Everything we know, all the knowledge we possess, all the information stored in our brains, are things we have learned in one way or another. It could be from sitting in classrooms actively participating in a class, intercepting something we read in the newspaper or unknowingly developing a skill, like the speech when we are young children. Either way, everything is a form of learning. But in what ways does our brains intercept information in the easiest way? And what methods are best when trying to teach employees about business?

Learning seems to be most difficult for us when we do it in relation to teaching and studying. How many courses have you attended at your job with the intention to learn something new about business? Do you often find yourself zooming out and thinking about something else when a course teacher presents a powerpoint? Or by frantically taking notes, you may think that you’ll remember what is being said. But how often do you look back at your notes?

The truth is that most of what we know is a result of a spontaneous learning process. In other words, formal education only represents a small portion of everything we know. And the same goes for business learning. Does that mean spontaneous learning is better? How do we apply spontaneous learning to business learning and development? Should we boycott all forms of traditional learning? Well, maybe not. But our unconsciousness seems to complicate things for us. By becoming aware of how we learn spontaneously, we can improve the way we learn consciously.

We believe that the spontaneous learning process can be described through five different elements; attention, information, processing, conclusion and application. Let us briefly discuss each one of them.


The first thing happening in our spontaneous learning processes is pretty simple – our attention is caught. If you think of newspaper headlines, political speeches, movies or such, the opening is often skillfully designed to catch our attention. Why? To make us interested of course. When we are interested, we tend to continue reading, watching and listening. If it arouses curiosity in us, we are more likely to receive information. What does this mean for business learning? We should aim to arouse as much curiosity as we can in our employees, if we want them to learn as much as possible.


For us to really be receptive, the information must be relevant. If the information is off topic or irrelevant, we seem to loose focus. Instead, we tend to skip through the, for example, article, to find something meaningful enough to pause on. And even if we do find something meaningful, it takes a bit more for it to become learning, and thus, new knowledge.

For example, if the information we’re trying to teach our employees is completely distanced from what our company is doing, employees are unlikely to memorize the information. There needs to be some kind of connection to reality.


The processing stage is the most critical. We tend to pause from the intake of new information to compare it with what we already know. We give our brain a chance to do the work. This process continues even after we stopped receiving new information. So what does this actually mean? To be able to reflect, compare and discuss new information is just as important as receiving it in the first place. The last thing you want is to provide knowledge that is forgotten the minute your employees move on to their next work task.


The conclusion, or “the aha experience”, is where new knowledge is born. In this stage new relations are formed in our brain. You can surely recognize yourself in having an “aha experience”. Imagine yourself sitting and reading a line of text over and over again, or doing something practical like assembling a piece of furniture. You try again and again, and all of a sudden it clicks. You think “aha, that’s how it works”. It is not always that new knowledge strikes us in the “aha” way. But the principle is always the same when new knowledge is formed.


The last stage is the application stage, where we put our knowledge to use. The satisfaction we get by gaining new knowledge makes us want to practice what we have learned, or apply our knowledge in one way or another. Not only do we gain greater insights by practicing our knowledge, but we also realize new things. We can call it a circular process.

When you put your knowledge to practice through, for example, business simulations, your brain develops new insights just by doing. This is one of many reasons simulations are great for business learning.

So why does it matter?

When providing new knowledge to your employees, you want to make sure that they actually absorb and understand the information you give them. When they do, it leads to increased understanding, new insights and ideas. Not only does the spontaneous learning process increase the chances of your employees remembering their new knowledge. It also gives them the tools they need to apply the knowledge in real life, and turn insights into actions in their daily work.

What does this have to do with Celemi?

Instead of sitting and watching a boring powerpoint presentation, Celemi’s business simulations aim to arouse curiosity when it comes to business learning. Through hands-on activities and interactive games, employees practice real-world business situations without risking real-life business. The connection to reality and real life scenarios makes the information relevant for each and everyone working at the company. Through our gamified business simulations we give employees the opportunity to have “aha experiences”, create their own knowledge, and align with the rest of the company on how to approach these subjects in real life. We call it the power of learning. You should try it too.

Learn more about our different business simulations here >>