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Learn how to think …

By 10. April 2015 No Comments

Business Leaders recognize the value of Simulations and “Serious Games”’ for delivering Cutting-Edge Content, Reinforcing Skills, and Experiencing the Impact of Decisions made at the right time.


More business and learning professionals seem to be recognizing what has known all along: Simulations and “serious games” do belong in the workplace. Engaging employees in realistic business simulations drives participants to work together to master new skills, make decisions independently and as a team, and experience how their actions affect the bottom line. They do not learn how to do it – but to think right, see the big picture and reflect about the context ….

In a recent white paper on Playing to Win: Gamification and Serious Games in Organizational Learning, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) observed that while gamification has not yet reached mainstream in scope, “the popularity of ASTD’s many books, articles, blogs, and webinars on gamification and serious games confirms keen interest among learning professionals eager to find stimulating and effective ways of delivering new content.” In their Playing to Win study, ASTD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) conferred with games experts to help define and delineate several emerging approaches and their benefits. The following is a summary of their findings:

Gamification – integrates game characteristics and mechanics into a real-world training program or task to promote a change in behavior. Elements may include achievements, badges, levels, rewards, points, and leaderboards to help motivate and engage participants. „This happens – when you do not see that it is a game, the little triggers ….“ says Claudia Schmitz from Cenandu …

Games – engage players in various ways toward a common goal or win. They often include a storyline, rules, interactivity, and feedback that result in a quantifiable outcome. When utilized within a learning environment, games can help participants reinforce skills and master important concepts. When we reflect the game – which is a very important step – it is important to find out: What is the structure behind it? What is the rule that we follow? And in transfer: What is the structure for decision making in our organization? What is our rule after one hour discussion? Who makes the decision? Please do not tell me the guy who is the toughest and loudest … but good to find out ! This is a point where we can start talking about ethics, responsibility, liability and rules and organizational design.“ so Claudia Schmitz – reflecting some strategy sessions with her clients.

Serious Games – are simulations with game elements including storyline, goals, feedback, and competitive play. These real-life experiences can effectively supplement other forms of instruction and help participants reinforce skills while practicing in a learning environment.

Simulations – provide controlled-risk, real-world environments where learners can practice targeted behaviors and experience the impact of their decisions. Simulations may utilize software-based applications or game board formats to immerse participants in a process, event, location, or situation.

„If you simulate situations, there is no need to have a right or wrong – the question is: What do you see – what does the company see – and what is the „lived reality“. The simulation can be a mirror – and you work with this scenario, you find out what is different in your organization to get a new picture. Many simulations are reflecting ground – but real and handy. You find the pattern on a higher level – without too many complex irritations.“ It is is not for winning and loosing, people can reflect and think – rethink and ask new questions. That is what I am going for, even if the boys like to win the battle :-)“ Claudia Schmitz

Celemi’s business simulations and customized learning solutions combine the best of all approaches to gain big wins for clients. Our work mat designs, featuring challenging business scenarios, bring employee teams together in “real time” for hands-on learning that’s fun, engaging, and impactful. Since 1985, we have helped more than 3.4 million managers and their employees around the world implement change and improve business performance through the power of learning!

I still use Celemi simulations after 15 years – but I use them differently. I have learned so much about the tool and the people playing with it, that it is a platform for new thinking … The message is: It is not too complicated – just try for yourself. What is the goal? What does it mean? What does it mean for you? Many simulations are basic ground for many changes – to help people understand where they are, what might happen and how to react when thinks happen. People do not like to change or even move without a need … which is more than normal. But – if they see for themselves – what could happen and why, it is easier to anticipate that there might be a need soon, but it needs action today. This situation is the core problem of large organizations. Most of the people do not understand and go in resistance. You can feel that ! And as a consultant it is not fun to work against the organisation. So do not do it – work with them.“ Claudia Schmitz