The Need for Speed: Using simulations to transform your business at scale

In today’s tumultuous business environment, slow, partial, and weak transformations are not an option. Businesses operate differently, and several massive transformations are necessary for legacy organizations to simply operate—much less compete—in their current markets. Some key drivers of the need for businesses to transform include:

  • Digitalization
  • Remote work in a virtual setting
  • Agile methodologies
  • Sustainability practices
  • Changes in culture and values that encourage an inclusive and responsible organization

Each transformation requires significant changes in mindset, behavior, and values—with sustained effort and consistent commitment. 

We all want effective, engaged transformation to happen quickly, but it feels impossible for complex organizations.  

To transform a business at speed and scale, companies are turning to immersive simulations as a powerful tool to open employees’ mindsets, increase employee input and involvement, and build awareness about how and what is needed—which leads to faster behavior change on the job.

Immersive simulations are designed to create realistic and interactive experiences that enable employees to engage with new ideas, processes, and technologies in a way that traditional training methods simply can’t deliver. When employees are immersed in a simulated environment, they gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with organizational transformation.

When business transformation is the key goal, say goodbye to traditional training methods—such as lecture-style presentations in large auditoriums or talking heads presented via video. 

Let’s compare transformation approaches and typical results 

Consider the difference in speed to change in the following examples using traditional methods vs simulations. 

1. Traditional methods to transform your business

In an effort to better serve customers, the CEO of a tech company announces a new set of values via a lecture, followed by a panel discussion. The values were created by a cross-functional leadership team of different levels and functions, and they reflect a new environment that’s driven by digital technology and new markets. The presentation puts the change in context and frames the expected impact of the new values and behavioral practices after employees have incorporated them into their daily work. The CEO also includes key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure long-term success. 

After the panel discussion and questions from the audience, the CEO points to framed posters that will be placed in every office and says the next step is for managers to lead discussions about the values KPIs in upcoming staff meetings. She also announces that, eventually, these KPIs will be included in the performance review planning process. A set of online or face-to-face courses to build skills for the values will follow shortly.

Typical outcomes

  • Few questions during or after the presentation
  • Leaders are confused about how to answer questions on the job
  • Employees think of the values as “these too will pass” and wait for a new CEO to bring in another new initiative
  • Posters on walls collect dust
  • Attendance in courses is low
  • Meetings rarely include discussions of best practices that demonstrate the values on the job
  • Slow progress due to weak implementation

2. Immersive simulations designed to drive business transformation

A tech company wants to introduce a new set of values, which are intended to improve service to the customer. The management team recognizes that they need to transform their culture to stay competitive, but they are unsure of the best approach.

To build awareness about the transformation and gain input on potential barriers, the company decides to use an immersive simulation tied to business objectives. The simulation gives employees the opportunity to practice applying the new values in the context of their day-to-day work and to explore the implications of their decisions in a safe environment.

The simulation is interactive, engaging, and fun. Employees are divided into teams, assigned a specific business objective, and tasked with making decisions that reflect the new values. Throughout the simulation, they encounter various challenges and obstacles that they must overcome to succeed. They can track their team’s progress and relative score on a live leaderboard.

After the simulation, teams compare insights and scores. Leaders capture and apply the best ideas and insights. Employees are also asked to provide feedback on their experience and identify potential barriers that may arise during the transformation process and how to overcome them.

Typical outcomes:

  • Learners feel safe: They were able to practice demonstrating the new set of values in a safe, controlled environment, making mistakes and learning from them without fear of real-world consequences.
  • Learners are motivated to change their behaviors back on the job: They internalize key learnings and best practices because the experience was interactive, fun, and engaging. Pre-and post-simulation scores demonstrate high levels of knowledge and behavior change.
  • Learners feel valued: They have the opportunity to actively contribute to the transformation process.
  • The transformation has momentum and broad support: As a result, the company feels confident in its ability to execute its new approach to serving customers. 

See the difference?  

The benefits of using immersive simulations to increase the speed of transformation are unmistakable:

  • When employees are immersed in a simulated environment, they are more likely to suspend their preconceptions and biases about how things should be done. This allows them to explore new ideas and ways of working that they may not have considered before. By opening up employees’ mindsets in this way, companies can foster a culture of innovation and agility and lay the groundwork for successful organizational transformation.
  • When employees feel actively engaged in shaping the transformation process, they are more likely to contribute their ideas and insights, fully engage, and offer broad support. This can be particularly valuable when identifying obstacles and potential solutions. By involving employees in this way, companies can tap into the collective intelligence of their workforce, which can lead to more effective and efficient transformation efforts.
  • Immersive simulations also build awareness about what needs to change and how to change. By creating an interactive experience in a realistic context, employees can see firsthand the impact that organizational transformation will have on their jobs and the company as a whole. This can help to build a sense of urgency and commitment. 
  • Simulations can provide employees with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the transformation process. This can include everything from technical skills to soft skills like communication and collaboration.
  • Perhaps the most significant benefit of immersive simulations is that they can speed up behavior change. By immersing employees in a simulated environment, they can practice demonstrating new skills and behaviors in a safe and controlled setting. This allows them to build confidence and competence before applying these skills on the job. As a result, employees are more likely to adopt new behaviors and ways of working, which can accelerate the pace of organizational transformation.

How to transform your business at speed and scale 

To get the most out of immersive simulations, companies should focus on a few critical best practices:

  1. Ensure that the simulation is aligned with transformation goals and objectives. The simulation should focus on specific challenges and opportunities that are key to the company’s transformation efforts. 
  2. Ensure that the simulation is realistic and engaging. High-quality visuals and interactive elements create a truly immersive experience.
  3. Ensure that the simulation is integrated into the broader transformation process by:
    1. Using the simulation at the start of the transformation to reduce fear about the change, increase involvement, and build awareness about the changes needed.
    2. Incorporating the insights and feedback generated by the simulation into the design and execution of the transformation effort.

Immersive simulations can help companies successfully navigate the complex process of transformation; achieve long-lasting behavior change on the job by opening employees’ mindsets; increase employee involvement; and build awareness about what needs to change (as well as how to change). Reach out to our team to learn more about transforming your business using the power of immersive simulations.

Subscribe to the Blueline Blog

Subscribe to our training blog to receive relevant updates on how to drive sales, improve customer service, transform leaders, and build business acumen.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Schedule a Free Demo

Would you like to learn more about how Blueline can help your learners achieve lasting change? Request a demo and consultation today.