Of battery packs and ice-creams

Just back from a very long day at school but cannot resist sharing with you all the learnings of the day. Another fantastic day at IMD. I know they are kind of becoming tablestakes – fantastic days I mean, but thats how things are on this side of the World at the moment.

The day kicked of with Professor Misiek’s class on Strategy (those who are tempted to Google him – try Mikolaj Piskorski) where we were put in charge of running a battery business that was undergoing some serious technological transition. All 90 of us were put in the seat of the company executives to propose and implement strategies to lead the company through this transition. The simulation was quite realistic, complete with budget allocation, product design decisions and the consequences of taking wrong decisions – getting fired that is. I got fired too a few times but in my defence, almost all of us did at some point or the other. This was a great example of how all the knoweldge in the world is worth nothing if we are not able to use it at the right place at the right time. Often it is not lack of knowledge but our own biases or blind spots that get in the way of making the right decisions. Not being able to separate good information from bad, or not taking a step back to look at he big picture are all the reasons why even top executives fail to design and implement the right strategies. All of this played out in the simulation.

From selling battery packs we moved to selling ice-creams in Africa. Prof. Cyril Bouquet as part of the innovation class had a truly exciting project in store for us. We were given limited resources and were asked to design equipment for street vendors in Africa. This was our first major project in the new groups and what a fun experience this was. We arent fully done with this yet. Tomorrow morning at 8 we have to present our designs to the class and see what they think about it. These are not models or prototypes but full scale equipment that will be put to test tomorrow. My team is pleased with our design and I hope tomorrow morning we put up a good show.

A fine day, a long day but yet another fun day with real learning for the real world.

 

Till next time!

Kunal