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A Big Four Accounting Firm Case Study



A Big Four accounting firm approached us to design a leadership program for their junior staff—a millennial population—to develop their interpersonal skills. The internal Learning & Development team wanted to provide these up-and-coming leaders with access to learning opportunities that were previously only available to their managers and senior managers.

We designed an experiential learning journey rooted in the science of learning that would lead to immediate application and improvement of their interpersonal skills in the workplace.


We designed a program that drew on our work and research on Mastering Difficult Conversations.

The learning journey included:

  • Self-paced digital learning experience on IPL's platform, Mentora®
  • Role-plays that motivated these young leaders to respond to written and video prompts every day for 10 minutes, using a set of scenarios and guidelines
  • Peer feedback that encouraged them to be candid and constructive while rating their peers on their role-play practice responses
  • Practice missions that asked them to directly apply what they had learned to everyday moments in the workplace
  • Knowledge retention assessments to help them reinforce their learning and identify gaps in their knowledge

  • Impact

    As a result of this learning journey, IPL was able to get:

    of the young leaders who were highly engaged in role-play exercises, to derive measurable improvement in difficult conversation techniques such as Disarming, Empathizing and Self-Expression
    increase in these young leaders’ comfort in engaging in difficult conversations instead of avoiding them

    What these Young Leaders Say

    Return on Learning