Thanks to “business games”, entrepreneurs can train online before launching

By donning the costume of a business leader for a game, future entrepreneurs can, thanks to these games, immerse themselves in a sector of activity and perfect their future strategy. LUCIEN LUNG/Le Figaro

For several years, simulation games have been multiplying in business schools and companies. Whether they allow a budding entrepreneur to test his strategy without risking bankruptcy or a company to test its recruits, these virtual worlds are a real success.

“Failure is the mother of success.” Many entrepreneurs have made this Chinese proverb their mantra. Still, failure is less painful when it occurs in a simulation game than in the real world. And that is the whole point of “business games”, which have been flourishing in business schools and companies for several years. Winning a contract against imaginary competitors, redressing the situation of a subsidiary on the verge of bankruptcy… On a smartphone or a computer, budding entrepreneurs have found in these strategy games a valuable tool for learning from their mistakes before create their company.

A sign of this success, companies use it to test their potential recruits, or former employees. A pioneer in this field with its “Brandstorm” game in 1992, the L’Oréal group launched a business game in 2010 allowing players to discover the different jobs in the company before applying. In 2015, the Orange operator also embraced the trend with “quiz Cube”, a game intended for its employees with its “Essentials 2020” strategic plan.

In the shoes of a business leader

Strathena, the game offered this summer by BFM Business, has been added to this list. Imagined by the former CEO of Essilor, Xavier Fontanet, and developed by Interactive 4D, a company specializing in business games, this competition echoes the strategy courses given by the latter on the channel’s antenna. economic information since the beginning of the year.

The principle ? The player takes on the role of chairman of the board of directors of a bakery chain and then of a car manufacturer. Faced with his competitors or an artificial intelligence, he is free to make the appropriate decisions to make his business prosper. “The player starts in one region and must then gain market share throughout France. He can choose where to set up his factories, issue shares, invest in research…”, explains Xavier Fontanet, who recalls that “these are the choices that make the success or failure of a company”.

A pedagogical vocation

The idea for this game germinated a few months ago in the mind of this former business manager fascinated by the strategic genius of video game enthusiasts. The starting point of this project? The passion that is devoted to pedagogy by the person who regularly speaks at HEC during conferences and courses. But above all, the “lack of understanding of the business world” would not suffer, according to him, the French. “A lot of people don’t understand what profit is for or how globalization works,” says Xavier Fontanet. An educational ambition that convinced BFM Business, whose decryption of financial mechanisms is one of the editorial axes. “We received a lot of questions from viewers who wanted advice on their business strategy. The idea of ​​the game is therefore to help them, whether they are entrepreneurs or aspire to be, to avoid the pitfalls that could come their way,” explains journalist Frédéric Simottel, who plays the role of the pupil during the chronicles of Xavier Fontanet. It must be said that the channel found in this competition the opportunity to attract players to its business strategy programs broadcast in replay on the game site, and to develop the audience for its new programs at the start of the school year.

The players whose business will be the most successful at the end of the summer will be invited in September to reveal the keys to this virtual success on the channel’s set. The future of the simulator seems to be mapped out: recruitment firms have already approached Xavier Fontanet to adapt it to their activity.


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