When you are trying to teach new skills to managers at any level, find a practical and effective way to allow them to learn, practice and integrate a new skills or leadership technique is a challenge. The three most common options for this type of learning are role plays, simulations and business management games.
The three have some overlap but are also very unique. All can be used as part of an overall leadership development program or as stand-alone training options. However, once you understand the differences it will be easy to see which one is right for your next training.
A business simulation is often classified with business management games, but it is really a different type of training. In a simulation a specific issue is provided that is reality based for that specific group in training. Then, by working through the simulation, the team or the group tries out different solutions, tools, skills and ideas to determine what is the most effective.
Role playing, besides being dreaded by most people, are one of least effective ways of learning because it is very artificial even when carefully designed. In this option the trainees actually take on roles and basically act out the issue and work through problems. Role play can be an effective way to practice a select skill, especially management communication skills.
Business Management Games
Business management games are highly effective and allow teams or individuals to play through a series of challenges that are posed throughout the game. The players all have to use problem solving, critical thinking, decision making and tap into their creative side.
These business management games are typically very well received and highly engaging because they are fun but also very educational. There are clear guidelines and rules that are very similar to the constraints that would be found in a workplace or in a management role.
Business management games can address literally any problem in any type of workplace. They can focus in on specific areas of concern for a company or they can be more general in scope, including a better understanding of business finance or even leadership roles and responsibilities.