This week we spoke with Aleksandra and Yulia, founders of BClub, a training company where programs develop the soft skills of people by playing. With an active and very attractive learning method that combines playful elements of business training with interactive collaboration, BClub offers 100% practical training, 0% theory.
A powerful and direct conversation about how to innovate in top management training, through the use of characters.
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We welcome Alexandra and Julia, founders of BClub. The project primarily serves companies with diverse employee profiles, targeting highly qualified individuals and top managers. The mission at BClub is to boost engagement and maximize learning efficiency through game-centric technology.
What is the training challenge you want to share today with us?
One of the significant training challenges I’ve encountered is the reluctance of top managers to engage in learning. With around five years of experience as a business trainer, I’ve observed that some top executives believe they already possess extensive knowledge, leading to a skeptical attitude. On the other hand, highly skilled employees, though adept in hard skills, face difficulty integrating new soft skills into their work. Their individual characters and experiences often hinder the seamless application of training tools in the workplace, posing a notable challenge in my role as a business trainer.
What was the innovation in this kind of program?
In our program, B-Quest, the innovation lies in the integration of immersive role-playing games with a unique twist on cards. While role-playing isn’t groundbreaking in business training, our approach involves character cards that go beyond typical roles like directors. Each card represents a character in a thrilling psychological drama, offering a two-page story. This innovative method immerses participants, including top managers and skilled professionals, from the start. The complexity encourages careful reading, strategic thinking, and enhances communication skills, adding a dynamic layer to the training experience and incorporating diverse variables beyond the immediate topic of discussion.
What were the results achieved with this program? How can we measure the success of this kind of program?
The success of BeQuest is measured by the active engagement of all 15 participants throughout the program. The design ensures constant communication and interconnection among participants, making it impossible to evade engagement. The participants’ past stories are interlinked, and decisions collectively influence the course of BeQuest. This dynamic structure ensures that everyone progresses while staying within their comfort zones, respecting individual preparedness and allowing advancement at a personalized pace. The achievement lies in balancing the task to foster successful learning, making BeQuest a program that significantly delivers impactful results.
If you would have to start again to design this kind of proposal, with your experience, your background of this different program or project, right? What do you do differently?
Given my experience, if I were to redesign this proposal, I’d prioritize understanding the cultural nuances. My immigration to Italy taught me that adapting BeQuest for a different audience, in this case, Italian participants, required a complete rewrite of the scenarios and plots. Recognizing the distinct mentality was crucial. The lesson learned is to thoroughly grasp the cultural context, especially when dealing with diverse mentalities. In future projects, I would first consider the existing corporate culture, ensuring that the game aligns seamlessly, fostering universal involvement and a shared perception within the group.
What is the role of the culture of each country, and learning culture in training programs?
The role of culture is crucial, especially in programs with an unconventional approach like the outlier program. In Russia, a more assertive learning style is common, where top managers dictate tasks, requiring strong leadership for effective engagement. In contrast, in Italy, the emphasis on meritocracy fosters a sense of leadership in every employee, promoting productivity and connection to company dynamics. Understanding these cultural nuances is essential for successful implementation. Additionally, the passion and openness of Italians in their work highlight the need to manage emotions effectively in such projects. Cultural fit is key to navigating these differences successfully.