What is a business simulation game? A business game is an interactive structured training activity with specially created conditions, which aim to reproduce those of a working situation in a successful business. The training is challenging and enjoyable; developing skills to improve individual and team performance in the workplace. Before looking further into what makes a business game we need to consider what makes a successful business? In simple terms, it is an effective combination of people, resources and processes to produce a product which customers will value and buy. Like a business, games should involve people, resources and processes. The aim is to give participants an experience comparable to one in ‘real-life’. A business has also to remain competitive, so business games are usually competitive in character with compressed time periods, allowing the result of decisions and policies to be seen. What skills are involved in a business simulation game? It would be wrong to suggest that one business management game can cover all the personal and management skills involved, but different games target different skills. For example one activity might concentrate on communication, feedback, leadership and team skills whilst another will cover problem solving, decision making, managing resources and budgets. Participants learn more than theory by practical experience, they learn about themselves and others. Team roles and skills are key components in a business management game therefore team building development is enhanced and the practical value of group dynamics is demonstrated. By experiencing rather than discussing a model, participants gain in knowledge, competence and confidence. “I hear I forget, I see I remember, I do I understand.” – Confucius What levels of knowledge and experience can a business strategy game cover? There are different activities for all levels. With most games the trainer can make the game more or less demanding by supplying different amount of information; reducing the number of input variables and decisions required; varying the time allowed or targeting specific issues. Business strategy games enable participants to practice management skills often developed in isolation from other elements of the system. We are a provider of indoor business games and management training for schools, colleges and universities and corporations. In one game the leader did an excellent job running the company and showing a greater profit than other teams taking part. She then became involved in a task that took her away from her leadership role and the team ‘wondered off course’. This was her feedback: “It is one think reading about this, but this kind of work (business simulation games) really hits home and makes you fully understand the importance of the issues.” T. Kristin – MBA Undergraduate Is the training transferable to the workplace? An important part of any training activity is the debrief. Here the process and analysis of results also gives participants good learning experience of organisation and group working skills. All require facilitation by trainers who are familiar with the processes involved. Effective links can then be made between the learning and work applications appropriate to the group and the individuals within it. We believe that training should be: • active; • challenging; • interesting; • enjoyable; • focused on key issues; and • memorable. These ingredients stimulate a high-level of motivation in participants in developing skills to improve their individual and team performance. These, with continued support, are transferred to the workplace.