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 Playing the “Game” in Business

Typically, having fun doesn’t trump deadlines on the to-do list of business executives – but gamification can be a potent way to dispel the tedium of training and boost the talent pool – without trivializing the learning content.

Serious games involve the use of simulations that immerse the learner in a virtual world, allowing them to put theoretical knowledge to the test within a safe environment. The learning value of games such as these is marked. Research carried out by the Federation of American Scientists revealed that, “Students remember only 10 percent of what they read; 20 percent of what they hear; 30 percent if they see visuals related to what they hear; 50 percent if they watch someone do something while explaining it; but almost 90 percent if they do the job themselves, even if only as a simulation”.

With such effective learning outcomes – it’s easy to understand why the aviation industry, the military and medical teams have for decades relied on the strength simulations when training their experts; and finally companies have caught up.

Leading the way for Professionals

Deloitte, for example, created a Leadership Academy – an innovative digital training program that is currently accessed by more than 50,000 users in over 14 different countries around the world. The academy provides content from leading educational and training institutions using an online portal and mobile applications. By signing up to the academy, senior executives can deepen their knowledge of effective self-development, communication methods, talent management, developing strategy and innovation. Most recently, collaborating with software company Badgeville, users who complete course modules, share ideas or reach notable leaderboard statuses are rewarded with badges – and can share their achievements through social networks, such as Linkedin and Twitter.

Kick Starting a Start-up

First released in 2006, SimVenture designed a serious game that allows budding entrepreneurs to create and run a virtual company, experimenting with different strategies and outcomes to find the best possible business solutions. The game has garnered great publicity and praise from educators who use it in various business classes, and a study by Leeds Metropolitan University’s Institute for Enterprise indicated that the integration of SimVenture into programs “vastly increased the interest of the students in this topic area and made teaching and learning more appealing and fun.”

Serious Games for Serious Results

Global giant IBM also bills itself a leader in corporate serious games. Technical training, leadership skill building, marketing, assessment, and productivity enhancement are all areas where IBM has used serious games to bring about serious results. The company created INNOV8, a serious game that allows players to manipulate their business model through simulation, and can be used for such diverse applications as decongesting city traffic to making supply changes more efficient. Farmers Insurance, for example, uses the training program at Farmers University, which trains thousands of employees using hands-on experience in processing claims and managing customer calls.

Banking is an especially interesting field to consider; as much of the decision making is quantitative in nature, the advancement of technology has enabled more complex models to be created, which coupled with relevant learning content creates training, that in a simple download, can be accessed by staff. Costly facilitation can be replaced by sophisticated software that can be tweaked to continuously improve the game’s ability to mimic real situations and changing realities.

With the seeds of potential having been sown, it is increasingly clear that with careful development and commitment, serious games could reinvent the way we train and learn – helping industries meet the complex challenges presented by the modern world and taking them to the next level.

A Smart Guide to Serious Gaming: PART 4

A Smart Guide to Serious Gaming: PART 2

A Smart Guide to Serious Gaming: PART 1

Contact Us today to learn more about how we can provide innovative training with serious gaming to help nurture your Human Capital!

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