Crisis Simulations: How best-in-class companies learn and prepare

By Bill Coletti, CEO, Kith


Critical Takeaways:

·      Research suggests that people learn more by doing than by reading.

·      Utilizing a Crisis Simulator capitalizes on the higher levels of learning – audiovisual, discussion group and learning by doing in a virtual environment.

·      Simulations done right are a proven and effective way to learn by doing.


Your teams only remember 10 percent of what they read but remember 75 percent of what they do. Educator Edgar Dale is the developer of the “Cone of Learning.” His research illustrated these acts.


From low to high, the Cone of Learning pyramid consists of lecture, reading, audiovisual, demonstration, discussion group, practice by doing and teaching others. Today e-learning has advanced from beyond electronic page turning to simulation-based training. Simulation training puts the subject topic of the learning objectives into the context of a scenario where the learner can experience training as it relates to a real-life situation.


The Crisis Simulator is a specialized simulator platform to enhance learning and online dimension for crisis situations, such as a violent shooter attack, computer system data breaches, and virulent illnesses that may force company staff to react or move to a safer location.


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The Crisis Simulator capitalizes on the higher levels of learning – audiovisual, discussion group and learning by doing in a virtual environment. We develop a credible crisis scenario for  your company and configure a simulator platform with the right combination of social media profiles and media articles to use to deliver a response on social media platforms like Facebook, company email and your company website.


Participants are engaged throughout the whole simulation and can role-play during the exercise. Remember, people retain 75 percent of what they do. There’s also a messaging area like email inboxes for the sending and receiving of messages between simulation exercises. In the news area, we can include embedded video to enhance coverage of the crisis incident. According to the Cone of Learning, people remember 50 percent of what they hear and see. Team members can also monitor and respond in the Twitter-style module to incoming messages using a client profile. There are multiple Facebook timeline pages simulating the company’s page where participants can post new material or respond to comments. The same capability is available in the LinkedIn-style module. We even provide custom links to download a template exercise log sheet.


Social media platforms are how companies communicate, so it’s important that staff have social media tools and skills in place to manage a crisis or to even do damage control should a large-scale negative event about the company emerge.


Today, social media readiness is the mainstay for crisis communications plans. Plus simulations done right are a proven and effective way to learn by doing.


Have you participated in a crisis simulation? How did it go – what worked, what did not?


Please let me know your experience with simulations.