Business simulations

Jamesson Solutions facilitates learning by doing with certifications in leading business simulations.

We all learn better by doing

Business simulations allow people to learn through self-discovery, by doing.

Proven effective as powerful development tools in a variety of engagements, they provide a safe space where experimentation, failure and learning can occur.

Individuals can see how they perform under pressure, revealing strengths, weaknesses and emotional intelligence. And when it comes to learning interpersonal communication skills, there is no organizational development program as powerful as a business simulation. Simulations including including Paper Planes, Awaka, Polygon Puzzle, EdgeWork, Our Town and more.

For more information, or if you don’t see what you’re looking for, call 336-298-7170 or

The Acquisition®

The Acquisition® uses a real business case to promote group problem-solving, consensus decision-making and a better understanding of group dynamics. It is a simulation that asks participants to first solve the problem individually and then as a group making consensus decisions. The scores are then compared against the experts’ suggested rankings, demonstrating that effective teams generally produce better outcomes than individuals alone.

The Acquisition is a Level 1 Simulation

How it works

You and 1-4 team members are told by your board of directors that your company is adopting a strategy of growth through acquisition. Senior management is well aware that over 75% of mergers and acquisitions fail to meet expectations. However, senior management believes that with careful and thoughtful planning a growth strategy through acquisitions can be successful and will provide the most direct and least costly method to meet their long-term objectives.

As a member of the acquisition planning team you are to define a comprehensive plan for approaching and conducting future acquisitions. Through preliminary study numerous steps have been identified as critical for a successful acquisition process.

Your assignment is to rank order these steps in the appropriate sequence from first to last. To insure the best results, you are to first sequence the steps individually and then sequence the steps as a team, reaching consensus. You will meet with senior management to present your results.

Why use it?

  • Reveal barriers to effective team decision-making
  • Better utilize individual expertise in transition
  • Highlight the value of team decision-making
  • Explore the fun and frustration of team problem-solving
  • Highlight the necessity of good communication
  • Enables participants to understand and value the need to communicate and sell ideas
  • Learn how to work in teams more effectively
  • Explore effective team problem solving and decision-making
  • Learn how to be a better individual contributor to a team
  • Experience giving and receiving feedback


  • Program Length: 1-2 hours
  • Space Required: Depending upon # of teams, a large training room or ball room
  • Accommodates: Multiple teams with 2-5 participants each

The Acquisition® is a registered trademark of Discovery Learning, Inc.

For more information call 336-298-7170 or


The EdgeWork® simulation was developed by Discovery Learning, Inc. in collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership®. The simulation has participants assume managerial positions in two corporations that have very different organizational cultures, but are also partners in supplying an innovative technology to a specific industry. One company is a small research and development organization driven by humanitarian concerns and the desire to advance science. The other is a large profit-driven business operation.

EdgeWork® goes beyond individual and role-level tensions and conflicts, generating these issues on a group level. Groups are drawn to work on key challenges related to more effective ways of talking, thinking, deciding, and taking action together. EdgeWork® is a simulation of dynamic relationships, trade-offs, and conflicts that naturally occur whenever people work together in an organization.

EdgeWork is a Level 3 Simulation

How it works

Two companies find themselves interacting with regard to emerging technology. They discover in the process they have some similar and some different goals, perspectives and values, yet their mutual survival is at stake. The simulation helps participants explore personal and group responses to changes in boundaries, identity, perspectives and values. It explores the conflict of investing for long-term growth versus maximizing profits now. It also explores the values of bringing conflict into the open versus seeking harmony and agreement.

Why use it?

  • Individuals deal with the challenge of transitioning from a functional manager to more general or cross functional managers
  • Work groups identify difficult issues that may be limiting their performance
  • Challenge groups to think about working in new ways to produce results
  • Create awareness around what comprises a team and who is a team member
  • Increase sensitivity to diversity and identity
  • Call attention to changing perspectives and values
  • Provide a common experience for intact teams to use in discussing their organizational challenges.
  • Explore changing work arrangements from “self-contained” to “alliances”
  • Create opportunities to explore alternatives to traditional organizational relationships
  • Confront participants with a rapidly changing environment that demands reassessment of fluid boundaries
  • Manage cross-group boundaries, perspectives and initiatives
  • Build effective decision-making processes
  • Explore the cause-and-effect relationship between organizational culture and performance
  • Explore leadership amidst complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty of the new world economy
  • Understand the uses and effects of influence, power and conflict.


  • Program Length: 6-7 hours
  • Space Required: 1 large training room and 1 large breakout room; 2 breakout rooms desirable
  • Accommodates: 12-24 participants

EdgeWork® is a registered trademark of the Center for Creative Leadership®. EdgeWork is co-owned by Discovery Learning, Inc. and the Center for Creative Leadership. Discovery Learning, Inc. is the sole distributor for EdgeWork.

