Following on from our Webinar last week, Multiplayer Business Simulations is creating a context within which participants can take decisions, gather the impact & consequences of their decisions and thereby learn from it. While the emphasis has been on applying knowledge and skills, these simulations take learners through the pace of business planning, strategizing, and decision-making thereby enabling their transformation into better leaders and managers.
TIS’ webinar touched upon the issues and challenges that TOPSIM business simulations can address, the key areas that these simulations can be used and the mode of implementation. The webinar specifically provided insight into how TOPSIM simulation has been implemented in a large organization like PepsiCo. Saurabh Mittal, MD, TIS GmbH and Dr Antoinette Roberts, Commercial Enabling Manager, PepsiCo SA Snacks discussed the kinds of support required to implement such simulations as well as the likely barriers to implementation.
So, what are Multiplayer Business Simulations?
A management simulation is like a flight simulator for managers. It's not as complex as an actual aircraft flight, but it provides a fairly accurate idea of how an actual flight will go. It’s also a bit like learning a significant skill in a risk-free environment.
During the course of the Webinar, a poll was conducted, which revealed that only 50% of the attendees had exposure to multiplayer business simulations. So essentially, corporate houses are also understanding the value of simulations for training.
TIS' workshop-based training simulations product TOPSIM® models complex socio-economic/behavioral systems ranging in size from a startup company to a large corporation or even the macroeconomics of a country. Simulations are being applied to ensure the success of multiple corporate initiatives like Employer Branding, Onboarding, developing Leadership pipeline, etc. The simulation software also offers functional variables such as interest rates, input costs, inflation, demand and supply variables, and various other inputs that drive the simulation's complex math model. Thus, participants in the simulation:
- Manage a (virtual) company - they make typical business decisions in a realistic environment.
- Learn principles of business administration - how to use information in decision-making, and how to handle risk and uncertainty.
- Experience decision-making processes within a team while managing time constraints.
TOPSIM® is also being used in more than 400 universities across the globe for undergraduate as well as master’s studies.
Simulations developed for PepsiCo Simba
Speaking about PepsiCo’s experience with simulations, Dr Roberts said that Simba’s objective was to shift the focus for managers from transactional to strategic. Further they wanted their branch managers to gain key managerial skills with emphasis on Business Acumen and Leadership skills, enable them to understand the interdependencies between various departments and act holistically. As a team-based competitive simulation, TOPSIM® requires that players show the ability to make strategic decisions as a team. As it simulates the whole business environment, it gives participants a bird's eye view of business management and competitive dynamics.
TIS custom-designed a business acumen program revolving around the TOPSIM® simulation with activities on specific topics like supply chain management, innovation and strategy alignment. The program also involved mentors from Simba to monitor the business transformation projects as a post-workshop activity.
Post training, the groups participated in a business transformation project. The teams identified short term and long term implementation plans.
Towards the end of the Webinar, another poll revealed that almost 81 per cent of the attendees are considering using business simulations in their organizations. In short, the world is looking for impactful, effective and sustainable Learning.