Leadership

Give your next Generation of Executives the Experience they need to Lead

One in four

… One in four CEOs said they were unable to pursue a market opportunity or have had to cancel or delay a strategic initiative because of talent challenges.

One in three

… CEOs are concerned that skill shortages will impact their company’s ability to innovate effectively.

Fast Track

Put your organization on the fast path to growth. Give your next generation of executives the experience they need to lead.2business-colleagues-shakin

Discover our complete set of leadership development experiences first hand through a series on 50-minute webinars hosted by Blueline’s Managing Partner and Director of Leadership Innovations. These experiences are designed to enhance any leadership curriculum, can be deployed face-to-face or virtually, and are potent enough to capture the imagination of your most discerning leaders.

Performance Management is Broken

people sim visualFully 70 percent of survey respondents referenced in a paper published March 4, 2014 by Deloitte University Press stated that they are either “currently evaluating” or have recently “reviewed and updated” their performance management systems. The authors note, “today’s widespread ranking- & ratings-based performance management is damaging employee engagement, alienating high performers, and costing managers valuable time.

Introducing PeopleSIM™: Performance Coaching. This immersive eSimulation challenges experienced and high potential leaders to apply coaching concepts in realistic settings while receiving immediate and continuous feedback. Optional classroom and/or virtual classroom elements can be added to create a fully transformative experience.


Please join us for a live walk-through of PeopleSIM™ led by Blueline’s Director of Leadership Innovations: Steve Mosley. Two dates to choose from: April 29th or May 9th!


During the info session and demonstration, you’ll get an exclusive sneak peek at PeopleSIM™: Performance Coaching and get to see first-hand how this revolutionary new program will change the way you groom your next generation of High-Potential Leaders!

If you are unable to participate in one of our upcoming public webinars, contact us today to schedule a private demonstration for your company.

The Talent Management Specialists at Blueline Simulations Sweep the Brandon Hall Awards

The Talent Management Specialists at Blueline Simulations sweep the Brandon Hall Awards

Yesterday I enjoyed a little taste of what James Cameron must have felt the night that Titanic swept the Oscars. Ok, so this may sound overly dramatic, if you will forgive the pun. Billy Crystal wasn’t hosting, and there was no red carpet.

But in our industry there are few awards that matter as much as the Brandon Halls.  Now in its 17th year, the awards program announced yesterday the winners from 22 categories.  Entries were judged by a panel of independent senior judges, Brandon Hall Group Sr. Analysts and Executive Leadership based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, usability, innovation, and overall measurable benefits.

As Mike Cooke, Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group, Inc. put it: “This year’s winning entries were the best of the best. We are proud to recognize the award winners who have greatly improved the performance of their organization and have shown clear, measurable business results through these innovative programs.”

And in Blueline Simulation’s first year as a submitter, our client partners won five Gold Awards! 

You read that correctly: FIVE GOLD BRANDON HALL AWARDS!  Congratulations to Bank of America, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Verizon Wireless for being acknowledged as the “best of the best” by winning Gold Medals in the following categories:

  • Best Custom Content: The Verizon Wireless Retail Sales Simulator
  • Best Learning Game: The Verizon Wireless Retail Sales Simulator
  • Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning: Bank of America Teller Readiness Simulation and Assessment
  • Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management: Bank of America Teller Readiness Simulation and Assessment
  • Best Onboarding Program: Booz Allen Hamilton New Hire Onboarding Program

And here is the best part: while awards in and of themselves are nice, for us the bigger reward was the opportunity to work with three of the most talented and dedicated client teams with whom we have ever had the pleasure to partner.

So how does the team at Blueline plan to follow up on this tremendous showing? We’d like to create some best-in-class learning solutions with you! Give the Talent Management Specialists at Blueline Simulations a call and find out why our client partners have been rewarded with these and other awards from Bersin and ASTD in 2011.

Simulation Develops Results Focused Leaders at Fortune 300 Company (Part 2)

In my last post, I described the need for a simulation that could serve as a capstone event for our Leadership Development program at Alltel, and how I came to decide to use Blueline Simulations’ Executive Challenge™. Together, we conducted roughly 15 sessions over a two-year period. Each delivery built on the one before as we refined the simulation in ways that made it feel as if it had been designed just for Alltel. The work we did on debriefs and adverse events to help “customize” the experience made it that much more relevant to my audience.

