Learning Visuals

Using Simulation to Put Learning in Context

There’s little question that adoption and retention are driven by immersion and engagement. And there’s no better way to both immerse and engage your learners than through simulation.

Simulation is uniquely effective because it creates an opportunity for learners to apply knowledge, skills and behaviors in context. Many simulation designs also are able to deliver just-in-time, just enough performance support at the point of need. And some simulations can even be used as assessment instruments, helping to identify learners with the greatest need and pinpointing specific skill deficiencies.

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Types of Simulation

There are essentially two types of simulation: branching/decision-tree and spreadsheet.

Branching/decision-tree simulations can be used to model interactions with people, software and machines. They range from simple hard-coded faux sim designs that give the illusion of choice to robust designs that distribute and repurpose thousands of nodes based on algorithmic rules and probabilities. This type of simulation is very effective at developing a broad range of interpersonal and decision-focused competencies such as sales, service, coaching and problem-solving and can incorporate interactions with relevant software and machines.

Spreadsheet simulations use complex scenario-modeling frameworks to simulate business strategy and marketplace dynamics. They range from simple sim-board designs that require teams of participants to move chips and tally their own results to sophisticated networked designs that mirror the dynamics of a rapidly changing marketplace. This type of simulation is effective at developing competencies such as business acumen, leadership, change management and judgment.

Despite major technological advances that have reduced development cycles and associated costs, custom simulations typically cost more than other learning alternatives. And the higher the fidelity of the simulation and the more integrated with technology, the greater the cost.

As a third option, our signature Blueline BlueprintTM designs borrow elements from branching and spreadsheet simulations to achieve similar levels of engagement and retention at a lower cost. Blueline BlueprintsTM have been proven to build enthusiasm and maximize retention across a broad range of competencies using both discovery and experiential learning methods.

Over the next month, I’ll be addressing four critical questions to ask yourself to determine whether simulation is right for your needs. In the meantime, I invite you to contact us to learn more about any of our custom classroom simulations, Blueline Blueprint™ learning visuals or other innovative delivery methods that have been generating notable business results in leading organizations worldwide for more than 13 years.

If Not Training, Then What?

There’s a lot to be said for training; it certainly has solidified its place in corporate culture as a means of addressing issues, teaching skills and strategies and getting employees aligned, motivated and on track for great success.

But there are times when training isn’t the answer – when the situation calls for a different approach.

As a case in point, a client called several years ago asking to revise and update a training program we had developed in 2006. A short discussion, however, revealed issues that pointed to a different solution. The client didn’t have a training need, they had a communication need.

Rather than update the current training, together with the client we decided to develop two high-impact communication pieces:

  • The first piece, a telestration, served as the ideal medium for communicating exactly what leadership wanted employees to know in a very engaging and visually stimulating way. Being just a few minutes in length drove high levels of viewership.
  • The second piece we developed was a powerful Blueline infographic that served to refresh the target audience on the overall process they’d been trained on by graphically displaying key inputs, process steps and decision points. This engaging one-page visual then became a just-in-time ready-reference job aide.

Sharing graphic elements between the telestration and the infographic enabled us to drive adoption through consistent branding while keeping costs down. The solution met the goal without one minute of training.

One of the many frameworks Blueline Simulations uses to explore how to best help clients solve their business challenges is BKD (Believe-Know-Do). We start with what you want your target audience to be able to Do. Then we explore what they need to Know in order to Do that effectively. And finally, we pinpoint what they need to Believe to be motivated to Do it.

training program
training program

I invite you to contact us to learn more about any of our custom classroom simulations, Blueline Blueprint™ learning visuals or other innovative delivery methods that have been generating notable business results in leading organizations worldwide for more than 13 years.

Communicating Through Change

How a Blueline Blueprint Learning Visual and Quick Draw Video Can Help Tell the Story

Whether self-induced or triggered by external forces, organizational change can create confusion, uncertainty and fear at all levels – having a notable effect on morale, production and overall organizational climate.blueline-2.24.16v2

Although the end result is almost always positive, getting there can be a painful journey for everyone involved.

How you approach and communicate the change makes all the difference.

Whether change is embraced or polarizing, celebrated or chastised all comes down to one thing: leadership. It’s leadership’s job to align, communicate and get buy-in through a common message of both purpose and vision. “We’re doing this with you” rather than, “We’re doing this to you” is a message that’s both powerful and uniting.

Case in Point

A Fortune 100 healthcare company turned to Blueline Simulations after changes at all levels created fear and confusion throughout the organization. They enlisted our help in aligning stakeholders through a common purpose and vision for the future.

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Blueline led the way in helping to define their future and prioritize the actions that would bring it to life. More than that, we devised an approach to telling the story of their journey in a way that inspired employees and clients to embrace the vision and take the actions prioritized by leadership.

Capturing the Story Through a Blueline Blueprint

It started with one of our Master Artists drafting a Blueline Learning Visual that told the story of where the company had been. Plenty of white space was left to capture their vision for the future.

We then facilitated a one-day strategic planning session to guide our client’s efforts to define their vision for the future and prioritize the steps it would take to get there. Throughout the meeting, our Master Artist captured the process and the leadership team’s decisions. The final output was a table-size learning visual that the leadership team could use to engage others by telling the story of “where they had been, where they were going and how they planned to get there” in a fun, engaging way.

We repurposed the drawing and memorialized the leadership team’s efforts through a 4-minute narrated quick draw video telestration of the Master Artist creating the drawing so that it could be used to define and promote the organization’s brand. The final deliverable was a professionally narrated video of the Master Artist rendering the drawing for the audience. (Through the power of technology, the rendering takes place in about 1/60th of the time it actually takes to recreate the drawing.)

Communicating

The client kicked off its annual meeting with the quick draw video telestration, which set the foundation for a presentation by the leadership team. Large posters of the Blueline Learning Visual were on display throughout the meeting space so that participants could “re-experience” the journey with leadership.

The result is best summarized by the head of the organization, who opined: “The successful outcomes of this initiative are an important lesson in embracing the types of innovation we want to support throughout the organization. Through these efforts, we got 80% of the way to our destination in 20% of the time it usually takes us.”

Is your organization facing a challenging transformation? Contact the change management experts at Blueline today!

Why do Blueline Blueprint™ Learning Visual-based experiences drive such high levels of retention and application?

When teams of learners explore, discuss, and even argue about critical concepts, without even knowing it they are building powerful memories. By using a Blueline BlueprintTM Learning Visual-based experience, we are able to “lock-in” those memories through stories and metaphorical images.blueline-q&a3

Did you miss the previous questions? Check them now!

Learning Visuals Explained

Rich in visual metaphors and data, Blueline’s Blueprint™ learning visuals are a catalyst for in-depth discussion and analysis. Imagine a room full of teams of four or five learners each. At the center of every team is a table-sized Blueline Blueprint learning visual – a dramatic graphic that quickly engages the table team’s multiple learning styles by inviting learners to explore relevant visual metaphors, dig into data and trade personal experiences to challenge each other’s assumptions. And perhaps most important, they engage in rich dialogue that generates deep awareness of your strategic messages.

Learning Visual