What is the real value of Leadership Development Simulations and Games?

by Ken Thompson, 31 July 2014


According to a recent survey[1] by Deloitte, where they interviewed and surveyed 445 investment analysts, good leadership can add up to 35% to a company valuation (average 15%).

Conversely poor leadership can reduce a companies valuation by up to 20%!

The Deloitte survey also identified the 3 skills which analysts value most in senior leaders, namely the ability to:

  • Form effective Strategy
  • Execute on Strategy and Business Objectives
  • Create a culture of Innovation

Last year we analysed[2] the differences between the top performing teams and the rest from 18 different teams in a major enterprise who over a two year period played a “run the company” leadership development business simulation game for a day.

Our results confirm and amplify the Deloitte findings, namely that the Top Performers:

  • Avoided the "Presumption of change" trap.
  • Suspended assumptions and actively sought out any available expert input.
  • Rigorously followed the discipline of evidence-based decision-making.
  • Were prepared to make painful trade-offs on their priorities where necessary.
  • Displayed "coherence" of strategy and action.
  • Were open to collaboration and learning

From these results is seems clear that there can be significant business value in leadership development simulation games if they focus effectively on the "big 5" issues for leaders:

  • Strategy
  • Execution
  • Decision-Making
  • Innovation
  • Teaming/Collaboration. 


1. “The Leadership Premium: How Companies Win the Confidence of Investors.”

2. "High performance leadership/decisions: business game research findings."

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A Systematic Guide to Game Based Learning within in OrganizationsTransform Performance Through Experiential Learning, Social Learning and Team Dynamics

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