Workplace Development built the curriculum and business simulation with a team of Parametrix employee-owners. Using a train-the-trainer format, the classes were developed, piloted, and are now run internally by Parametrix in-house trainers. “We knew what we wanted as an outcome in this program, but we did not know how to get there,” says Cameron Teller a Parametrix manager and development team leader. “Workplace Development provided the framework we needed. They brought experience in creating business simulations, and a remarkable depth of knowledge of our industry.” Parametrix team members developed the unique story line for their business and linked the program to their progressive employee ownership culture. During the training, participants first learn to understand financial reports for their office. This makes the training directly relevant to each participant’s personal experience. Then the program uses a business simulation to emphasize the impact of each employee-owner’s actions on the company’s financials. “We find that each company’s approach to creating these learning experiences is unique,” says Cathy Ivancic from Workplace Development. “At Parametrix, for example, they wanted to focus on a handful of financial indicators, but in a fun, interactive way.” The learning activity emerged from the team’s initial inspiration: a circus! Scooping “elephant dung” is “slightly” different from the engineering, planning, and environmental services Parametrix employee-owners typically provide. The experience, however, quickly launches from laughs into meaningful discussions about client service expectations, pricing, billing levels, collections, ESOP repurchase obligations, and the challenges of business expansion.