What Makes A Business Simulation So Special?

The Art & Science of Competition: Part I

Good v Evil?

Business Simulation competition. Since ancient time man has been in a competition for survival.  It is a basic human instinct hardwired into the amygdala. Competition in its purest form is encapsulated in the Darwinian notion of “survival of the fittest”.  This is a naturalistic view of competition that has an amorality about it. Neither good nor evil, just survival.

Competition has become a dirty word!

Over the eons this competition has driven improvement, significant achievement, and excellence for humanity.  The quality of life and standard of living for the majority of the earth’s population is unrecognisable from 100 years ago.  Competition, for all living things, is as natural as breathing.  However, over recent times, the concept of competition has become a dirty word and blamed for many of the ills facing society.  Humanity has lost the connections with the naturalistic traits of competition and replaced them with evil connotations of greed and power that for many has seen the concept of competition as a corruption to the human spirit.  This is especially true in business.

Nourishment for the human condition

During a business simulation workshop something magical happens. Through the act of participation in the workshop participants rediscovered the notion of virtuous competition.  The one that spurns excellence, that drives innovation, creativity and collaboration.  One that nurtures and nourishes the human condition in a period of human civilisation on earth like no other.

Building thinking muscles

I’ve been running business simulation workshops for over 15 years to help participants improve their strategic thinking and business acumen to become better strategic leaders. This helps them, for instance, navigate the economic maelstrom caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the years I have continually been amazed at how motivated and engaged some participants are when they finish a workshop.  This is particularly evident during our recent business simulation tournament series.

A powerful learning experience

I was overwhelmed by the response.  It really made me think long and hard about why this particular format is so powerful and motivating.  It’s rekindled my love of business simulations and made me remember some of the very basic design principles that make them such an effective way to learn.  It’s really like all I have to do is provide a small spark which lights a mighty fire of learning, rapid learning, real learning, applied learning. I believe it is all tied up in this notion of virtuous competition.

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Click the links below to the other 2 parts to this article



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

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