Société Générale is one of Europe's leading financial services groups and a major player in the economy for over 150 years. They support 30 million clients every day with 133,000 staff in 61 countries. The Group draws on its European roots to develop activities internationally. Its geographic positioning enables it to connect Europe, Russia, and Africa with major global financial centers in Asia and the America.
The HR Supervision of the international retail Bank branch organizes Europe Cup and Africa Cup development programs for collaborators with potential from different countries & functions. The main objectives of the program are to develop banking business knowledge, experience decision-making hands-on, reinforce teamworking, and encourage networking. Cesim’s banking simulation and facilitators have conducted the program since 2021. In this video, Barbara Essono, Program Director for Organizational Development & Transformation, talks about the program and outcomes.
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"I think that the bank simulation represents, reflects as closely as possible, 'the real banking life.' Because we ask the attendees to work, to think as the board of a bank. We have the same issue, the same questions as the real boards of a bank. That's reason why we think it's the most relevant way to learn."
Organization Development & Transformation
Midland States Bancorp, Inc. is a community-based financial holding company headquartered in Effingham, Illinois, and is the sole shareholder of Midland States Bank. As of June 30, 2018, the Company had total assets of approximately $5.7 billion and its Wealth Management Group had assets under administration of approximately $3.2 billion. Midland provides a full range of commercial and consumer banking products and services, business equipment financing, merchant credit card services, trust and investment management, and insurance and financial planning services. In addition, multi-family and healthcare facility FHA financing is provided through Love Funding, Midland’s non-bank subsidiary.
At Midland States Bank, we strive to give our high-potential employees the tools they need to tackle various challenges they might face as they advance their career at a growing company. As part of our high potential one-year program, we chose business simulations to augment our project management and general business acumen curriculum.
Cesim was selected to deliver two business simulations which would bridge the gap between our classroom-based training programs and the real world.
After a project management seminar, participants are placed on teams as project managers to complete a virtual program. Each team seeks to complete an identical project utilizing less budget, less time, and with a higher level of quality than the competition. At the completion of the simulations, teams present their takeaways from the simulation and discuss applying the learning to their current and future roles.
For the business acumen portion of the program, participants run simulated banks over several virtual years. Each team competes for the same financial metrics as real businesses. This exercise takes lots of participants out of their comfort zones. The program stretches their creativity and critical thinking skills to manage products, make decisions about the direction of their virtual banking entities and analyze environmental contexts to ensure long term success.
"We are in the second year incorporating the simulations in our high potentials program. We use both the project management and the banking virtual sims. Our groups enjoy the hands-on, non-threatening yet challenging learning experience. Each year we enhance the program based on participants’ feedback; Cesim modified the sim and incorporated Midland States Bank’s project management templates and other real-world tools to increase the relevancy and give our participants real experience with our processes. Jason guides the participants with the right amount of instruction through regular meetings and market reports. The participants learn for themselves and have support if they go off track. We appreciate Cesim as a partner to develop the bench strength of our company through virtual, thought provoking and applicable activities that they can support. We look forward to continuing to increase the abilities of our learners with Cesim as our partner."
Learning and Development Director
Participant feedback for this program is very positive. The consensus is that the project management simulation approach reinforces the learning of the accompanying seminar. In addition, participants are much more comfortable with their understanding of bank operations and the way decisions are made in the banking industry.
Capitol Federal Savings Bank is a federally chartered and insured savings bank founded in 1893 and is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. Capitol Federal currently has 37 branch locations and 10 in-store branches, serving primarily the metropolitan areas of Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence, Manhattan, Emporia and Salina, Kansas and both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. CapFed has $9.4 billion in assets. (Source: CapFed Website).
While CapFed values its 120-year history of service to customer and the community, we strive to stay current by using today’s most advanced techniques and services. As part of this ongoing effort, select high-potential employees can be part of a thorough training program to ensure our ability to provide our customers with world class banking services while retaining the family-like feeling.
To bridge the gap between classroom and on the job learning, Cesim was selected to deliver a business simulation which put these participants in the roles of managing virtual banks. The sim captured the vital decision making and inflection points of running a bank year over year.
"Cesim exceeded our expectations. They delivered an engaging and educational three-day ‘how banks make money’ program. We were pleased with the simulation: from the design to the browser-based delivery. While we used it in an in-venue format, the browser-based delivery worked well “out of the box” with our existing technology and was easy to use. Cesim was very responsive – quick to answer questions and tailor the sim to be closely aligned with our business model. If you are seeking engaging and effective training, I recommend contacting Cesim to put together a custom business simulation program for your business."
Director of Training
While all participants had basic understanding of bank operations and how different pieces synched together, the simulation program filled in details and gaps in the participants’ knowledge base. Throughout the course of the virtual years of simulated bank operations, it was clear to see the participants ‘getting it’, as key ratios and performance metrics such as net interest margin, efficiency and return on assets improved for their respective simulated businesses overtime. The triumph of the program came at the conclusion when each team was able to accurately predict the key metrics of their operations and explain the reasons behind the numbers – demonstrating the program had delivered the desired learning.