Attendees were placed in teams of eight and were tasked with growing a virtual business by investing in and producing product lines, responding to market demands, and balancing time, capital, and human resources. Throughout the simulation, teams evaluated the sustainability of a business and the long-term implications of short-term decisions, acknowledged personal management styles and leadership blind spots, balanced personal and organizational objectives, solved complex business problems collaboratively, defined a clear strategic vision as a team, and implemented this vision in the face of adverse events.

The simulation began after normal work hours on day 1, as teams were presented with the simulation scenario, had a practice session on the technology, and discussed their company strategies for the next day over dinner. Day 2 lasted a full day and consisted of participants managing their companies over 6-8 virtual quarters. During debriefs, teams examined how closely their decisions reflected the Core Values of Alltel, as well as the soundness of their business strategies.

Teams prepared presentations at the end of the simulation experience and delivered them to a Board of Directors composed of Alltel executives. The board chose a winner based on strategy, financial performance, team effectiveness, ability to handle adverse events, adherence to the program competencies, sustainability, and overall quality of the presentation.

Participants found their simulation experience invaluable.  They experienced the challenges of being a results focused leader, while using behavior and relationship skills in their interactions with their fellow team members. Participants rated the experience highly, remarking on “how the pressure, the competitiveness, the unexpected turn of events really tested their ability to work collaboratively to make good decisions and to execute against them.”

As for me, I had chosen the perfect partner and solution to bring all the work of leadership assessments, coaching and training together in an innovative, engaging and practical way that was useful and memorable to my Directors and Vice Presidents. To this day I continue to get comments from former Alltel Associates about the leadership program, and inevitably they always mention the chance to run their own companies, amidst market pressures and unanticipated events, that was Alltel’s Executive Challenge!

I am excited to now have the opportunity to represent this solution, plus the other equally powerful solutions Blueline offers as part of our Leadership Innovation Series. As Director of Leadership Innovations, I look forward to working with our clients to provide the same kind of business results and organizational impact that I witnessed first-hand in my use of these solutions at Alltel.

Is the notion of an artificially intelligent simulation dead?

(Or: Why you can be confident our simulations will never rise up to extinguish all of humanity.)

PART I

“Artificial intelligence” is just one of those terms. It grabs the imagination, doesn’t it? What does it make you think of? Maybe it evokes images of sci-fi adventures like TRON in which an altruistic prodigy programs a world of artificially intelligent beings more perfect than their creator. Or, perhaps you think of darker images such as the chilling, mutinous computer HAL from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. (As for the “rise of the machines” in Terminator 2… let’s not even go there.)

For me, artificial intelligence is not the stuff of sci-fi thrillers, but rather something much more utilitarian and closer to my vocation in the field of learning. I imagine an e-based learning experience that can adapt to the unique needs of each learner.

Okay, so maybe that’s mundane stuff for most people, but I think there’s still a lot here to be excited about.

Nearly a decade ago, a friend of mine, named Clark Aldrich, developed the first “artificially intelligent” business simulation. Clark and his team at Simulearn called that program Virtual Leader, and used it to teach interpersonal skills to leaders. In addition to creating a real breakthrough in design through the use of avatars and a powerful gaming engine, Virtual Leader was the first of its kind to adapt to the individual needs of the learner.

As you engaged with Virtual Leader, the simulation’s AI engine seemed to identify your bad habits. For example, let’s say you demonstrated a habit of interrupting and talking over other people. The computer would “notice” this behavior and then adapt to expose it as an area of developmental need.

Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it?  We all thought so. In fact, we thought that Virtual Leader would forever transform the way that e-based learning was designed and delivered.

But that didn’t quite happen. Mainstream application of these techniques has proven quite elusive for lots of reasons, including development costs in the millions of dollars; project timelines that can take years instead of months; and the difficulty of creating access within locked-down corporate IT environments.  And so the promise of artificial intelligence in business learning never quite came about.

But all of that is about to change. Check in next week to learn how.