simulation?"

Do you remember watching the movie Apollo 13? They're up in space, struggling ... while somebody is in the simulator trying to figure out how to start stuff up on the number of amps you use to run a surround sound system? All of that trial-and-error in the simulator led to a process ... A-To-Z ... a process that brought folks home.

Many industries leverage simulators to improve skills. Auto racing leverages simulators. Heck, have you ever played "Madden"? You get to learn how hard it is to complete a pass on third and sixteen from your own twenty-four yard line! How about poker? Folks play online games and play against simulators - improving their skills.

Marketing is hopelessly behind the times - few or no simulators of note.

You cannot execute "trial-and-error" strategies at work - it's a quick way to lose your job.

You can execute "trial-and-error" strategies in a simulator - no risk! And in the process, you get to learn a whole bunch of things.
  1. You get to learn how to convince teammates to try a strategy different than everybody else. Think that might come in handy at work?
  2. You get to see what other people do, and whether their strategies work or not. You don't get to see the results of a Facebook campaign performed by Ann Taylor, you just hear that somebody "did" something. Well, you'll get to see a dozen strategies that truly didn't work. And then you'll get to make new decisions based on last year's decisions (decisions from all teams).
  3. You get to see how interrelated things are. Lowering prices in one product line helps sales, raising prices in another product line lower sales, advertising helps but there's an optimal amount to spend ... everything is interconnected and interrelated. Just like it is in the real world! You could make six great decisions and two bad decisions and your results are tepid and you won't initially know which of the eight decisions were "right".
  4. You get to see "human nature". Some of the participants will be self-destructive on purpose, just to "have fun". Some of the participants will be highly cautious, and as a result, will have no chance of winning. Teammates will disagree. You will learn that navigating human nature is what business is all about.
  5. The simulation has built-in scenarios where following "best practices" will yield great outcomes and/or horrific outcomes.You will have five years to figure out how which is which. You will learn that one set of best practices helps some of the teams, while other teams will identify their own best practices and have success - and you can't move from one set to another set without sales/profit pain. Think this doesn't happen in business?
  6. The simulation will expose the fact that human beings, presented with exactly the same information, will make completely opposite decisions. This will expose the fallacy of the "data-driven" community that demands adhering to test results and key performance indicators to achieve success. You will learn that twenty teams presented with identical information will behave very differently. And that is a key fact to learn - metrics don't matter - but how people respond to metrics is what matters.
Ready to join me? Click here for details.