For the past 3 weeks, we’ve had faculty members and our Systems Psychologist evaluating APEX – the Applied Excellence business simulation game – with a diverse group of people including engineers, accountants, entrepreneurs, and analysts.
It has been fascinating to watch the various approaches to strategy and the dynamics of decision making in the face of uncertainty bring learning opportunities to the fore.
As we’ve polished the simulation, its ability to facilitate learning for executives has improved. This week we are doing another round of testing with yet another group of executives, after which we expect that we will be able to green light manufacture of the final product and will have an exciting new way to help people learn about strategic thinking, management, and how to achieve sustainable excellent performance.
The Power of Play
Games offer the opportunity for context-based learning, which most other teaching methods do not provide, making games a powerful learning tool. They change the learning process from being one of conscious effort to being a fun, subconscious one. Rather than merely discussing topics with an instructor, participants engage in a scenario that enables them to quickly see and feel the consequences of their actions. This enables them realize things and facilitates both new learning and the transformation of old knowledge into new knowledge. In addition, it couples learning with emotion which as Plato reminds us is the basis of all learning.