Business Acumen

Do Your Leaders Think and Act Like Business Owners?

leaders-ownersWhen I was a senior at Princeton in the Spring of 1988, I completed the grueling process of proving my Senior Thesis. I had researched big restaurant chains that had both company-owned stores as well as franchised stores. My thesis – which I was able to prove – was that the franchise stores outperformed those that were owned by the company.

Why? For one simple reason: because franchisees have more on the line… and therefore just think and act like business owners.

Think for a moment about the implications of this to big organizations. The world’s most-admired companies decentralize their business operations.  Top executives talk about pushing decision making down into the organization.  (Have you seen that commercial for Enterprise car rentals, where employees proudly exclaim that they can take ownership to solve your problem?)

There’s a tension here. While companies celebrate innovation and intrapreneurship, (that is, the corporate version of entrepreneurship), they find that their leaders still fail to think like business owners.

And no, incentives have not been effective at resolving this shortcoming.

So why don’t leaders at these high-performing companies act as business owners? After dedicating the last twenty-four years to training and developing the work forces of some of the world’s highest valued companies, I’ve come to a conclusion that is startlingly simple: they don’t know how.

At Blueline Simulations, we have a lot of experience in addressing that experience gap. The solution is more than simply teaching business finance and strategy; and it goes beyond incentives. The more impactful solution is for leaders to experience what it is like to be a business owner. They need to see how their role impacts the top and bottom lines.  Easier said than done, right?

We have dedicated much of the last decade to identifying “best of breed” solutions to this challenge.  We offer a broad range of business simulations that put leaders at all levels in the role of the business owner, and as a result show them how to think and act like a business owner.

Our solution matrix will help you determine which of our solutions is the best fit for your unique organizational challenges.

There has never been a more critical time to maximize business results. And there has never been a better time to help all of your leaders to succeed by thinking and acting like business owners.

Take the first step by downloading this simple matrix that provides you a side-by-side comparison of Blueline’s Business Finance & Strategy Programs today.

Then call us 813.269.7467 to explore how to equip your leaders to act like key stakeholders in your organization.

What can we learn from the world’s best business schools?

What’s the one thing that everyone with an MBA shares? — One or more experiences with team-based simulations. They are perfect for the B-School environment:

  1. They facilitate team-building,
  2. They provide a quick and effective means to assess the strengths and weaknesses of other students,
  3. They are fun and engaging,
  4. They are an outlet for extremely competitive students, and
  5. They teach practical application of a broad range of skills: business strategy and finance, project management, brand management, leadership, market strategy, sales strategy and trust.

Until recently, these simulations ranged from “simply elegant board games” to sophisticated LAN-based computer simulations with unique information presented via “dash board” for each learner to analyze, make and communicate decisions.

Remote team-based activities and simulation

This summer, the Wharton School of Business presented a case about the effectiveness of team-based activities run remotely — either synchronously or asynchronously — at ASTD’s National Conference. Wharton’s experience (with their Executive MBA Program) was that, in addition to significantly reducing travel time and cost, learners retained more and were more productive when they had more time between sessions to digest and apply information. Their typical design approach incorporated a series of individual and group exercises. It included podcasts, webinars, white papers, remote office hours, and a remote group activity followed by a capstone live classroom experience.

While there have been notable exceptions in our past (e.g. broadly successful roll-outs of Simulearn’s Virtual Leader) historically, for most organizations, distance learning has meant delivering PowerPoints via webinar.

However, that’s no longer the case. Blueline recently launched: Enspire’s Business Challenge. Business Challenge is a web-based, single or multiplayer simulation in which participants take the helm of a virtual business and compete for market leadership. The simulation is set up and debriefed remotely via Webinar. At the client’s option, it can also be supplemented with a series of case-based elearning modules called Fluent in Finance. It presents a unique combination of elearning, simulation and virtual classroom in its design.

Today, we live at the intersection of technological innovation and learning. We feel that the ROI on remote team-based activities and simulation is so compelling, that we regularly include elements of it in the work that we are proposing and designing for clients this fall.

Welcome to the Future of Immersive Learning. Welcome to Blueline Simulations.

When I was at a session for learning professionals recently, Mike Barger, the CLO from Jet Blue, was asked by a young man in the audience about the best way to advance within his company. His response spoke volumes: “Too many of us are Learning Professionals working in the field of business. We need to rethink our roles and become Business Professionals in the field of learning.”

For the past 8 years, Blueline has been quietly earning the trust of many of the world’s most respected companies.  We have accomplished this by solving business problems for our clients: Sales & Marketing, Onboarding, Leadership, Change and Transformation, and Business Acumen.  It just so happens that we have done this using the most engaging and efficacious learning solutions in the marketplace.

Want to learn more? Check out our new website. Hear from our clients, learn about our many successes and explore the breadth of capabilities amassed over nearly a decade of solving business problems through research and innovation. Its all here!

Want a simple way to stay connected to the myriad of evolving solutions to business challenges? We offer lots of opportunities for you to join the conversation! Bookmark our new site, become a Blueline fan on Facebook, sign up for an RSS feed of the new BlueBlog, or follow us on Twitter.