Inroads to Riches

It’s quite possible that the last thing people are thinking about when they walk into a professional development class is whether or not the course is designed with adult learning principles in mind.

However, if the class does not incorporate these principles, the unfortunate participants might start feeling bored, frustrated, and even angry to have wasted their time.

CMOE understands the importance of adult learning principles and applies them to all of its workshops. Self-directed inquiry is one of those principles that can be illustrated through the use of experiential exercises.

At CMOE, we’ve designed several, in-depth exercises that are included in our workshops. One that many of our participants enjoy is Inroads to Riches™.

inroads-richesInroads to Riches™ is a complex business strategy simulation.

The objective is for each team to formulate and execute a winning business strategy and outperform rival teams to become the industry leader.

In order to do this, team members must work together to achieve a competitive advantage in a variety of areas: location, distribution, product mix, and customer base.

Teams use designated planning time to map out a strategy, purchase resources, and identify a territory.

In addition, teams must continuously monitor their competitors’ moves while executing (and if necessary, modifying) their own strategic plan.

The rules are challenging, time is short, and resources are limited. In a matter of just a few minutes for each round, teams must build roads, introduce products, and claim their share of the selected market.

This simulation provides an engaging and competitive learning environment that allows participants to get involved and excited about strategy. There are many parallels between the simulation and real life strategy that participants will either learn about or recognize on their own.

Ultimately, they will be able to apply the learning back in the real world. Some of the business applications include:

  • Monitoring the competition.
  • Identifying and securing your market space.
  • Determining the best product mix for your customer base.
  • Understanding the importance of location.
  • Working as a team to create a strategy.
  • Realizing the power of planning and flexibility.
  • Allocating resources effectively.
  • Aligning strategy with organizational goals, values, and expectations.
  • Balancing risk vs. potential results.
  • Planning for the unexpected.

These and many other topics can be explored as part of the debrief of the simulation based upon the specific needs of your organization and the goals of the class.

When it’s all over, participants walk away with practicable skills and a better understanding of the power of strategic leadership and how thinking and acting strategically can empower them in every part of their life.

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About the Author
Cyndi Keller
Cyndi Keller is the Director of Curriculum Design & Development at CMOE. She brings over 20 years of communication project management experience to the Design Team and CMOE clients. She works with the Design Team to guide the design, development, and production of innovative learning and development curriculum.

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