Team Building: Tips for Using Business Simulations

Team building simulationsTeam-building simulations take teams through shared experiences that are debriefed to uncover business insights. Business simulations can be delivered:

  • on-site
  • off-site at hotels or resorts
  • during retreats or conferences
  • preceding business meetings or on a stand alone basis.

Some companies and event planners confuse recreational teams events with team building. While some business simulations incorporate recreation, team building is much more powerful than strictly recreational corporate events. Simulations can:

  • painlessly introduce team members to new business tools.
  • help participants gain insight into team and organizational dynamics.
  • give teams a dry run before organizational change.
  • provide a vehicle for brainstorming and generating ideas.

Team-building simulations create a safe setting for honing leadership skills and improving team interaction. They can incorporate:

Team building simulations

  • outdoor activities and themes paralleling organizational realities
  • real business projects
  • computer generated scenarios
  • games
  • cases


Here are quick tips for forming teams:

  • Use an inventory to identify learning or interaction styles (e.g. HBDI, LIS Personal Assessment).
  • Put team members with similar styles together or ensure a mixture of styles.
  • If a simulation requires specific skills (e.g. cooking, outdoor survival skills, etc.) balance the teams.
  • Appoint your most inexperienced and newest team members as team leaders.
  • Avoid putting team members on the same team as immediate supervisors.
  • Mix teams cross-functionally.
  • Place individuals who find it challenging to work together on the same team.

Team BuildingDesigning and delivering effective simulations blends instructional design, facilitation and event planning skills. It has often been said that:

"The simulation is only an excuse for debriefing."

The real value of business simulations is the debriefing and business application exercises that follow them.

Executives and event planners, with questions about team building and business simulations are welcome to post them.

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