Parker Fitzgerald is a specialist consultancy focusing in risk and regulation. They have offices across the globe and run their graduate development programme from their London office.
"We chose Cesim Bank, because we wanted to give our graduates a chance to see what it’s like to run a bank, to demonstrate how complex running a bank is and the different aspects they need to think about and how they integrate. We wanted them to see how by pulling one lever and making a decision in one area of the bank, it could affect multiple different areas that they may not have originally thought of. The way we ran the programme was to begin with an initial practice round so the graduates got a feel for how the simulation works. We kept the simulation nice and simple, effectively just a retail and commercial bank operation. Once they got the hang of the mechanics of the tool we ran a live scenario over eight periods to let them experience what it would be like to go through both a crisis, and coming out of that crisis. So they got the good times and the bad times, to see how different decisions can affect those in different ways."
Risk Advisory Partner
"The key learning the grads get from the simulation is the level of complexity. We’re a risk and regulatory focused consultancy, so we want them to understand how their decisions affect capital, how they affect risk, how they affect the make-up of their portfolio, and how the competition from other virtual banks affects their own performance. This is not something they’re doing in isolation, there is that element of competition that means their decisions may not bring them the outcome they originally expected.
All the graduates came back with the comment I expected, which is that banking and actually running a bank is an incredibly complex business! It’s not quite as simple as ‘pull this lever and this happens’. They learned you have to juggle so many things, such as your balance sheet and profit and loss plus your operations. With the simulation you learn and develop by iteration, and understand that every area of the bank is complex. It really gives them a feel for what it’s like to be running such a large organization."
Telekom Austria Group, is the leading communications provider in Central and Eastern Europe with almost 23 million customers across its markets of operations. The Group has roughly 16,000 employees as of April, 2015 and revenues were roughly EUR 4 billion as of year-end 2014. Telekom Austria Group's portfolio encompasses products and services of voice telephony, broadband Internet, multimedia services, data and IT solutions, wholesale as well as payment solutions.
Telekom Austria runs an annual nomination-based programme for its young potentials. The programme consists of three face-to-face modules and a telecom business simulation game that runs alongside the programme from December until April with biweekly decision-making rounds. The simulation culminates at the final day of the programme when teams pitch their experience to the group CFO.
During the telecom simulation, teams manage the strategy and decisions for their full-service telecom operators. All teams start from the same position and they compete against each other for market-share and profits. Participants manage consumer mobile, fixed broadband, entertainment services, distribution channels, corporate solutions, network investments, and finance decisions. During the telecom operator management simulation rounds, they are faced with changing customer preferences, technological evolution, different economic conditions, and of course unanticipated competitor maneuvers.
"One of the key goals of our Young Potential Development Programme is to provide the participants with a holistic idea about the telecom operator business. In addition, the programme develops the participants’ intercultural and team-work skills. Cesim simulation is a great tool for delivering the holistic picture and it also gives the participants the opportunity to put in practice the team-work and intercultural skills that they learn during the programme. The simulation operates fully online so our participants can fit the simulation rounds to their individual schedules and collaborate virtually during the programme."
Watch the video below for more participant impressions of the programme:
Peikko Group Corporation is a Finnish leading global supplier of concrete connections and composite structures. Peikko is a family-owned and run company with over 1200 professionals. Peikko was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Lahti, Finland. Peikko has subsidiaries in 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, with manufacturing operations in 9 countries.
Peikko organizes an annual meeting for its global management teams and this year Peikko’s CEO Topi Paananen wanted to engage his management with a business simulation that would illustrate Peikko’s challenges in a fun and effective way within a day-and-a-half time span.
The process started with a meeting between Topi Paananen and Cesim’s team where the initial idea for the Peikko case was established. Cesim’s general management simulation was used as a base for Peikko’s adapted version due to its versatility and modifiability. Later, Topi and his CFO Jukka Turva wrote the case description for Beicco Ltd, a fictitious company that resembles Peikko Group’s current operating environment and challenges and allows the participants to operate the simulation in a suitably realistic content. Read about Topi’s and Jukka’s brainchild here. After the case was designed, Cesim implemented the case and parameters into the actual simulation.
A total of 55 participants were split into 10 teams who each got to be the management team of Beicco Ltd. All teams were put into the same starting position so that the performance between teams could be easily compared. Before getting together for the annual meeting, participants received a video introduction to the simulation that helped them to orientate for the task in advance. During the annual meeting, the teams maneuvered their virtual companies for five rounds through swings in customer demand and raw-material costs, fluctuating FX rates, and emerging geopolitical factors.
"I have known business simulations since I was a student at a business school and feel that they are a great way to practice business decision-making without the risk of losing real money. Peikko Group has grown rapidly over the past 10 years and recently we have shifted increasing focus on profitability. I wanted my management to experience the main internal and external profitability drivers and challenges from the holistic point of view. Cesim’s solution offered me the opportunity to implement a case and a storyline that captured relevant aspects in a dynamic, competitive, and fun environment."
Peikko Group, CEO
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