Learners are immersed in a storyline that introduces business acumen concepts in a hands-on, visual setting (tailored to multiple learning styles). As small teams of learners become new owners of the struggling Zodiak company, they take out loans, attract investors, purchase equipment and materials, invest in product development and innovation, and deliver products and services to customers.

By understanding the big picture of how business works and how organizations make money, participants begin to see how their actions affect their organization’s bottom line.

Relevant company information is woven throughout the Zodiak experience, resulting in a rich experience that leaves participants accountable and motivated to make a positive impact when they return to their jobs.

Working together in small teams around a colorful game board and materials, new employees discover information about their new organization. They bring their own unique experiences and points of view to the table, enriching team dialogue with diverse thoughts and perspectives. Friendly competition among teams keeps the energy high, and a facilitator provides context and leads large group discussions.

Rounds of the game can be interspersed with visits from guest speakers, other necessary day-one information (IT, HR, etc.), and videos.

As an adaptable framework, Embark can be used for a variety of other purposes as well, such as communicating a strategy (strategic alignment), checking knowledge and application of previously communicated information (team-based role-play or practicing articulation, such as a value proposition in sales or customer service).

Discovery Maps® are fully customized learning solutions and communication tools that deliver concise, consistent, clear messaging in a team-based, interactive workshop. By supplementing the power of discovery learning activities (learning through action) with meaningful, contextually rich visuals, Paradigm Learning creates experiences that transfer key knowledge and critical, consistent messages with unrivaled clarity.

Whether alignment is needed for an organizational change, a new strategy, an introduction to organizational culture, the business of the business in onboarding or for another initiative, employees at all levels and in all jobs must understand the marketplace realities, where the organization is going, and how they fit into the picture of success.

Working in small teams, participants dive into a business storyline. They are challenged to demonstrate the Business Impact Accountabilities as they interact with direct reports and peer leaders and track the impact of their (and others’) decisions on customers, the organization, and its financials. They face talent issues, make complex decisions about interdepartmental relationships, and balance tactical approaches with the strategic priorities. Participants are engaged from start to finish as they discover how their decisions and actions affect the bottom line and how their behaviors, as part of the organization’s collective leadership team, impact its ultimate success.

Countdown immerses participants in an intense project that lasts seven simulated months. Small teams of participants move through project milestones, make critical decisions, communicate with stakeholders, and manage trade-offs – all under tight deadlines and with shifting priorities. Less than an hour into the game, teams work with a Gantt chart, estimate potential delays and costs, evaluate the critical path, assess project risks, and make important decisions as they drive their project to success. But it's more than an agile project management simulation game: It's a serious, intensely effective learning program.

Guided by activity cards, participants gather in small teams around a visual centerpiece. They explore and discuss key concepts about the external forces that cause change, the impact of change, the drivers of success, how emotions and behaviors help or hinder progress and more. Participants engage in dialogue about these topics and reflect on changes they are experiencing in their organization, how it affects and benefits them, and their role in its success.

Organization-specific discussions and exercises ground the concepts about change in real-world examples. The teams navigate the changes they’re experiencing and chart a path to understanding, acceptance, and advocacy.

Managers delve deeper into the session and explore their role as change leaders — their responsibilities, their necessary skills, how to apply critical thinking and how to deal with their own reactions to organizational change.

First, a Discovery Map®, a large, colorful, graphically intriguing and content-rich illustration, serves as a focal point for team interaction and activity. It communicates the core content of program in the form of visual clues and metaphors. A deck of Map Cards guides participants through the activity, leading them to discover content through exploring the visual and discussing key topics with their team.

Second, a Case Study challenges participants to analyze and discuss how leaders in a fictitious organization are developing the talent on their teams. Participants are introduced to several leaders follow these them through the activity as they begin to demonstrate and improve their talent leadership.

Through a series of critical thinking activities, participants reflect on the efficacy of the leaders in the fictitious organization and compare the lessons to their own organizations and themselves. Participants complete a self-inventory for their own talent development strengths and opportunities, as well as an action plan for when they return to the job.