How do I integrate strategy simulation into my course and program design?
THE SHORT ANSWER:
The Strategy Sims can be integrated into your course in several ways, from half-day to full-semester, from in-person, digital, or blended delivery.
All simulations are available in 100% digital format.
The digital format allows for larger groups (up to 35 students per group) and more flexible delivery.
The in-person format is ideally suited for groups of 6 to 15 per table.
More students = simply add more tables and simulation setups.
The Strategy sims can be delivered in multiple blended formats.
Introductions in-person, sim delivery digital, or digital intro, but main delivery in-person; the flexible format of the sims allows us to adapt this 100% to your program needs.
Scratching the Surface
The half-day format offers a short taster session at best.
Several business schools have attempted to run a ‘sprint’ simulation session, only to learn that students request more time.
The half-day format can be useful for introduction session, pilot sessions or very small group sprint sessions.
Based on extensive experience with both the digital and in-person delivery formats, we rarely recommend the half-day formats.
As a pilot, the half-day format can be placed inside any of your existing classes or lectures.
An Intense Learning Experience
The one-day format is possible, but also demanding on the students. In a full one-day session, the simulation will typically run for five to nine hours, with only a minimum of short breaks.
The Supercluster!, Scale Up! and Scale Up X! sims can all be run in a one-day format with good learning and take-aways, given the students have been prepped on the key subjects and topics in advance.
At Duke, we ran Transform! at Master’s level for a straight 8-hour day. Every team managed, but the simulation taxed the teams and their ability to perform.
The Transform! and Fund Manager! Simulations can be run in a one-day format, but key elements of the experience will be reduced to brief pieces, not the learning uptake we recommend.
The one-day format can be adapted into your lesson plan, with a bit of pre- and post-work to be completed by the students.
Great Deep-dive Format
The two-day format allows great flexibility and enough depth.
A two-day format allows for opening lecture, simulation and team debrief at the end of day one. We would usually recommend a team-based deliverable going into day two.
Day two would normally open with the sim quickly going to a more advanced level. Breakouts and off-sites for the various roles (CEO, CFO, Innovation Managers) are common.
The second half of the day would be focused on ‘getting to a winner’, team debrief and collective debrief.
The two-day format is ideal for Scale Up!, Scale Up X! and Supercluster!
The two-day format can be run back-to-back or spread over two sessions that fit your lecture plan.
Our Preferred Format for Impact
Whether in-person or digital, we recommend everyone to explore the three-day format. These can be half-day sessions, spread over three days, or intense full-day sessions, over three days.
The big thing with the three-day format is the learning uptake for the students. We can clearly observe leaps in understanding from days one to two, and then again from two to three.
From Executive Programs to Corporate Programs; we find the three-day format to be ideally suited to the Transform! and Fund Manager! Sims.
Ideally, you get a chance to run the three-day program over consecutive days, but split up over three separate lectures also works well.
BI’s executive program Leadership in Action ran the Transform! simulation over three days in May 2021. Nearly 70 students were split into two main groups, each with two expert facilitators to lead the process. The students were then taken through three intense days of mini-lectures, simulation, team debrief, and extensive team project work. Read the full case study here.
The five-day format is ideal for corporate and executive programs.
This format allows to design an entire week, with both day and evening program, around the relevant simulation.
In this format, lectures can be held in the morning, simulation during midday and team-based reflection at the end of every afternoon.
Most evenings are reserved for simulation-based groupwork and preparing for morning simulation-based deliveries.
For anyone designing and running in-company corporate programs or open enrollment executive programs, the simulation of choice can be the experiential learning foundation of the program. As faculty, you can fit multiple learning objectives and program goals onto the selected simulation and sim session design.
Flexible, Adapted, Blended
Working with global business school IE, we are now piloting a new format, designed for Executive Education Programs.
The ‘Months’ format will consist of:
One day pre-session.
Introduction to Transformation, the start of the simulation (team alignment)
The actual simulation will be run over the course of multiple weeks, with four 4-hour sessions. In between each session, the groups will be expected to complete a mini-project based on their current status, progress, and challenges in the sim.
Uniquely, in this format, the participants will be receiving a series of Management Briefs (for everyone on the team) and position-based information (CFO update, CSO update, etc), with key pieces of information being made available only to the person in the role. It is then upon the CEO to be able to align and synch the team between each sim session.
One day post-session
Team debrief, with emphasis on leadership, communications, team dynamics, and the ability to lead transformation at scale.
We believe this format can be a superb way of delivering blended learning, with an emphasis on competitive engagement in the online sessions. Stay tuned.
Deep-dive for Maximum Learning
The entire semester format is fascinating.
We started testing this in the fall semester of 2021. In this format, we spread the simulation out over the full semester period, either in a few sessions or weekly sessions.
At Duke University, Transform! is being taught over three 3-hour sessions, with an introduction session run a few weeks prior.
The three sessions are several weeks apart, allowing the students time to digest and reflect on the learnings and prepare their group work for the following session.
At Northeastern, Transform! is taught in one hour blocks every week throughout the entire semester. Run by Rick Rasmussen and Javier Sevilla, this teaching experiment allows for tight integration between the lecture format, case work and the Transform! strategy simulation.
If you are interested in experimenting with a full semester format, get in touch and we can discuss our most recent learning and how this format best can work for you.
Adapted to Your Program Design
We are currently working with several of the world’s leading business schools to test and pilot new ways of delivering high-energy, high-engagement ways of learning.
Many of these program designs are built around blended formats.
Get in touch. Let’s discuss how the Strategy Sims can be adapted to your program design.