Our company simulations and business simulation games are developed based on systems thinking as explained by Peter Senge in his book The fifth discipline (Senge 1990).

Our company simulations and business simulation games are developed based on systems thinking as explained by Peter Senge in his book The fifth discipline (Senge 1990).

Systems thinking helps us understand the complex and non-linear relationship between cause and effect and so to pinpoint learning disabilities in organizations. These learning disabilities can lead to an incorrect understanding of what is going on.

For example, people who are themselves operating as part of the system find it hard to see the whole picture of mutual influence between parts of the system. 

Trying to solve business problems without understanding the whole system in operation, usually causes unwanted outcomes. 

Examples of these outcomes could be that intended solutions have little or no effect, have unintended (side) effects or that short term quick fixes have direct consequences for the health of the whole system in the longer term. 

Quick fix?

An example of a quick fix in the game BizzBuilder is a participant who wants to grow his business fast and is given an opportunity to expand his services to a client. 

  • But in order to fulfill the assignments he has to overstretch the abilities of his team members. 
  • This means asking them to do work that they are not trained to do. 
  • This has two unwanted effects: the client will not be satisfied with the outcomes and so client satisfaction will decline. 
  • With this, the client will be less inclined to offer new opportunities and general reputation declines as well. 
  • The other effect is that team members who are asked to do work that they are not trained for will be less productive and less happy. 
  • Their reduced happiness can lead to a decision to leave the team. 

So this quick fix decision to grow the business will ultimately lead to a dissatisfied customer, reduction in new opportunities, reduced productivity and a smaller team. Obviously, in the longer term, this quick fix will cause the opposite effect of the one intended. 

A short movie to illustrate

A short movie that illustrates how InContext develops organizational games so that they become a precision instrument in understanding your organization.

"To built a simulation game that fits the situation we need a systems diagram......"

More about systems diagrams

Contact: Thomas Benedict
More about systems diagrams