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Why sink or swim when you can play?

Game-based, business simulation training is a great way to practice your strategic skills

It seems a never-ending story, perhaps part of our ethos as professional communicators…

Why do we struggle to get a seat at the table? How do we prove our worth? What does it take to demonstrate our impact on the business? Why don’t we get the recognition we deserve in our organizations?

Sound familiar? The simple answer we often hear is that we need to be more “strategic” to advance in our careers. But what does this really mean and how do we get it?

In a nutshell, it comes down to what I call the 3-C Equation:

1. Competency, including business acumen to understand the bigger picture.

2. Confidence, to make strategic recommendations beyond our functional roles.

3. Credibility, to deliver measurable impact as a trusted, strategic advisor

Competency + Confidence = Credibility

You need to develop the first two to achieve the outcome. Luckily, IABC offers a wide range of professional development to advance your competencies and business skills. Regional conferences like the upcoming connect2comms this October are also unique opportunities to learn directly from experts and build your network with influential leaders in the field. I’m honored to be presenting among esteemed colleagues and encourage you to register now.

But how do we develop Confidence? It can only be gained through experience – usually on the job. Maybe you’ve been fortunate to have good inhouse training or a dedicated mentor to support you. Or maybe, like many of us, you’ve had to sink or swim your way through a next-level role? This is where game-based, simulation training comes in.

Simulation training is a form of experiential learning that immerses participants in a world of fictional scenarios to practice critical skills in a safe environment. Coupled with a game-based approach, it is an effective way to boost learning retention and build confidence because neuroscience has proven humans learn best when they are fully engaged, having fun and free to explore trial and error without consequences. This is what Archetypical's Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders for communicators is all about.

Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders – Communication Leader game

This is a game-based simulation to help communicators practice their skills as strategic advisors and explore what it takes to be a business leader.

In this workshop, participants step into the role of Carmen Spinosa, Communication Director for Globocorp, a fictional multi-national organization. Playing in teams, they navigate a series of challenging scenarios to help Carmen make strategic decisions at an enterprise level to prove herself as a new member of the executive team. Players explore a variety of organizational issues from different perspectives and the strategic thinking needed to move beyond functional roles to deliver impact.

Surgeons, pilots, astronauts, and firefighters have long relied on simulation training to prepare for success. Why? Because practice makes perfect when it’s critical to get it right the first time.

You could argue our business doesn’t involve life or death scenarios – unless you worked in an environment where something published with a typo meant somebody had to die! Just kidding. Sort of. I’ve been there… but does critical decision-making that impacts your business deserve any less rigor? I say not if you’re serious about advancing your career.

Come play with us

I’ll be facilitating this fast-paced workshop on Friday morning at the connect2comms conference in Greenville, SC. Are you ready for two hours of fun and games? You’ll be challenged to play outside your comfort zone in a safe space and hopefully gain new perspectives on your strategic potential. I hope to see you there!

Sharon Hunter, SCMP

Facilitator, game-based learning

Past Chair, IABC International Executive Board