Saturday, September 8, 2012

Liza Goes to Oxford ~ Business Simulation Rocks

We are now embarking to what I intially perceived as a scary experience. Why? I went through business simulation exercise under this leadership development program where I work. I did not like it, in fact I felt it was too extreme and was not managed well. And with that pre-conceived judgement, it causes me not to look forward to this module.
First challenge already slapped us all on the face. The simulation consisted of 5 person in a group. And this 5 individuals that already have a day job while juggling to complete the MBA program. It's a no brainer scheduling will be the top utmost critical issue. We had our first meeting, which clearly showed to have everyone in the same room at the same time will not be easy, one of us was not able to attend the session. Next session was done using the google hangout. That's when we encountered the next problem, technology may not want to cooperate with us, my unifi was up and down. And one of my team mates accidently muted me resulting to her not able to hear me. On the flipped side, after being the only female student in my current MBA cohort, finally to have another woman in this group is just an awesome feeling!
Yesterday was however, a different experience. And different in a pleasant manner. We spent 7 hours to working on several decisions for our company. Like production and sales quantity, areas to sell, marketing expenditure and strategies with ultimate aim to maximise profit and share price.
From the 1st simulation experience, I have observed points which I feel are the key takeaways :
Generation gap
Gen-Y have this nature on the tendency to take risks and promoting a more agressive approach. I deal a lot with Gen-Y on daily basis as it is required by the roles I am playing in my day job. So, what I saw yesterday was not something unusual. Even in our office, we have different blend of generations. We have the baby boomers, Gen-X and Gen-Y also the latest, Gen-Z. So, we all work together, agreeing to disagree. Give it sometime, I think we will get the hang of each other in our simulation group. We will eventually understand each other better and learn to respect each other's approach.
We don't know what we don't know
This simulation also see we need to explore to know if things can be done or not. As we don't have the visibility of other groups' strategy, it's more like a trial and error while we try to read the trends. We win some, we loose some. It's still a long way to go, the simulation will end in January. As long as we keep an eye on the ball, remained focused, we will do just fine.
Different folks different strokes
Each of us came from different background, doing different things. It can be in human resource, finance or project management. We bring different experience and expertise to the table. We bring different views and try to contribute different thoughts with the same end game in mind - to create more value to the team and ultimately win the simulation. It's important to see the value in every input and if we look deep enough, it will be adding value to the team. As reminded by our professor, Frank, the loudest may not necessarily win, infact, study has shown, the loudest usually lost.
I personally need to step up to the game. I don't have that much exposure in finance but it will no be an excuse for me not to contribute. I chose the role to be the Financial Controller cause it will then force and push me to learn more abour finance in decision making. To give advise from finance perspective requires me to have knowledge in that. More readings, more practise and more learning, obviously.
I will be writing this journey from time to time. I want to document this MBA, the journey which I have dreamed of for many years and finally have the guts to do it.
Signing off,

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