Case Study: Commercial Excellence

Commercial Awareness for a Global Banking Industry


IDG design simulations for a wide variety of sectors – manufacturing, retail, construction, insurance, heavy engineering, professional service, hotel and catering. This simulation is aimed at Relationship Managers or colleagues in customer facing roles within the corporate banking environment.  We have developed a simulation that gives a broad knowledge and practical experience of what it feels like to be managing a SME in this economic environment.
This simulation is not “low tech”, it is deliberately “no tech” and focuses on experiencing the issues facing SMEs in a competitive environment.  They have to develop and execute a business strategy, plan material and people resources, make pricing decisions, manage cash flow, prepare management information and negotiate with suppliers, customers and bankers. The simulation really does put delegates in their customer’s shoes as they are asked at the end of the two days to present to a panel of lending managers to see whether they will receive the lending they require to build their business for the future.


Through the ‘Head for Business’ initiatives, it has been identified that Relationship Managers at all levels need to be more connected with their customers and understand their business drivers.


All of our simulations use physical boards and require teams to move around the board in response to the decisions they take in relation to their virtual businesses. The physical nature of the simulation, rather than remote computer based approaches, requires participants to engage with each other to practice their influencing skills.

This simulation helps the relationship managers to become more connected with their customers by helping them to:

  • Understand the pressures that a typical SME Board faces in the current economic climate
  • Stand on the other side of a funding proposal and presentation
  • Understand financial statements and key performance indicators, linked with their accreditation requirements
  •  Instil a real life understanding of cash flow velocity
  • Improve commercial confidence and financial dexterity
  •  Demonstrate the holistic nature of business decision making – anticipation and the knock-on effect
  • Deal with commercial ambiguity
  • Deal with business risk and change
  • Provide an insight into financial information and presenting numbers with impact



The workshop will conclude with three important features of our approach:

  • The teams present a funding proposition to a credit panel made up of senior bank employees, if available, and IDG facilitators if not. The presentation will include an explanation of their business strategy, successes and failures, the financial position, the financial outlook and all the fundamentals expected within a typical funding proposal.
  • So What? We would challenge the teams to reflect on the simulation and determine a number of lessons learned; we would run this as a continue, stop & start session. Having captured the learning we’d then ask the attendees to turn the learning on their own portfolios and discuss what they can do to improve bottom line performance.
  • Now what? We would then challenge them to come up with a personal commitment plan outlining the two or three things they will PERSONALLY commit to do to make a measurable difference to the results of their portfolios when they return to the workplace.



The course has helped me develop a strategy to become a trusted business advisor. I feel this is the best way to build relations and develop further business opportunities. I aim to be “default choice” for my customers but know I need to earn this Delegate

I will always remember to look behind the numbers and try to bear in mind all the other factors and influences that a customer faces in running their business. This will hopefully allow me to identify as many solutions for the customer as possibleDelegate



Industry: Global Bank
Location: Global
Solution: Simulations using physical board games