Case Study

Mining Leaders Business Simulation


Solution overview

An Australian-based, global gold mining company engaged in a learning journey for their leaders. The four-day workshop was designed to help leaders Lead self, Lead team, and Lead business, by living organisational and personal values. The learning journey was designed to challenge the leaders in identifying who they are as leaders and how they show up. The company designed and delivered the first two components, Lead self and Lead team, as a separate two-day workshop. They then partnered with BTS to design and develop a business simulation for the Lead business component, and a program that connected to the Lead self and Lead team components. Their aim was to focus on the core types of decisions made by the executive committee and developed the following specific learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate importance of connection between safety and performance
  • Highlight the importance of ethical leadership through values
  • Build business acumen – an appreciation of the value chain of the business, and the key elements and trade-offs of how their business operates
  • Show how strategic initiatives create value for the organisation, and specifically link to their current strategic pillars and aspirations
  • Understand the implications of market changes on decision making
  • Show the value of each of the participants roles as leaders

One of the core learnings that came from the development of the business simulation, was how vital the role of values plays in decision making at the company. Following the pilot, a component was added to create a greater emphasis on teams defining their values in the strategy planning session, and then debriefing these throughout the day through the feedback rounds.

The separate two-day Leading business workshop enabled participants to collaboratively make team decisions and compete against each other on key financial and non-financial metrics. Teams articulated and pursued their own strategy and had constrained resources to invest at each stage of the value chain. Below are stage outcomes of the value chain and questions highlighting those key trade-offs.

“Safety is a key priority at Newcrest, and was present at all levels of the value chain.”


The customised business simulation provided an opportunity for leaders to assume the role of the Executive Committee in a highly experiential and risk free environment. They built fundamental capabilities and practiced real-world decision making, as they brought to life the challenges of linking decisions to values whilst balancing the trade-offs of expansion, potential divestment of assets, growth and profitability; whilst ensuring safety was always paramount. To maximise their performance, the leaders could also bring the learnings from the Lead self and Lead team components of the journey into the business simulation conversations. They were then provided with feedback and analysis of their decisions and strategies to apply to their action plans back on the job.

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