Battlespace is a popular simulation and business game that has even greater success when it is paired with the Belbin Team Role Model.
Whilst the game has a military thematic, this is mainly to provide credible complexity and disequilibrium to allow individuals and teams to project thier natural strengths, weaknesses and biases into the challenge. It is also a relevant theme for any business in a competitive and changing environment.
The comparisons between the military and business with respect to enhancing teamwork and leadership in environments of increasing complexity are many. The military has effective tools for dealing with decision-making amidst complexity, such as the MDMP (Military Decision Making Process).
Matching an expert knowledge of Belbin Team Role theory to the MDMP adapted for business offers powerful insight into how to better manage the weaknesses and cognitive biases that will often occcur when teams are expected to generate good results under pressure.
In a military environment the impact of poor leadership, teamwork and decision-making is often drastic and instantaneous. In business it can be equally impactful, just far slower to realise.
Belbin offers a concise and easily understood language and framework within which to explore how team and leadership behaviours profoundly impact a teams ability to plan and execute. In fact, Belbin is openly used and referenced in the Australian Army Leadership manuals that are used at Royal Military College Duntroon and other Officer training units.
In the course of a tailored Battlespace session, individual and team Belbin reports are used during targeted de-briefs that will analyse how both successes and execution errors are often anchored in the Team Role strengths and weaknesses found within the team.
Awareness of these insights, and what the indicators are for when such obvious biases are creeping into decision-making in the real world, is valuable indeed. Teams can personalise these sessions to craft actual commitments and follow-through strategies that will enable them to better leverage strengths and offset weaknesses back at work.
The game delivers a complex real time challenge with a highly credible and engaging theme. The lessons learned are therefore not only highly relevant to participants, but also highly memorable.