Winning Strategies™ | Business Case Study

**FOR USE IN VIRTUAL & FACE-TO-FACE TRAINING SESSIONS** In this business game, teams conduct a SWOT analysis on company data to see what’s wrong at WaveRiders. Then select a strategy for success. Ideal for developing business skills (PC not required). *This activity is supplied digitally via the Northgate Trainerhub. No delivery charges apply.*

Learning Objectives

  • to use financial data to analyse an organisation
  • to conduct a SWOT analysis
  • to work with facts, not assumptions
  • to think strategically about the market
  • to work as a management team on key decisions
  • the value of good presentation skills

Five-Year Repeat Use Licence

This Northgate training activity comes with a five-year licence for repeat use with up to 24 participants per training session within the licence-holding organisation. Please ask for a discount on multiple licences to use with larger groups. Also includes access to the Northgate Trainerhub (see below for details).

  • Participants

    1-24 (up to 4 teams of 1-6 per team)

  • Timing

    1 - 2 hours + debrief

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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    (normally next working day)


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  • World delivery

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The Activity

WaveRiders make inflatable dinghies for the leisure and military markets. With business performance in freefall you must use your analytical and strategic skills to find a viable future for this sinking company!

You have the following company files: finance data, sales history, production capacity, staffing, P&L accounts, Balance Sheets etc. Once you have an overview, a SWOT analysis will establish more accurately the current position. You can then work out your proposed strategy for the future.

You may decide the answer to the company's problems lies in marketing, the workforce or even the product itself. You’ll then receive six strategy cards, each one pointing to a different way forward. It’s your job to identify the one that best fits your findings. Hopefully, you'll choose the right one - and be able to argue your case! You may also be asked (by the Trainer) to prepare P&L projections for your chosen future strategy.

Teams take turns to explain their proposals (making this business simulation activity ideal for practising presentation skills). Full Trainer’s Notes explain the pros and cons of each strategy card and identifies the best one.

Trainer's Role

  • Divide participants into teams and introduce the activity
  • Issue Team Folders containing the company details
  • Allow teams up to 50 minutes to study the material and do a SWOT analysis
  • Observe the teams in action
  • Issue further materials (future options) and allow the teams time to pick their strategy
  • Lead a Debrief and listen to the team’s ideas. Use the PowerPoint presentation to consolidate the learning
  • Trainer's Notes provide full guidance

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes (supplied as a PDF)
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Team Briefing Folders containing 9 pp of info: company history / current market / financial records for previous years / internal comments 1 / internal comments 2 / market research / sales history & personnel data / five-year financial & production summaries / organisation structure (supplied as a PDF)
  • Datacards (supplied as PDFs)

This activity is supplied digitally via the Northgate Trainerhub. No delivery charges apply.

Northgate Trainerhub

Benefits of the online Northgate Trainerhub include:

  • Easy-to-access resource library which stores all the digital files for the activity in one place
  • Immediate access to upgrades made to the activity over the five-year licence term
  • Access to an online Trainer Forum where you can post questions, share experiences & network with other Trainers
  • Access to free activities and icebreakers
  • Option to send information to team leaders digitally via the hub using Team Access Codes
  • Unlimited Trainer logins for all Trainers based at the licence-holding site

'Winning Strategies' demonstrates the importance of looking externally and influencing management teams who often contribute to the problem. An excellent hands-on activity to get to grips with the basics of strategy.

Glenda Bennett, Consultant

Excellent. We have used 'Winning Strategies' in recruitment and assessment to demonstrate behaviours against a company framework.

Joanne Williamson, Training Manager, Stena Line

'Winning Strategies' is a good ‘general management’ exercise, especially for problem-solving after the analysis of financial and other wide-ranging types of data into more meaningful data.

D. Parker, Unicorn Training

'Winning Strategies' is an excellent activity for a group to assess a company’s performance and plan a winning strategy for its future, and it forms part of our leadership development programme. The activity creates thoughtful discussions within the group and gives them a real understanding of what costs and other factors are involved in sustaining a successful business. The feedback we’ve had from the groups when using it has been really positive - we’ll definitely be using it again!

Rob Chilcott, Learning & Development Manager, Claims Consortium Group

We ran 'Winning Strategies' remotely and the materials worked really well.

Alison Dale, Senior Learning & Development Manager, Bishop Fleming

I have now purchased several activities from Northgate and once again this one - 'Winning Strategies' - was excellent and engaging.

Ward Atkinson, Director,

Used 'Winning Strategies' and 'Decisions! Decisions!' as part of an assessment centre and they definitely helped bring the best candidate to the fore.

Bob Hayward, Managing Director, Be More Effective Ltd

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