Monday, August 26, 2013

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: Why Simulations Are So Effective for Corporate Training

Research and experience confirm that the most powerful and lasting learning comes from the discovery associated with our direct experiences - when we act and then experience the consequences of our actions. It is what Peter Senge has dubbed, "the learning horizon."

The dilemma, however, is that ambiguous problems and complex situations typically have very long learning horizons, requiring the passage of months or even years before the consequences of previous actions and decisions can be experienced.

Simulations accelerate learning associated with the analysis of complex problems, and equally important, the managerial and interpersonal behaviors required to act (lead or perform) successfully in a complex environment. According to Dayle Smith, professor of management and organizational behavior at the University of San Francisco's School of Business and Management, "[Simulations are a powerful and effective] response to the need for more integration of functional business areas. This provides the working manager with the problem-solving experience and skills he will need to effectively maneuver in today's complex business world." 

As a result, when facilitated effectively, a simulation creates an interactive learning experience that delivers significant knowledge and real behavior change. Unlike the traditional classroom in which participants learn by hearing or watching, in simulations, they learn by doing, a process proven to transfer concepts quickly from theory into action so they become immediately implementable in the workplace.

Ahmad Ezzeddine, assistant dean at the Wayne State University School of Business, describes another benefit of simulations: their ability to address all the various learning styles. "People can read, touch, and feel the results, so individuals have an opportunity to learn in the way that is best for them."

Perhaps the biggest reason simulations are so valuable in the corporate classroom is their contribution to emotional intelligence. Relationship skills are a critical managerial competency. According to research conducted by Discovery Learning at the Center for Creative Leadership, 64 percent of managers selected developmental goals related to building better relationships as important competency skills, while just 37 percent selected goals related to being a better manager or administrator.

Have you experienced the unique learning environment provided by a simulation? We'd love to hear about it!

Please share your insights and questions by posting comments below. For help in selecting the right simulation, pairing a simulation with an assessment, or learning how to become certified to use any of our simulations, visit our website at or use our Contact Page. We have compiled extensive data to inform us about the best simulation and assessment instruments for different circumstances.

This post was extracted from articles by Chris Musselwhite,  Sue Kennedy, and Nancy Probst, originally published in T+D magazine (American Society for Training and Development).

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Exchange Works Well With Individual Assessments

The Exchange provides a wealth of learning potential that is easily transferable to the workplace. It can be paired with leadership assessments to deepen and accelerate learning. Three excellent examples include: 

  • Change Style Indicator: The Exchange offers much change, ambiguity and emerging trends. How do change style preferences impact individual responses and team dynamics? Participants can explore the effectiveness of their change style preference and learn how to become more effective. 
  • Decision Style Profile: The Exchange teams must plan a strategy and then execute. Can the teams make decisions about their direction and execution in a way that builds support and commitment? Learn how flexibility in your decision making style improves your contribution to a team.  
  • Influence Style Indicator: Starting with individual ideas, The Exchange teams must integrate multiple perspectives to be successful. How effective and appropriate is your preferred influencing style? Discover the skill of adapting your influence style for better communication and stronger impact. 

Live introductory webinar for The Exchange September 25 or 26, 2013

Please join Chris Musselwhite in a live webinar to introduce you to The Exchange on September 25 at 8:00 AM (ET) or September 26 at 1:00 PM (ET). If you would like to join us for this live chat
Register Now 
so we can count you in. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Product, New Look, Introductory Webinar at Discovery Learning, Inc.

New Product: The Exchange

I am excited to announce that Discovery Learning, Inc. (DLI) has just launched a web-based simulation, The Exchange.Get your complimentary case study now!

The premise of The Exchange is simple - provide individuals with a challenging situation that requires teamwork, critical thinking, nimbleness and adaptability in a rapidly changing, unpredictable environment. The Exchange revolves around trading red, blue, and green medallions in combinations that shift in value as the exercise progresses. 

The outcomes of The Exchange are equally simple - set team goals, map out strategies, manage limited resources, distill information, determine collective tolerance for risk, size up competitors and above all, ask questions along the way. 

New Logo, New Look!

Along with our new product, DLI is moving to a new look so you may notice our new logo and a few changes to our products over the coming months. In conjunction with these changes, we are rededicating our company to ensure our products help leaders identify their skill sets and leadership styles in a way that is nonjudgmental and also allows them to quickly incorporate that awareness into their daily experiences. We've also taken to heart feedback from our clients and partners to create experiential learning tools that can be easily incorporated into half-day sessions.

The Exchange is now available with online, just-in-time certification. As with our other products and experiential tools, we believe this certification helps to guarantee the best experience with our products for facilitators and users. 

Live introductory webinar for The Exchange September 25 or 26, 2013

Please join me in a live webinar to introduce you to The Exchange on September 25 at 8:00 AM (ET) or September 26 at 1:00 PM (ET). If you would like to join me for this live chat
Register Now 
so we can count you in. 

I look forward to your feedback on The Exchange, as well as your perspectives on how we are doing in fulfilling our mission to be the premier provider of leadership development assessments and simulations. Feel free to contact us at or 336.272.9530.

We really value your input.

Chris Musselwhite, President/CEO
Discovery Learning, Inc.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

NEW DLI Certification Requirements and Upcoming Workshop

DLI Simulations now require certification

Don't worry, for any simulation you have used previously used you will be grandfathered
Simulation Certificationin. We invite you to visit the certification area of our website to see what's new. You can use your email address and login to the Facilitator Tools area of our website to locate any new or updated resources. DLI is offering The Exchange certification for $250 USD, a $300 value, through 2013. Register Here to take advantage of this introductory rate.

Mark your calendars for our next Certification Workshop 

We have an upcoming PressTime and Decision Style Certification Workshop October 1-4, 2013 at Discovery Learning headquarters in Greensboro, NC. Register Now

Learn to facilitate the world’s best simulation! PressTime certification will allow you to take this powerful simulation into any organization to build skills in planning, execution, decision making, collaboration and feedback with a strong emphasis on people capability and engagement. 

As a bonus, trainers will also receive certification in Decision Style Profile.
Certification is required for use of both products. 


Day One: Oct. 1 - 5:00PM - 7:00PM ET

Day Two: Oct. 2 - 8:00AM - 5:30PM ET
PressTime/Large Group Debrief 

Day Three: Oct. 3 - 8:00AM - 5:15PM ET
Small Group Debrief/Integration/Facilitation 

Day Four: Oct. 4 - 8:00AM - 3:30PM ET
Facilitation Practice/Q&A

Certification includes:

Facilitator Guides, PT Team Facilitator Quick Guides, Access to proprietary
PressTime Software, DSP PowerPoint, Access to DLI’s Online Assessment
Center, DLI Website Listing. 

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