R&D, Marketing & Finance dancing all together to meet the desired targets (our office board)
As an iconic closure to the MBA orientation at BABSON, we (160+ students) participated in a very intense business simulation. The so called "TECHMARK" simulation is suposed to be a tradition among BABSON MBA classes, to the point that the people that go through it join the group of "Techmark survivors".
As any simulation, the goal was to bring a company to meet certain levels of performance, which reflect a good overall strategic management of a manufacturing organization under the always present conditions of market uncertainty (ROA, ROE, Inventory/Assets, Debt levels, etc.). The exercise was divided into quarters (which in Techmark time were presented in 1 to 2 hour slots) where each of the 265 teams had to make decisions the would lead to a cumulative final result.
I must admit that participating in the simulation ratified that I need an MBA! The first two quarters of the exercise I was completely lost. Frustration was obvious. I kept thinking for myself: do I really have a business degree? It was really a challenge to make decisions based on so many variables at a time ... expected market growth, competition, production costs, customer preferences, debt management ... even understanding where to start was an issue! Every time we came back to the plenary and partial performance results were revealed based on our quarterly decisions, I felt however I strong relief as the professor reinforced the fact that "this" and "that" business topic was going to be thought to us in details during the program.
As you know - I am into quotes these days -, so here are some key highlights of the experience ...
"Our classrooms are laboratories. The cost of making mistakes is perhaps a bit of embarrassment bot nothing else ... dare to make the mistakes here!" :)
"Ambiguity, Complexity, Uncertainty, these things will never go away, the difference after BABSON is that you will feel more confortable dealing with them"
"Financial Impact of Business Decisions (...)"
"If winning is not important, then why are we keeping the score? You are in a business school, there is nothing wrong with making money (sustainably)" :)
"Disagree without being disagreeable"
"Do you want to be the first to move? The first to succeed? The first to sustain?"
"We have near term plans for you, do you have a long term plan for yourself?" :)
"At some point, analysis HAS TO STOP and implementation should begin" :)
"We learn better when we are enjoying it"
"Screw it! we do not have time to do the number crunching at this point" :)
"Let's don't play it safe , let's take risks ... I have risk apetite"
"If forecasts would be facts, they would be called facts!" :)
With the TECHMARK simulation I felt that the MBA really started. So much to learn in the incoming 21 months!
My respect to all these savvy managers out there that day after day lead their real businesses to success! Not an easy task!
Team 4, Industry E
Ps. BTW, we did not win, but we were so close that I am just so proud of our team!