Finance & Strategy

In this 2-day business simulation workshop, we target managers, executives and individual contributors who are engaged in budgeting, forecasting, strategy and analysis.

Leaders draw on a range of skills to meet complex industry challenges such as competitive differentiation, production efficiencies, and niche markets. What will they do when a disruptive technology comes along?

Teams decide which customer profiles to target, what product mix to adopt, what prices to set, whether to increase capacity, how much money to borrow, and the R&D options to pursue. Learners gain practical experience in the use of a range of financial planning and analysis tools including cash flow forecasting, budgeting, and ratio analysis.

Different departments see only a piece of the financial puzzle. This workshop teaches people to speak ‘finance’ which is the language of business. Everyone comes away with a common understanding of finance and they are better able to contribute to the success of your company.


In the Finance & Strategy workshop decision-makers experience all the major roles in a company: production, R&D, sales and marketing, management, and finance. They see what leaders must do in response to change. They develop ‘decision making awareness’ i.e. they experience how a decision in one area can impact the ability to make good decisions in other areas. Most of all, they gain hands-on practice with the financial planning and analysis tools they need to be successful.

Management uses of financial statements

Separate management of cash and profit

Cost structure and capacity utilization

Control of working capital

How market conditions dominate business decisions

Planning with budgets and cash flow forecasts

Unit cost analysis

Break-even analysis

Income Statement analysis

The need to monitor industry (it will change!)

SWOT analysis

Strategic Opportunities and Financial Constraints

Foreign exchange & hedging (optional)

ROA, ROI, and other metrics for management

KPIs used at your company to gauge performance

“Consider daily quality decisions with awareness of overall impact to inputs & outputs to MFG environment & long/short term company targets.” — Group Leader Complex Quality, Honda


This workshop takes the game-based learning to a new level! The simulations models two key real-world business dynamics – change can happen rapidly and it can happen without warning!

Teams must draw on a range of skills to meet the challenge of disruptive technology, strategy must be revisited and budgets must be reworked. The ‘winning solution’ can only be defined in response to the changing industry, and it is never the same game twice!

Optional Modules:

Foreign Exchange and Currency Hedging: Manage international risk by protecting against fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Cost-benefit analysis and real-world connections are explored.

Valuation: Examine the multiple valuation methods available for assessing the current and projected worth of companies in the marketplace. Strengths and weaknesses of these models are discussed, and valuation of in-game companies is performed to solidify the learning.

Introduction & Fundamentals: 2 – 2.5 hours
Team Competition: 10 hours
Ratio Analysis and other KPIs: 1 – 2 hours
Real-world financial analysis:
1 – 2 hours

Team competition in this simulation consists of six strategically complex business cycles in which teams have full decision-making power and are held accountable for the results.

In each cycle, teams develop and implement a business strategy which incorporates real-world dynamics: production capacity, customers, prices, financing, and more. Each cycle includes:

  • Examining market drivers: supply and demand, niche marketing, quality
  • Competitor awareness, setting prices in a competitive market
  • Ongoing strategic analysis, updating the strategic plan in response to changes in the industry and in the marketplace
  • Budget and cash flow exercises
  • Monitoring cash flow
  • Maintaining the ‘books’ of the operating company (Income Statement and Balance Sheet)
  • Performance measurement and analysis
  • Posting, comparing, and discussion of results

Other activities include break-even analysis, SWOT analysis, income statement analysis and cost-benefit analysis.

We use Visual Finance, a graphic representation of your corporate financial position or industry analysis. Using color, placement and volume to create meaning,  the relationships are made easy to understand and to assess at a glance. For example, the Debt-to-Equity ratio is the relationship of red stacks to black stacks. We connect the learning from the classroom to the real world and the tie-back and discussion relate the simulation experience to your company’s concerns, measures, and goals. It can include additional visualization exercise and discussion of real world competitors such as:

  • An additional exercise in planning and analysis
  • A discussion of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


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