A leading professional services firm with nearly 30,000 global consultants needed to accelerate the professional acumen of their junior consultants to become qualified experts in their chosen industry.

A leading professional services firm with nearly 30,000 global consultants spends considerable time and energy grooming junior consultants to become qualified experts in their chosen area of industry expertise. It is imperative that these consultants ramp up their industry knowledge quickly providing immediate value to the firm and its clients. Simulations were selected for their ability to engage participants quickly and impart lasting new knowledge and skills providing the professional acumen required.


The client needed an effective and engaging way to introduce the world of banking to its consultants who had yet to select an area of specialty. The existing solution was a complicated spreadsheet delivered in a rather dry approach that was failing to entice consultants to select banking as their area of expertise.


With extensive input from the firm’s subject matter experts to ensure the simulation mirrored the complexities of the industry, a custom, immersive business simulation was built that includes gamification aspects and allows participants to take a deep dive into the world of banking and finance. The solution includes changing market scenarios (from stable to early signs of an approaching financial crisis, to a crisis and then recover) and addresses digitalization issues facing the industry.

Participants gather as five- to seven-person teams and take on unique roles of an existing bank as they play through four simulated years trying to improve the bank’s Return on Equity and other key targets. Awards are presented to teams in various categories, not just highest score.

Teams are encouraged to host “board meetings” to align each player’s decisions to the team’s goals. As with most IndustryMasters’ solutions, teams that communicate and collaborate well fare better.

Tension is heightened as players make trade-off decisions about what will benefit their role versus the overall bank operations. Competition for funding of projects and other priorities mirror real-life investment opportunities.

Dramatic economic changes, government regulations and other “curveballs” are presented throughout the experience forcing teams to adjust their strategies as they proceed. A team alignment meter updates throughout the sim to ensure participants are making decisions that best meet the team’s stated objectives.

The simulation is completed in one half-day session and includes insights from the firm’s partners woven into the debrief sessions. The experience has been attended via in-person and virtual sessions by participants all over the world.


The simulation proved an effective and fun way to present an in-depth perspective to the world of banking and has served to attract junior consultants to select this as their area of specialty. Participants were able to accelerate their understanding of the industry after completing the experience. Several noted that the simulation offered a chance to immerse themselves in the banking world without having to work at a bank. Their level of professional acumen in this industry was notably improved.

The course received consistently high marks and several senior managers/partners have requested they be included as facilitators. The firm is considering promoting this to their own clients – a testament to the veracity of the solution.