Jul 27, 2006

Play to Learn!!!

“What I Hear, I forget.
What I See, I remember
What I Do, I understand.”

These were the opening words with which our Prof started the business simulation course. He went to explain about how the game would bring out the link between different business functions and lead to a better understanding of the same.

I initially thought, “Oh my God! Not another stupid simulation”. I have somehow never had a liking for business simulation games. How can one recreate real life business situations in a software package? Such games reduce real life to a collection of mathematical functions, and leaves out the so called softer issues. And the players do not have any stake in the business (other than their grades), and hence do not really care about the logic behind their decisions. And as some of my friends found to their dismay, one wrong link in the excel model can throw you out of the game.

Simulation games do have their place. What a Prof might take twenty sessions to explain might be conveyed by a game in a matter of hours. Also, when students are involved in playing the game, rather than listening to concepts, the understanding improves. Or so they say.

But, after playing the game, I doubt if there has been any quantum jump in my understanding of how business functions. I mean, I realize that different functions cannot work in silos, and strategy is also about ensuring consistency in decisions across functions.

If that is what the game was intended to teach, then I think I have learnt a bit. But, if the game was meant to make me a super duper manager, then, I’m missing something. But then, if pilots can learn to fly through computer simulation, then I guess I can learn management from a game.

But, I still hate simulation games. And I dunno why…

1 comment:

  1. if that were the case - i could beat michael schumi many times over... i would be a pilot having to visit multiple cities and would have been the king of kings over the ages...

    i just believe that this game teaches you to trust your guts...