Business Acumen for Leaders at Southwest
Southwest Airlines integrated Abilitie’s Finance Challenge™ into its MIT II: Developing Legendary Leaders program to develop talent within the company.
Southwest Airlines invests significantly in leadership development through a variety of learning experiences. Business acumen is an imperative concept for leaders to develop as they focus on meeting the company’s fiscal and operational goals. Recognizing this, Southwest identified the need to include a module on financial acumen in their high-potential leadership development program.
Southwest Airlines partnered with Abilitie Learning to incorporate Finance Challenge™ into Southwest’s MIT II: Developing Legendary Leaders program. The nine-month program used Finance Challenge to help these high- potential leaders to:
Abilitie worked with Southwest Airlines to create a blended learning program broken into two major components: Fluent in Finance and Finance Challenge.
Fluent in Finance is a six-hour finance course for non-financial managers that combines tutorials, case studies, and challenging interactive simulations. Program participants have been using Fluent in Finance since April 2011 as part of the “Developing Your Strategic Muscles” section of the MIT II program.
Finance Challenge, a multiplayer business acumen simulation, has been used at Southwest since August 2011. This program allowed participants to read financial statements and make strategic business decisions based on financial metrics. Participants are paired into teams and compete against each other in a dynamic marketplace. Leading a virtual company, participants execute strategic business decisions, balance sales growth with cash flow, and analyze financial statements to make operational and investment decisions.
Simulation debriefs focus on financial strategy brought learning to life and allowed participants to further explore the impact of their choices on the company’s bottom line.
Participant reviews of the program included: