In the race to keep up with advancing technology and the shifting requirements of employees in the workplace, traditional learning methods are becoming increasingly obsolete (Deloitee's Study 2019).
In this environment, there is a necessity to look towards alternative models of professional learning which are compatible with the changing landscape of work. Experiential learning is one methodology increasing in popularity in the corporate training area, that is known to be an effective approach. But how it can be applied to learning in the workplace to achieve both improve learning outcomes and employee engagement?
David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984 from which he developed his learning style inventory. Kolb's experiential learning theory is concerned with the learners’ internal cognitive processes. Kolb stated that learning involves the acquisition of abstract concepts that can be applied flexibly in a range of situations.
In Kolb’s theory, the impetus for the development of new concepts is provided by new experiences.
“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 38). And we put this core concept into TYCOON.
Benefits of TYCOON® as an Experiential learning tool :
FUN and Engaging!
Demonstrates how to apply new skills in the real world.
Access to real-time coaching and feedback. From peers to the trainers.
Promotion of teamwork and collaborative problem-solving.
Instils personal conviction about the value of changing behaviours.
Development of reflective practice habits.
Can be applied at any level within an organisation.
Accomplishments and ROI are obvious.
1. CONCRETE EXPERIENCE
Nothing beats the “real thing”. There is a saying that goes; “You got to climb the mountain to know the mountain”. Although humans have the ability to simulate experiences in our mind that we have yet to receive, the real stimulus from the mountain is still missing. As it is not possible for any cyclist to forget how to ride a bicycle, it is imperative for the team to have "hands-on" experiences in order to optimize what can be learned from it.
In TYCOON, you are playing as an entrepreneur in a team environment. You will have to handle different business dimensions and improvise by applying practical entrepreneurial skills, i.e. decision making, innovative mindset, agility, critical thinking and other attributes of what it takes to achieve the goal.
2. REFLECTIVE OBSERVATION
The second stage in the cycle is that of reflective observation. This means taking a time-out from "doing" and stepping back from the activity and reviewing what has been done and experienced.
Reflection is part of the thinking process. By reflection, you can discover new perspectives and ideas that lead to learning, from themselves and from other people.
In our standard agenda, a facilitated group discussion and best practice sharing will be conducted in the middle of the whole journey after the completion of the first 60 minutes of simulation.
3. ABSTRACT CONCEPTUALIZATION
Armed with learning through reflection, the team can form generic concepts and principles to improve their own individual styles and team environment.
At this stage the team make comparisons between what they have done, reflect upon and what they already know. They may draw upon theory and ideas from others and observations or any other skills that they have developed.
This is not just the end part of the mid-term discussion. By having lots of AHH-HA moments, there will be an important "twist" - what if there's a second chance? You are right! There will be a surprise and an even bigger challenge for the team.
4. ACTIVE EXPERIMENTATION
The final stage of the learning cycle is when the learner considers how they are going to implement what they have learnt into practical actions. Forming the concepts and principles without applying them is meaningless, identically brilliant ideas kept in the mind is useless. Application of the concepts and principles to new situations is indispensable to the development of the team. In the game, our "Big Surprise" offers the team to have a second chance but with strident criteria, setting up a stage for the team to test their ideas, apply the new skills they have learnt from the previous stages into a new simulation.
NEXT: LINK BACK TO WORK!
After the second challenge, the facilitator links the experience back to the reality so participants understand how they can apply what the have learned to their desk. The use of metaphors from the simulation is also what makes experiential learning different from traditional training.
When all of these elements are combined, the result is a learning experience that participants are excited to engage, what was learnt is inscribed into their minds, and are able to confidently apply the new skills acquired back to their working environment.
As an individual debriefing sessions, we suggest 30-60 minutes for the final debriefing; depending on the goal, objectives, format, team scale and style of delivery.
AFTER THE WORKSHOP
Experiential learning gives participants a universal reference point and a common language they can use long after the event in order to apply the lessons learned. More importantly, you can expect them to continue to apply their new performance optimization skills for the rest of their careers.
Support post-course content retention with periodic discussions about the successes and challenges that individuals have faced from whole TYCOON journey. Measuring improvements and rewarding individuals for their success are also important motivators that can help keep up the momentum and encourage individuals to continue to apply their new knowledge.