Chocolate Factory Culture Simulation

Chocolate Factory Culture Simulation

The CULTURE-STRATEGY FIT® Chocolate Factory Culture Simulation is a meaningful hands-on culture activity that will be vividly remembered for years into the future. Imagine an experience where the behaviors of leaders and their impact on significant organizational outcomes is revealed in real-time. Imagine that at the end of 3 hours, leaders, individually and collectively, experience profound insights into the culture currently created by their own behaviors and those needed for the future.

The Chocolate Factory Leadership Simulation provides a shared experience and language for talking, in a safe way, about the way culture is supporting and/or getting in the way of high performance and what needs to change for future success. The objectives of the simulation include:

  • The leaders’ role in shaping and changing culture
  • The levers to use to intentionally shape and change culture, and
  • The link between values, culture and performance

Close the Culture & Leadership Gap

Helping leaders develop their leadership capability to proactively develop culture is the focus of this simulation. Culture change is complex work that few leaders have been prepared to address. Culture is often dealt with superficially, if at all, leaving people to learn through trial and error the challenge of shifting embedded beliefs, addressing outmoded shared assumptions and introducing different norms of behavior.

Indeed, leaders often genuinely believe that they are living the culture that their organization needs to achieve its goals – it’s everyone else who ‘doesn’t get it’. This culture simulation builds self-awareness, create the means for self-discovery and sets the stage to learn more about how to proactively influence and shape culture.

Most importantly, it creates leadership cohesion and capability to focus on culture as a strategic enabler, delivering strategy, brand and performance.

About the Simulation

Imagine that you are part of a complex chocolate manufacturer with multiple locations and business units, from Kids Candy to Premium Chocolates. Profits are shrinking as seen in the financials in front of you.

An exciting innovation is emerging with the potential to dramatically increase sales, but can the leaders of your organization work together to make tough decisions and capitalize on this?

Representing four Business Units, plus Research and Development and the Chiefs, the groups must rapidly craft recommendations to your Board about how to improve profits to save your company for short and long-term.

This fast-moving simulation provides the opportunity for groups to experience their own culture dynamics and gain insights into the behaviors and assumptions that are operating to support or diminish breakthrough performance gains.

  • How can leaders intentionally shape and change culture?
  • Will collaboration within and across groups lead to powerful recommendations for a significant enough lift in performance?
  • How do behaviors up, down and across influence idea generation and innovation?
  • What tuned up and tuned down engagement, and why?
  • What behaviors most contributed to finding a powerful solution? Impeded it?
  • How is this like the way we behave every day?
  • How did the structure, processes, space, symbols and other design elements affect the culture?

When to Use It

The simulation is designed for use with senior leaders, experienced managers, project and cross-functional teams, Human Resources professionals and department leaders. Use it as part of:

  • Leadership development programs and retreats
  • Department development
  • Business transformation initiatives
  • M&A integration
  • Department amalgamations

Who Has Used It

Amongst other clients, Google has used this simulation as part of its global mid-level leadership development program. Rogers, a leader in communications and media has used the simulation with its top executives and subsequently division/company leadership teams. Colleges and universities have used this as part of their culture and leadership initiatives. It has also been licensed to alliance partner leadership development consulting firms in Eastern and Western Europe where it has been used with manufacturing, financial services, technology and research companies.

Fast Facts

  • Number of participants: ideally 30 or more (> 75 2 or more groups run concurrently)
  • Logistics: For 30, one large room with 6 tables; projector; 6 flip charts
  • Simulation Time: 3 hour run time with debrief
  • Materials: Comprehensive leader’s guide with detailed instructions about how to prepare for and run the simulation
  • Scoring: Scoring and evaluation of team recommendations, their potential business impact and how the quality of the recommendations was influenced by leader behaviors

Materials and Pricing

Materials include a comprehensive Leader’s Guide, MS PPT presentation and knowledge transfer. This includes a PDF version of the Guide and PPTs, plus print ready materials such as handouts, role cards and financials. A list of recommended costumes for the simulation is included. These are best purchased locally. They are readily available at most party stores.

$2,500 including 2 hours support from an experienced Chocolate Factory Facilitator.

Great linkage to the leadership we must demonstrate to achieve our strategic plan   Telco Senior Leader

I know what is needed now as we lead this organization into the
most significant change in its history
Credit Union Executive

The practical applications of this were excellent
State Transportation Division Department Head