What are we
We care passionately about helping
organisations to have a positive impact
on their People, Planet and Profit.
Meet the team
A brief history
We have been creating impactful games for over 35 years
We started life in 1987 when Brian Helweg-Larsen and his wife Sarah founded the business, which became a partnership in 1990 when Nigel Downing joined.
Brian's inital focus with early customers was devising and delivering financial board games.
We began innovating with computer-assisted simulations such as the flagship business training for senior managers in the Compass Group, used for thousands of managers over 15 years. For Taylor Wimpey we built hybrid board game/computer exercises which show the business impact of decisions across the many functions in their internal supply chain. We also produced the Filing Team in Action simulation for Roche, an award-winning pure role-play simulation based on real life drug filing processes with dual outputs of catalysing world-class teamwork in a real working team, while teaching the complex process of drug filing with its many stages and potential pitfalls.
We built the first Value Creation simulation for Nestlé, which has been in use ever since worldwide, as well as Borg Warner Automotive, and the Volkswagen Retailer simulation. We started innovating in leadership training, producing the first versions of the Magnetic Leadership Simulation.
When the pandemic closed classrooms worldwide we moved our key programmes online to allow remote participation. We started innovating in online team simulations to solve urgent challenges around inclusive leadership (with PepsiCo) and sustainability (with Cargill). Around 70% of our courses are now delivered online, with the remainder in the classroom. With Brian and Nigel handing over the day to day management of the business to Graham Hutchings and his team - and with demand for game-based learning set to grow 5x over the decade - PBS is well placed to deliver its mission of enabling organisations to have a positive impact on their People, Planet and Profit.
2020: Covid-19 hits and plunges the world into lockdown
1996: Dolly the sheep became the first successfully cloned animal
1985: Coca-Cola introduced “New Coke” and were forced to return to the old formula only months later due to backlash
2009: Barack Obama becomes the first African-American president of USA
We created TCS, which was taken up by the Harvard Business School as the start of the MBA programme for 10 consecutive years, 800 students at a time each year. We also created the first of dozens of industry-specific financial simulations: for the deregulating Power industry in the USA; a suite on Value Creation for Diageo (used in 6 languages worldwide), and Legal ProfitAbility.
We put the "how" before the "what"
We strive to create an inclusive, safe culture for our people.
We do the obvious stuff like coaching, training, share option scheme, profit share bonus, unlimited holiday and health cover.
Individual and team wellbeing goals are embedded in our performance objectives. We track and discuss these every week. If we achieve our financial targets, but everyone is exhausted and miserable, then we have failed.
Finally, crucially, we believe feedback is the only basis for improvement. We trust each other 100% to give and receive feedback in a way which enhances performance and wellbeing.
Doing things the right way
We work with responsible organisations
Our games help our clients solve some of the world’s critical challenges.
Think things like sustainable supply chains, disease-beating drugs and more equitable workforces.
We will not work with organisations that routinely exploit people or the planet.
By minimizing travel, running our office more efficiently and working with ethical suppliers, we estimate we have reduced our carbon impact by around 250 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year since 2019.
Our practices are assessed each year by EcoVadis, one of the leading sustainability accreditation bodies. We are currently working towards our Gold Ecovadis rating and becoming a certified B-Corp.