Training Offers Shelter from Economy

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Training offers shelter from economy Employee financial literacy will help companies weather challenging times

Sometimes, employees think there’s an inexhaustible amount of money for supplies, inventory, marketing and benefits if they see sales are rolling in

The best hedge U.S. companies can have against the looming economic downturn is making sure their employees completely understand business acumen and financial literacy, basically how a company makes and spends money.

Raymond D. Green and Catherine J. Rezak, cofounders of Paradigm Learning, an internationally recognized corporate training and communications company that specializes in business games, business simulations and Discovery Maps® say it’s imperative for employees to be able to think like CEOs so they can make smarter on-the-job decisions and recognize how every action can affect the company’s bottom line – and their own professional futures.

On the heels of recent news that the U.S. economy lost jobs for the first time in four years, and surveys showing the economy overtaking the Iraq war as Americans’ top concern, “financial literacy and business acumen are more important than ever,” says Green, Paradigm Learning’s CEO, whose company works with some of the world’s largest organizations, including more than half of the Fortune 1000 list.

“More and more, companies want employees to be more productive, but they often have big expectations without giving employees the tools they need to do it.

“Everyone is counting pennies on a personal level these days, and now they’re supposed to do it at work, too – with the stakes just as high. Companies have an obligation to make sure employees have the necessary information and education.”

Financial literacy – a basic understanding of numbers on a corporate ledger – is at the heart of business acumen, which is an ability to interpret financial information and act upon it – a key characteristic of effective managers.

“Sometimes, employees think there’s an inexhaustible amount of money for supplies, inventory, marketing and benefits if they see sales are rolling in,” says Rezak, Paradigm Learning’s chairman of the board. “But it’s harder for them to see the real costs of operating a business.”

Such education has strong potential for being boring, however, which is why, almost 15 years ago, Green and Rezak developed Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy – a business simulation that puts participants in the driver’s seat of a fictional company, forcing them to make key decisions over three time-compressed years. By the end of the day, participants have absorbed the main concepts of financial literacy and business acumen and can connect them to their real-life jobs.

Zodiak has been played by more than 1 million people in 600 organizations worldwide, translated into six languages in 13 countries.

“Business games and simulations are a perfect way to introduce and reinforce concepts to the broadest possible audiences, far more effective than traditional methods such as lectures and memos,” Rezak says. “By being immersed into hands-on situations, participants can actively receive the information being presented.

About Paradigm Learning
Paradigm Learning ( is a privately held company based in Tampa, Fla. Since 1994, it has created award-winning business games, business simulations and Discovery Maps® to address specific organizational needs. Its flagship program, “Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy,” has been played by more than 1 million people worldwide. Other products address such issues as talent leadership, leadership accountability, team building, project management and organizational change.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of the company
listed above.


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Diana Blackburn
Paradigm Learning
813-287-9330, ext. 2
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