Learn to Win

What is funny is that “learners” in a business simulation workshop would not necessarily describe what they are doing as “learning”.  Try asking them “what they are learning” at any point of the workshop, and they will find it difficult to articulate.  However, they would describe what they are doing as participating, participating in an experience. If you press them further and ask “why” they are participating, universally the answer comes back “to win”.

What participants quickly realise is if they want to win there is a lot to comprehend and understand, fast. They will be very open to listen and learn from you anything that helps them with their “prime objective” of winning.  They want to “learn to win”.


The process methodology of the simulation workshop of “know, do, reflect, apply” becomes a powerful flywheel for rapid adoption of new mental models and thinking skills required to be a successful strategic leader.  It totally collapses the notion of the 70|20|10 of learning as the workshop is in fact a simulation of the 70% “on the job training” and more importantly is connected with direct reflection (and adjustment) in a risk free environment. Something that is often left to chance in the real world. It’s only at the end of the workshop that participants can articulate what they have learnt and more importantly how they can apply these skills back on the job.

Accelerating the Strategic Agenda

So, what are the organisational implications of all of this.  As a consequence of striving for excellence, participants have significantly improved their strategic thinking and business acumen as well as practiced other key leadership competencies.  This in turn will enable them to contribute to the strategic leadership agenda in their business which in turn will allow their business to do such things as navigate through issues like the economic implication of the COVID 19 pandemic.

A business simulation workshop is so much more than just learning for the sake of development or an esoteric notion of some accomplishment against a leadership competency framework or learning objectives.  It is learning to win.  This seems to trigger a basic human survival instinct.

The ancient Greeks may have been onto something! Be sure to read Part III where I deep dive into insights gained form the ancient Greeks and the founding ethos of the original Olympics.

If you would like to find out more about our approach to leadership development please feel free to contact me. click here

Links to PART I & PART III



“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” – Socrates