This 3-day workshop targets senior managers, strategic planners and executives and involves strategic complexity across a global organization.

Even at the global level all business decisions are interconnected. A decision made in one area will have an impact in other areas – if you free up resources, other departments can use them; if you tie up resources other departments have to adopt a different strategy. Differences in culture also impact the global company. How will a team create and implement a winning strategy?

The workshop gives teams a small manufacturing business with incredible opportunities to introduce change: process and quality improvements, new products, new differentiators, and new global markets. And those new markets bring even more challenges – there are new market drivers, new requirements and even new currencies. How does a team begin to manage so much complexity?

This is a challenging competition where the teams rapidly expand into doing business on a global scale. In turn the classroom industry becomes destabilized by the competitors themselves! The winner of the simulation is the company which operates most effectively as a team in the development of a clear strategy and flexible execution of that strategy.


This workshop introduces key financial planning and analysis tools. Managers ‘apply the learning’ throughout the workshop – the classroom is a rapidly changing industry and if they are going to remain competitive teams must constantly analyze their situation and revise their plans.

International variations in 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 and hedging

Valuation methods

Discounted cash flow

Product Life Cycle and International Product Life Cycle

Cultural variations in doing business internationally

ROA, ROI, and other metrics for management

KPIs used at your company to gauge performance

“Cash is King – the business needs cash to run. Debt can be used strategically, and the business will fall behind if debt is not utilized for growth.”  — Engineering Supervisor, Woodward


Each company has opportunities to expand into new products, new markets, new quality initiatives, new process improvements and more! It’s very real world – there is too much opportunity and too little resources.

The introductory group experience provides the rules for the simulation and covers some financial fundamentals–creation of financial statements, financial terminology, fundamental business dynamics–and sets the framework of needing to manage separately for cash and profit.

Introduction & Fundamentals: 4 hours
Team Competition:16 hours
(includes introduction of planning and analysis tools)
Ratio Analysis: 2 hours
Real-world financial analysis: 1 – 2 hours 

This portion consists of six business cycles in which teams have full decision-making power and are accountable for the results.

In each cycle, team-based companies develop and implement a global business strategy which incorporates real-world processes: strategic review of the industry, cost-benefit analysis, new market development, and more. Each cycle includes:

  • Market Analysis (with global variations in market drivers)
  • Doing business in a competitive global market, repositioning by product, price, reputation and geography
  • Ongoing strategic or SWOT analysis, updating the strategic plan in response to changes in the industry and in the marketplace
  • Finding a competitive edge through quality, niche markets, cost control, etc.
  • Sourcing and analyzing different kinds of information, communicating within the team, building a coherent plan of activity, implementing the activity in a time-sensitive environment, monitoring and responding to ongoing changes in the industry.
  • Performance measurement and analysis
  • Posting, comparing, and defending financial results

Other activities include foreign exchange, forming strategic alliances, discussion of net present value (NPV) and discounted cash flow (DCF). Optional discussions include Product Life Cycle and International Product Life Cycle, International Variations in Accounting Formats, Cultural Issues in Global Marketing, and other topics by request.

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. Tor 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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