In the aviation, military, and healthcare fields, professionals use simulations to prepare for real-world challenges. So, why don’t we adopt the same approach in business? And why don’t we adopt this approach to explore how our business decision impact our triple bottom line of people, planet and profit?

Gamified approaches to learning, including business simulations, can contribute to the success of your shift to more sustainable ways of working, but what are business simulations and what can you expect from them?

How do business simulations work?

Business simulations serve as a bridge between traditional classroom learning and real-life business scenarios. They offer a hands-on learning experience that replicates the complexities of the real world, enabling individuals to practice and enhance their business skills in a safe and risk-free environment.

What can you expect from a business simulation?

Simulations provide numerous benefits for supporting sustainability transformation within businesses. Here’s why incorporating play and serious fun can be valuable:

  • Experiential Learning: Simulations allow participants to actively engage in realistic business situations, promoting experiential learning. By immersing themselves in the simulated environment, individuals gain valuable insights and practical knowledge that can be applied to real-world sustainability challenges.
  • Risk-Free Environment: Simulations provide a safe space for experimentation and learning from mistakes. Participants can test different strategies, make decisions, and witness the consequences without the fear of real-world implications. This encourages innovative thinking and the exploration of sustainable practices without the pressure of immediate results.
  • Wholistic Perspective: Simulations provide a comprehensive view of the complex dynamics and interdependencies within a business. Participants can understand how their decisions and actions impact various aspects of sustainability, such as environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability. This holistic perspective fosters a deeper understanding of sustainable transformation and its interconnected nature.
  • Collaboration and Teamwork: Simulations often require participants to work in teams, fostering collaboration and teamwork. This mirrors real-life scenarios where sustainability efforts require collective action and cross-functional collaboration. Through simulations, individuals can develop essential teamwork skills, learn to communicate effectively, and understand the importance of diverse perspectives in achieving sustainable outcomes.
  • Motivation and Engagement: Integrating play and serious fun into sustainability transformation initiatives increases participant motivation and engagement. Simulations create an enjoyable and interactive learning environment, enhancing the learning experience and retention of knowledge. This approach encourages individuals to actively participate, explore innovative ideas, and develop a positive attitude towards sustainability.

How to harness the benefits

To harness the benefits of play and serious fun in business simulations for sustainability transformation, consider the following:

  • Purposeful Design: Ensure that simulations are specifically designed to address sustainability challenges and objectives. Tailor the scenarios to reflect real-world sustainability issues, allowing participants to explore different solutions and their impacts.
  • Facilitator Guidance: Employ skilled facilitators who can guide participants throughout the simulation process. Facilitators play a crucial role in framing discussions, debriefing sessions, and encouraging reflection on sustainable practices and outcomes.
  • Debriefing and Reflection: Allocate dedicated time for debriefing and reflection after the simulation. Encourage participants to share their experiences, insights, and lessons learned. This allows for a deeper understanding of sustainability concepts and promotes critical thinking.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly evaluate and refine the simulation experience based on feedback and outcomes. Continuously update the scenarios to align with evolving sustainability challenges and emerging best practices. This iterative process ensures the ongoing relevance and effectiveness of the simulations.

By integrating play and serious fun into business simulations, companies can foster a culture of sustainability, empower their workforce with practical skills, and drive meaningful change. Embrace the power of simulations as a tool for sustainable transformation and unlock the potential of your organisation.

A business simulation as a tool for catalysing your business’s sustainability transformation

Here at SHIFT, we use the Celemic Sustainability business simulation to allow your team to experience the ups and downs of shifting to a more sustainable way of working. Using a fictitious company, participants can get an understanding of sustainability KPIs, explore the need to balance different business decisions, and work in teams to take action that are good for the planet, people AND profit in both the short and long term.

It’s a great way to get people thinking and talking about they can support your business’s sustainability goals.

Curious about how our world-class business simulation can help you kick-start your sustainability transformation?