Business Games as a Diagnostic Staff’s Tool

Brazil finds itself on a structured and fast economic growth, which results in a profound change in its population’s behavior.

To illustrate, according to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) the vehicle sales for the twelve months of 2010 were 3.33 million units, representing a growth of 10.6% compared with 3.01 million sold in 2009. The Brazilian Ministry of Finance estimates that in 2015 five million units will be sold in the country.

This growth is directly linked to the population’s increased income of classes C and D, which stimulates the consumption of durable and the consumption goods that were once outside the range of these social classes due to budget constraints imposed by low income.

This brought changes in consumption habits and also brought new attitude and goals to this population. More ambitious, now they have a more pragmatic view of their work, aiming not just a survival’s way but also to achieve personal satisfaction.

If we include in this analysis generations Y and Z, which have a more complex and dynamic behavior compared to the previous ones, we have even more dynamism in behavior and consumption habits changes.

This dynamism is associated with the environment in which this group of people was in their maturing process as individuals, where they were subjected to more interactive media and communication models extremely democratic and accessible, allowing its change every minute of the day.

The combination of economic changes, which brought economic power to new social classes, with the speed of the younger generation created a extremely complex population to manage.

In the past, systemic models were used to manage people because changes were slow and noticeable.

Currently, individuals are more complex, their behavior may change in shorter periods of time, driven by realities that are being modified at each new access to a social network.

Previous systemic and continuous models need to become more dynamic to suit this new reality.

But, how to make a staff’s more dynamic diagnosis?

To understand the diagnosis method that should be implemented, it is necessary to understand what is currently used by most companies.

In general, the traditional method of a staff’s  diagnose uses the following tools:

  1. 1.    Interviews
  2. 2.    Questionnaire
  3. 3.    Personal observation

Each one of these tools was structured on methodologies developed for extremely linear environments, in other words, with very little changes. With the diversity of information available on the internet on this matter, these three tools can be manipulated by the interviewee, because it can be found on the web as well as the ways to manipulate the outcome of these mechanisms.

We will briefly describe each one and its potential problems in its use.


Can we guarantee a person or a group, when submitted to an interview, they will behave naturally? Will they show their real nature and identities? Will they have the same behavior they usually have in their daily life? When a person is subjected to an interview, with or without intention, he/she normally behaves in a manner to avoid any negative impression. This behavior is directly linked to our instinct self defense and it gives to the interview a large deflection from reality.


The questionnaire is answered by the interviewee in a direct and cold manner because the tool is extremely impersonal. This impersonality, allows the individual to think before answering certain question in order to take advantage. Another issue of this tool is the lack of behavioral perception, since the candidate is not observed through all neurolinguistics aspects. Neurolinguistics is the science that studies human brain’s neural mechanisms responsable for comprehension, production, and acquisition of language (oral, written or non verbal); it is used by many companies to increase the accuracy of staff’s value perception in diagnosis. Therefore, we can conclude that it’s possible to lose information when using this tool.

Personal observation

This is the practice most likely to accurately find the characteristics of the individuals analyzed. However, to be performed accurately the observer must have experience and necessary techniques to make structured and organized records. Another important point is the environment where the team will be observed; if it does not reflect the individuals’ day-to-day lives it will lead the analyst to errors, which may impair or even nullify the final result.

Despite the complexity of this last tool, it can be the most accurate and qualified in the scenarios that the country and the companies are, faced to extreme dynamism of facts, events and individuals’ desires.

It is a fact that the observation is only valid if it gets close to an actual behavior, if the environment simulates the staff’s work routine. But to simulate this environment perfectly it is necessary to make the staff react close to real life, live situations that are in their work routine.

The closest form of approach the day-to-day life of the staff is the use of “Business Games” because it recreates a business environment.  It will put the staff in a fictional scenario where each one will create and manage separate companies, competing in a common market.

To win, the participants will use tactics, strategies and attitudes they use in their real lives, to conquer the market. It is when the observer will be able to map out precisely who really are those participants.

Some points should be mentioned when evaluating Brazil’s current situation and the observed individuals, who usually can be located in the generation Y. Since both conditions bring continuing changes in posture, with “Business Games” associated to the observation, we have a dynamic tool to accurately analyze all behavior, because this type of simulation will show us the full performance of the observed.

With this resource we see how each group behaved on their turns, what they did, achieved solutions, tactics and strategies adopted by the team; which are inserted in the simulator, providing another observation approach that is the theoretical capacity of the observed. So we can check the education level in several areas, such as mathematical concepts, marketing, finance, etc.


 The “Arbache” has been applying business games for more than 10 years, using them to diagnose and train the staff, and especially to prepare collaborators to extremely complex scenarios such as the one Brazil is inserted now. These games, when applied, show with extreme precision who the employees are, what their skills, which are their theoretical flaws, how they behave in conflict situation and how are their ethical stand as individuals.

Brazil will grow, people will change and new opportunities will arise. Then it’s up to the companies to know whether or not to keep up the new times, in the cutting edge or still applying methods that will deliver nothing more than a sketch of reality.

Business Games are the cutting edge in adherent teaching to an audience that will be the vanguard of people.

Fernando Arbache

Fernando Arbache

Mestre em Engenharia Industrial PUC/Rio. Independent Education Consultant working with MIT Professional Education. Graduado em Engenharia Civil, UFJF. Data and Models in Engineering, Science, and Business/MIT, Cambridge, MA (USA). Challenges of Leadership in Teams/MIT, Cambridge, MA (USA). Data Science: Data to Insights/MIT, Cambridge, MA (USA). AnyLogic Advanced Program of Simulation Modeling/Hampton, NJ (USA). Experiência Acadêmica: Educational Consultant working with MIT. Instructor in Digital Courses at MIT Professional Education in Digital Transformation and Leadership in Innovation. Atuou cimo coordenador da FGV em cursos de Gestão. Atuou como professor FGV, nas cadeiras e Logística, Estatística, Gestão de Riscos e Sistemas de Informação. Professor da HSM Educação, IBMEC e FATEC. Livros escritos: ARBACHE, F. Gestão da Logística, Distribuição e Trade Marketing. São Paulo: Ed. FGV, 2004. ARBACHE, F. Logística Empresarial. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Petrobras, 2005. ARBACHE, A. P. e ARBACHE, F. Sustentabilidade Empresarial no Brasil: Cenários e Projetos. São José do Rio Preto- SP: Raízes Gráfica e Editora, 2012. Pesquisa: Desenvolvimento de modelos de mapeamento de Competências Comportamentais e Técnicas, por meio de gamificação com uso de Inteligência Artificial, utilizando Deep Learning e Machine Learning ( Programa de Inovação com 75 cooperativas de diversas áreas de atuação e aproximadamente 500 participantes, com Kick-off no MIT PE ( Desenvolvimento de Inteligências nos dados e métricas - Big data e precisão nas tomadas de decisões na gestão de pessoas. Experiência Profissional: CIO (Chief Innovations Officer) da empresa Arbache Innovations especializada em simulação, inovação com foro em HRTech e EduTech – empresa premiada no programa Conecta ( como uma das 5 entre 500 startups mais inovadoras da América Latina. Acelerada pela Plug&Play ( em Sunnyvale, CA – Vale do Silício entre novembro e dezembro de 2018. Desenvolvimento de parceria com o MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology para cursos presenciais e digitais –, &

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