For more information call 336-298-7170 or

Paper Planes, Inc.®

Paper Planes, Inc.® helps participants experience the powerful effects of system re-engineering and process improvement, gain first-hand knowledge about the cost and waste inherent in a dysfunctional system, recognize barriers to change, develop new paths to continuous improvement, see the impact of redesign and re engineering on quality, perceive the critical connection between systems thinking, total quality, and customer orientation.

Paper Planes, Inc is a Level 2 Simulation

How it works

Participants are employed by a plane manufacturing company that has the opportunity to sell as many planes as they can manufacture that meet specific quality standards. Each participant plays an individual role in the production process, i.e., inspector, tester, etc.

The simulation consists of three production runs. After each run, group members discuss and evaluate their efforts measured by production cost, quality, customer satisfaction, delivery time and worker satisfaction. After evaluating effectiveness of their efforts, workers are allowed to redesign the production process to their own specifications. Serial interventions from the manufacturing company’s customer complicate the work redesign and production process.

Production Runs:

Run #1 – A Functionally Designed System: Participants manufacture planes using an established production design.

Run #2 – A Group-Designed System: Participants experience first-hand the impact of employee involvement on quality, cost, commitment and morale by working within a system they helped designed.

Run #3 – A Continuously Improving System: Participants learn that through collaboration and continuous improvement efforts, significant changes can take place. These changes are easier to implement and maintain because of the participants’ ownership of the change process.

Why use it?

Awareness of the problems inherent in compartmentalized work and just how effective a team can become.
How participation affects work ownership
Innovation of continuous improvement.
Elements of successful work redesign and re-engineering are identified.
Critical connections between systems, quality and an organizational customer orientation.
Effects of work redesign on cost, quality and overall team productivity.
In addition, the business simulation:

Quickly reveals barriers to organizational success
Provides insights into creative solutions.
Effectively transfers workshop learning to the workplace


Program Length: 5-7 hours
Space Required: 25 sq. feet per participant
Accommodates: 12-30 participants

Paper Planes, Inc.® is a registered trademark of Discovery Learning, Inc.

For more information call 336-298-7170 or

Paper Scrapers™

Paper Scrapers™ is a fun, structured, small team experience for the exploration of individual and team approaches to project development, design and implementation. From the simulation, Participants learn the value of creativity, planning, implementation and selling a project.

Paper Scrapers is a Level 1 Simulation

How it works

Team members are asked to design, build, and market a product. The product is a structure to be built out of materials provided in a supply kit. The finished towers are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Height
  • Stability
  • Use of material
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Originality

Teams consist of four to eight team members that are in competition with each other. After the construction is completed, each team makes a presentation of their structure and teams vote on the structure that best meets the criteria. Each team casts one vote and cannot vote for their own structure.

Why use it?

  • Experience team problem-solving and collaboration
  • Exploration of the total process of designing, implementing and selling a project
  • Learn and appreciate the value of the diverse contributions of team members
  • Explore the trade offs between creativity and implementation
  • Explore the utilization of different team talents in different stages of a project
  • Create an opportunity for individuals and groups to stretch themselves creatively
  • Enable a team to examine the impact of competition on project implementation


  • Program Length: 1-2 hours
  • Space Required: Depending on the number of teams, a large training room or ball room
  • Accommodates: 3-15 teams each with 4-8 participants

For more information call 336-298-7170 or

PaperScrapers® is a registered trademark of Discovery Learning, Inc.

Polygon Puzzle™

Polygon Puzzle™ is a challenging, exciting, fun filled and highly effective team development activity. Used by hundreds of organizations from all business sectors around the world. Polygon Puzzle enables you to build a team in less than one hour.

“Polygon Puzzle was the highlight of our session. Everybody loved it! We will definitely use it again and again.”

Joni Vetrano, Training Manager
LaQuinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST

“I think why it’s been successful and powerful is because it can be done in less than an hour. We’ve used it with everything from kids to senior executives. And it’s always been successful. I don’t think we never had it not work.”

Donna Reichmann, Author, Polygon Puzzle

The Polygon Puzzle is a powerful team development tool designed to teach team members to communicate effectively and to collaborate to achieve a common goal successfully. Used at any level of the organization from shop floor to boardroom, the Polygon Puzzle provides a powerful lesson in sharing information and listening. The puzzle can be used with small groups with up to 30 participants using a single puzzle, or with hundreds of participants using multiple puzzles.

