Recently, we completed yet another simulation program for more than 80 young bankers at a regional bank. We’ve been launching quite a number of cool programmes in the last 2 years – check out our other adventures here and here

As a venture outfit, we talk to hundreds of decision makers from corporate, startup and investment ecosystem every year. What we realised is that our individual knowledge and expertise is limited. But if we talk to the right people, in the right context – everyone can form insights, make better decisions and be relevant. 

This is my 3rd year running such immersive programmes, and the 1st time that I was asked to lead it with my colleague. Many of my friends have asked me “Why are you (Momentum Works) doing this?“ 

Let me share my experience to explain this.

Momentum Works’ mission is to bridge the knowledge gap effectively

We want to disrupt the status quo, bridge that knowledge gap – and bring the latest insights and experience to our clients. And as a venture outfit, we run our programmes as we would a startup scaling up: 

  1. Be agile to implement latest trends and insights into our offerings
  2. Give our customer(s) a great experience
  3. We reflect, iterate and improve

Identifying the latest trends and insights 

It is a prerequisite for everyone in Momentum Works to know what are the innovation, disruption, trends and happenings in the new technology industries. We share our thoughts in our blog, with our communities, our Impulso venture, and we incorporate it into our talks and immersion programmes. 

This year, inspired by the Grab-Altimeter SPAC listing, and the 10 facts about SPACs articles by my colleague, Brandon – we jumped onto the bandwagon and made SPAC the background of our programme. After all, young people are most curious about what’s going to happen tomorrow, not what was trending a year ago.

And with this in mind, we challenged ourselves to find innovative, new and important industries/ companies – including space, entertainment and sustainable companies –  to share with the young bankers.

Some of our simulation snippets:

SPAC listing & merger process – the base of our simulation activities
The sample companies we use for this simulation based on real existing companies
The team sponsors’ profile in the parallel universe

Give our customer(s) a great experience

When it comes to making insights of our programme relatable, we always refer to this quote from Netflix’s Reed Hastings: 

“If you’ve got high performing employees… and to encourage original thinking… give them the context to dream big, the inspiration to think differently and the space to make mistakes along the way. In other words, lead with context.” 

Our programmes are based on leading with context. Why? Because people are now more informed than ever, and thirsty for new concepts that they can relate to and apply it to the company. They are no longer satisfied with being fed a theory and having activities that just touch the surface of the problems they face in their everyday lives. 

In this programme, we replicated what was going on in the real world – a universe where SPAC sponsors looked for target companies. We created a dozen companies from the new tech industries where the young bankers would need to assess and decide companies to merge with. And along the way, we sprinkled in a healthy dose of real crises, including one where we were inspired by the Putin and NBC interview on June 15th

And of course, we leverage onto our Momentum Works community. A big thanks to Jomtip and Winston who shared their rich experiences in data and innovation, and to all the roleplayers Fanny Potkin, Keith Zhai, Vanessa Voon, Crystal, Ryan Wei, JC Chen, Yuhong Mu, Yeeli Lee, Chandra Tandiono, Hachem Mohanna, Chong Siong, Tony Wang, Bella Ling, Deshui, and Vion who gave their time to give the young bankers a glimpse into how the real world really (could be) like.

Overall, the participants loved the programme and from their interaction and feedback, truly enjoyed the programme and had some creative fun with it.

Some takeaways

Some of the learnings and takeaways that participants and our team this time round:

  1. Not all information is equally useful in guiding our decision-making. Not all metrics should be used when analysing a business. How you use the data is more important than how much data you have.
  2. Even the best plans can fail. It is more important to ensure that we know how to react, adapt and change in the face of uncertainty than to stress over preparing a plan that covers all bases.
  3. When assessing an opportunity, it might be worth it to look beyond the numbers. Instead of having a hyperfocus on the financials of a target company, we appreciate the fact to look at the bigger picture and think in the long term. 
  4. Negotiation is not about walking away with the best possible deals or terms agreed upon. It is a journey, and best negotiations help to foster longer-lasting relationships. 

My reflection 

And to close the answer on the question “Why are you (Momentum Works) doing this?” –  

Well, in short – we are passionate about it. 

Every simulation is unique. 

We always meet new people, and experience something new. We thoroughly enjoyed the learning, the process, the interaction, the engagement, and most importantly the revelation from the participants after the programme. Being able to see the participants tell us that they can bring back skills they’ve experienced not just to their work life but also to their daily lives and future career is rewarding .

And of course, it’s not just us sharing insights. We are also learning, getting feedback – and this allows us to reflect, improve and iterate to make our offerings better.

Thank you to Clare and Jacinta for your support and trust for us to run the program again. And to all the participants who were involved in the program, you guys are damn good. All the best to you! 

Another massive thank you to Jianggan, Yorlin, Yi, and Alex (who again took time out from EOA – do check out his cool podcast) who fed us the insights/ intel and feedback, sharing, and the steer to keep us on the right path. To Nurina, Katharine, Raphael, Marcus, and Shichu who made sure the simulation went smoothly. And most importantly vielen dank to my partner in crime Brandon Yee with all of our all nighter to prepare the program, we’ve made it!!! (P.S. our boss still owes us a 2 weeks break)

If you want to find out more, connect with us on LinkedIn or contact me for a chat. 

A bonus snippet by one of the team:

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].