Information is everywhere and anytime available. As a result learning contents move away from the mere description of the facts, to experienced contexts and relationships. They arise spontaneously and change continuously. Depending on the objectives of a Business Exercise, the abilities, expectations and feelings of the participants are strengthened or repositioned.
The Business Exercise provides a safe learning environment, where maximum learning success is possible through practical work. The participants deal with their behavior and its effects. In a simulated situation, tasks have to be solved, which are prepared especially for the respective area. The attendees react with their usual behavior, make use of their experiences and get to know new scopes for action.
This means that the next level of learning is reached - practically, actively, team- and action-oriented as well as multi-sensory.
Through the unpredictable engagement of the participants, the learning situation is continuously fed with energy, which reinforces the intended, complex interaction. Based on a case with its contentual input data, the participants act spontaneously as in day-to-day life. They determine with their dedication the quality of the event.
Engagement The willingness and interest of the participants is crucial. Tension unfolds after a very short period of time, which makes the event realistic.
Traits All participants were able to grow professionally and personally in order to shape their work style and their mental models. Personal features and experiences lead to individual approaches. These characteristics enter completely natural the business exercise and increase the complexity of the action.
Learning fields The basis of the Business Exercise is the consciousness cycle - from perception, to thinking and communication, to behavior. At work, room for reflecting on oneself and its actions is missing. The exchange of the personal assumptions enriches the abilities of the participants. To be aware of new possibilities is the prerequisite for new capabilities. Trying behavioral strategies creates thereby new opportunities for action. Since the approach is different for each participant, the dynamic of the learning situation increases.
The formal framework
In order to enable the participants to plan their own tasks, to form groups and to produce results, they need sufficient space, supporting material and a well clocked process. This requires a precise planning of the business exercise.
Facilities Depending on the size of the group and the case, you need an adequate plenum as well as a number of group rooms and/or public spaces for parallel breakout sessions.
Materials The supporting material is selected to appeal to all senses - visually, auditory and kinesthetically. This goes from flipcharts and whiteboards, to paper and consumables, to playing cards and other artifacts (e.g., toy blocks, game plans, or additional tools).
Procedure The business exercise usually takes between half a day and one full day. During this time, the specific case is executed - warm-up, application, and solution. Each module is timely projected and can be adapted during the event with specific disruptions.
Learning by doing
The participants go through several stages. The focus is on doing. Therefore, in a business exercise people are acting practically - like in day-to-day life, but faster. At certain points in time the procedure is enriched by dissociated reflections about the situation. The findings can immediately be tested.
Doing During the warm-up, the participants absorb the case. They appropriate their own role, get familiar with the situation and use their experiences to participate actively.
Understanding Through appropriate group reflections and the facilitators’ supporting comments, specific situations are examined and alternative behaviors are found. Participants will jointly develop options to improve their own acts and the effective interaction within the group as well as formal tools for the process.
Improving The gained experiences and insights can be applied in the ongoing business exercise as well as later in practice.
The building blocks
The Business Exercise consists primarily of a fictional case with an especially developed story, appropriate role descriptions, constructed relationships and simple rules of the game.
The case The case creates a context in which the business exercise takes place. These include stereotypical situations and tasks which stimulate the associative potential of the participants. The outcome is always open and determined by the participants.
The roles Each participant gets a defined role. It describes the tasks, authorities and responsibilities as well as supposed experiences and characteristics of the roles. In the shortest possible time, the participants appropriate their role and mix it with their normal approaches.
The relationships The relationships are stimulated to match the case. The contents are not documented in detail, but the associative ability of the participants is triggered. The participants make the situation more complex based on the predefined relationships between the actors.
The rules The rules include the Code of Conduct for the business exercise. The general rules of the game apply to all and define the interaction, the timing and the results. The role-specific stipulations stimulate frictions between the participants, which should be managed.
The look from outside
The prepared case includes tasks that fit to the work of the participants, although without dealing with current problems. Through the unconcerned look from outside, the participants find solutions more easily. In addition, the facilitators provide new perspectives based on pre-defined priorities.
What is observed is determined by the clients in advance.
How do your own ideas get challenged?
How do you communicate?
Which behavior would be appropriate?
Preparation is everything
The Business Exercise is coordinated, developed, implemented and post-processed in close cooperation with the client. This needs a detailed planning that defines the aspects of the business exercise.
Coordination Based on preliminary discussions, the framework of the business exercise is defined - goals, duration, number of participants, etc.
Development The requirements of the client are the basis for the development of the building blocks of the business exercise - a consistent case, roles, the interaction of the roles as well as the necessary rules of the game.
Execution The meticulously planned procedure is carried out consequently. The focus is on prepared interactions and discussions.
Reflection Following the event, the findings and results will be prepared and the next steps are discussed with the clients.
Are you already curious?
If you are interested in doing a business exercise, send an e-mail with your contact details (see below).
I will contact you asap. We will then discuss on how to proceed.
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