The Polygon Puzzle is a Level 1 Simulation

How it works

  • Participants (8-30 with one puzzle) are divided into working teams to assemble a twenty-eight piece, two dimensional puzzle.
  • Participants are given written clues from a deck of thirty clue cards.
  • The clues are evenly divided among the work teams, with no single team having sufficient information to solve the puzzle.
  • The process consists of three phases; each phase is designed to allow participants to share information within their small team, then with the other teams, and finally to solve the puzzle as a group.
  • The solution to the puzzle becomes clear when the small teams learn that they must work together.
  • Works well with Individual Assessments like Change Style Indicator and Team Development Assessments like Team Performance Questionnaire.

Why use it?

  • To help your group understand the importance of teamwork
  • To identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses
  • To understand that each individual brings unique skills and experiences to the team
  • To learn to communicate effectively and to actively listen
  • To learn to cooperate and collaborate to problem-solve
  • To learn firsthand how synergy brings about enhanced individual and group performance
  • To learn how to create a positive work environment within which professional relationship are strengthened


  • 28 puzzle pieces (made of PVC multi-colored plastic)
  • 30 coated clue cards in a plastic case
  • Sturdy coated color solution sheet
  • CD-ROM with facilitator materials and resources
  • Includes: Expanded Facilitator Guide, New PowerPoint presentation and a bonus Team exercise to identify team member skills and set goals.
  • A Quick-Read, 1-Page Facilitator’s Guide
  • All materials designed for durability and reuse for many years to come


  • Exercise Length:  1 hours without assessment, 1.5 hours with assessment
  • Number of Participants: 8-30 with one puzzle, many more if more than one puzzle is used
  • Space Required: 1 room
  • Certification Required: NO, this simulation is designed to be used right out of the box with little pre-planning

For more information call 336-298-7170 or


PressTime®, a computer-driven behavioral simulation, captures the fast-paced and diverse decisions that project managers and team members make daily. PressTime® enables participants to improve team interactions and team building, enhance strategic planning and problem solving, and explore the added value of cross-functional teams.

Participants in PressTime® are managers in the second largest manufacturer of offset printing plates. The company currently holds about one-third of total market share. The company’s major competitor recently introduced a superior plate which sells for the same price.

A cross-functional team of managers has been assembled to put an improved printing plate on the market in six months or less.

The team members include a marketing manager, planning manager, manufacturing manager, business manager, HR manager and technical managers who report to a product development manager (up to eight team members total) in a matrixed structure. The team is charged with selecting, developing and bringing a product to market. While meeting this challenge, numerous complex technical, financial, marketing, and personnel decisions must be made.

PressTime is a Level 4 Simulation

How it works

  • Compresses real-world situations calling for decisions into a learning opportunity
  • Compels individuals to interact in ways that reveal their typical interpersonal styles
  • Creates learning opportunities through feedback from trained observers
  • Produces multiple sources of feedback on team and individual performance
  • Employs measurable factors to determine the success of the team
  • Provides a model for planning and implementing projects
  • Builds negotiation skills and teamwork to meet goals and objectives
  • Promotes the value of cross-functional teams
  • Develops strategic leadership and decision-making capability
  • Models quality management and personnel decisions
  • Creates team effectiveness through group interaction

Why use it?

  • Improve teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Develop strategic leadership and problem-solving skills
  • Develop improved decision-making capabilities
  • Identify participants’ team leadership strengths and development needs
  • Enhance the ability to lead critical organizational projects


  • Program Length: 1 ½ days
  • Space Required: 1 training room, 1 breakout room per team
  • Accommodates: 5-8 participants per team
  • Facilitators: Requires 1 certified program facilitator and 1 additional certified facilitator for each team
  • Equipment: Two laptop computers for each team

For more information call 336-298-7170 or

PressTime® is a registered trademark of Discovery Learning, Inc.

Team Buildings™

The Team Buildings™ simulation is a challenging and fun activity designed for two to four teams. Each team has five departments working in concert to build structures. Teams must integrate customers’ specifications and use predetermined geometric shapes and colors to construct the buildings.

“This was a great experience! Team Buildings allowed us to uncover our strengths and weaknesses and learn how to manage those weaknesses while accentuating our strengths.  I believe our team will be able to apply our learning immediately back in the workplace.”

Senior VP, Operations
US Software Company

The Company’s Design Book includes 7 different basic structures and 10 different specifications. The customer may request slight modifications or “custom features,” but the Sales Department must agree to them.

