Tech Start-Up Leaders Compete in Simulation at Danske Bank FinTech Hub

Case Study by Ken Thompson

30 participants from a variety of different organizations in the FinTech sector went head-to-head on a 2-hour intensive team Simulation at the Danske Bank/Catalyst FinTech Hub.

The Challenge: 

1. To operate successful artisan coffee businesses competing head-to-head in a virtual market over 4 trading days

2. To achieve this you will need to establish a high-performing team with other players you may never have met before!

Each team was made up of 5 players playing the popular COMPETE Business Acumen/Business Strategy Simulation from Business Simulations Ltd to manage their coffee stalls for 4 trading days to achieve whatever objectives they decided to set.

It was going to be very competitive as each team were all fighting over the same market – for any team to gain market share another team would have to lose it! 


Each round of the simulation the teams had 4 big decisions to make:

  • PRICING – Finding their pricing sweetspot with respect to their customers and, off course, other teams – too high and they lose customers but too low and they leave money on the table
  • STRATEGY – A choice of 4 strategies – each team seeking to differentiate itself and also making sure their Strategy and Pricing are consistent
  • EXECUTION – A choice of 4 management priorities to effectively execute their strategy noting that anybody can have a good strategy but only the best can execute it well
  • MARKET DEVELOPMENT – Should they do market development knowing that visitors may well buy from their competitors and should they collaborate with other teams on this?

The decisions were then submitted to the Simulation simultaneously via a team device so that no team could see another teams decision before they submitted their own.

As another dose of reality, each days trading was preceded by a newsflash of something which had happened which would affect the dynamics of the market that day including a final Brexit deal being agreed on the last day of trading (dont get too excited it only happened in the Simulation!).

Each days trading was very tight but in the end the leaderboard showed there was a clear overall winner in the simulation ... however it was not really about winning a Simulation but using the simulation to develop deep experiential learning about business acumen, strategy execution, negotiation, effective teams and collaboration.

Feedback from delegates was excellent:

“Enjoyed the experience, something I have never done before”

 “I have been a trainer myself and have tried various approaches - but I don't think I have ever done such an engaging and enjoyable team exercise.”

“Great use of technology to aid human interaction and collaboration”

 “Great afternoon at Danske Bank taking part in Catalyst’s business simulation event! Lots of insights we can take away to help us in the daily running of the business.” 

“A fantastic fresh take on corporate training, fun, engaging and rewarding”

 “I particularly liked how our group came together & individuals skills emerged. I didn't know anyone else in the group when I sat down, but by the end of it. I think our true skills, personalities & profiles had emerged quite clearly.”

"The Business Simulation was an effective way of identifying the importance of teamwork and strategy. I found it beneficial and applicable to everyday skills necessary in the workplace. "

A final word

I will leave the last word with David Allister from the Danske Bank FinTech hub who sponsored and hosted the event:

“At the Danske Fintech Hub we are always looking to offer our members valuable new experiences which they can fit in to busy work schedules. From the great feedback we received the simulation provided highly effective experiential learning on two business topics vey close to their hearts - business acumen and high-performing teams. All in a couple of hours and it was fun too and some great networking!” 

“We are looking forward to the next event run by Ken and his team, and I understand that other parts of the Danske organisation, plan on utilising these powerful simulations in the future.”

For more Information on the COMPETE Simulation take a look at our product page.

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More about Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Ken is a practitioner, author and speaker on Leadership, Collaborative Working, High Performing Teams, Change Management, Project Management and Business Acumen. His work has featured in major publications including The Guardian , Wired Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Henry Ford Magazine. Ken has also spoken at many international events including TEDx, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Learn Tech (London) and NASA.

Ken is Founder of Business Simulations Ltd.

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