There is not enough information on each basic structure to complete the building; thus, additional information must be requested from the customer, who also scores the quality of the finished

Team Buildings is a Level 2 Simulation

How it works

  • The entire exercise takes between 3 and 3.5 hours to complete, depending on the scope of the activity (to be determined by the facilitator).
  • After a general briefing to all participants, each department is given cards that explain the roles in overall project and assessment criteria for success. Each team has five departments.
  • The facilitator assigns the customer role. There is one customer per team.
  • The exercise is divided into three phases with team debriefs following the two building phases, I and II.
  • Teams are competing against each other. The more buildings they produce to the correct specifications the higher thier score. Quality is important, it is possible to score higher with fewer buildings with high quality than 6 shoddy ones.
  • At the completion of the exercise, there is a debrief session for all participants

Why use it?

  • To work in teams for the successful achievement of team and personal goals
  • To gain awareness of the problems inherent in compartmentalized work and just how effective a team can become
  • To identify their own as well as other team members’ strengths and compensate for weaknesses
  • To understand that each individual brings unique skills and experiences to the team
  • To learn to communicating effectively improves quality and ensures efficiency
  • To learn to cooperate and collaborate to problem-solve
  • To learn how to clarify and modify roles and responsibilities to meet customer requirements
  • To learn first-hand how synergy brings about enhanced individual and group performance
  • To learn how to create a positive work environment within which professional relationship are strengthened


  • A CD containing the Facilitator Guide and slides for conducting the exercise
  • A bell to be used by the facilitator to signal start and end times
  • Role cards that are handed out at the end of the general briefing
  • Four team packets with the following:
  • Raw Materials (Paper)
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks
  • Magic Markers
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • A Quality Announcement to be read by the Salesperson in each team at the end of Phase I
  • Team Debrief sheets to be handed out by the Customer in each team at the end of Phase II
  • CD-ROM with facilitator materials and resources


  • Exercise Length: 3-3.5 hours without assessment, 3.5-4 hours with assessment
  • Number of Participants: 12-40 with set of materials, more can be accommodated with the purchase of additional materials
  • Space Required: 1 room
  • Certification Required: NO, this simulation is designed to be used right out of the box with little pre-planning

For more information call 336-298-7170 or

Trust Building™

The Trust Building™ exercise is an effective, high-energy team development activity for exploring the challenging issues of effective team membership and team leadership, driven by building trust in teams.

“The debrief helped me understand how personal bias impacts trust how much trust or distrust impacts team performance. Very powerful.

Senior Executive
Finance Industry

The Trust Building™ exercise highlights the value of trust in teams while uncovering the gross negative impact distrust has on team morale and performance.

The exercise is based on three factors related to creating trust – competence, concern for others, and authenticity. Trust Building also examines the creation of distrust and how a team can manage distrust and foster trust within the team.

Trust Building™ is a Level 2 Simulation

How it works

  • Participants (8-32 with one set of materials) are divided into 2-4 working teams tasked with reproducing the facilitator’s prototype.
  • Each participant takes on the role of either a Representative or a Builder.
  • In addition, one or two of the participants may be Distorters (either a Representative or a Builder), who will be attempting to sabotage the team’s efforts.
  • Each team is allowed to send one Representative at a time to view and make “mental notes” for the team related to the prototype.
  • The first team to successfully replicate the Prototype wins.

Why use it?

  • To learn how restricted or poor communication hinders the task
  • Understand how reduced trust has significant consequences for team process and team effectiveness – less information, less involvement, isolation, poor work results
  • To understand “labeling” someone as an outsider or untrustworthy makes it difficult for the person to be effective, and unable to recover without someone else’s help – thus others in the team need to accept a leadership role even if they are not in a formal leadership position
  • Learn, each team member has more positive and negative power than they realize to affect team outcomes. They can do so unconsciously, or can be aware and take responsibility.
  • To consciously build trust and openness increases cooperation and improves work outcomes
  • Understand working toward complete transparency provides information needed for problem solving.


  • One set of 36 Trust Exercise pieces for the facilitator to create a prototype
  • One set of 36 Trust Exercise pieces for each team to use (total of four sets)
  • 40 laminated role cards for team members in a plastic case
  • Instructions for different prototype options
  • CD-ROM with facilitator materials and resources
  • A Quick-Read, 1-page Facilitator’s Guide
  • All materials are designed for durability and reuse for many years to come


  • Exercise Length: 1.5 hours without assessment, 2.0 hours with assessment
  • Number of Participants: 8-32 with one set of materials, many more if more than one set of materials is used
  • Space Required: 1 large room, 1 break-out room for each team, 1 room or secluded space for the prototype
  • Certification required: NO, this simulation is designed to be used right out of the box with a minimum amount of pre-planning

For more information call 336-298-7170 or

Which simulations are best for your organization right now? Here’s a guide that classifies simulations according to complexity and facilitator competency.