Resource Materials for Educators and Trainers

Experiencing strategy.  Article forthcoming in Journal of the Academy of Business Education with instructions and debrief guidelines for using experiential exercises in a strategy course.

Moving metaphors  Paper with Mark Clark and Steve Gove on the use of isomorphic framing to maximize the effectiveness of training initiatives.  Selected for the Best Paper Proceedings for the Academy of Management Annual Conference, 1999.

Art, acting, and adventure: Metaphors for Teaching Strategy   Summary of the teaching symposium held at the Academy of Management Annual Conference, 1998.

Farmco  Role play on managing organizational change, strategy, and communication.

Featured exercise.  Includes equipment, set-up, instructions and metaphors for a single activity.  Will be swapped out for a new exercise periodically.

Brief Descriptions of Sample Experiential Programs

Steel Determination:  The Nucor case demonstrates how effective management can yield substantial benefits, even in a declining market.  Steel Determination was designed to be used as a complement to Nucor.  Participants are the management team of the worst-run steel mill in North America (Loskill Steel).  Faced with impending bankruptcy and a host of crises, the team must cultivate a set of managerial 'best practices' in order to save the firm.  Within this scenario, individual exercises can be combined to meet the needs of a particular group.  Delivery formats have been as diverse as a three-hour indoor program, and a day and a half in the Australian bush.

Divisional wafer fab: How does a global company meet the challenge of producing common products across geographically dispersed locations?  This challenge is applicable to a range of companies, from Intel and semiconductors to McDonalds and french fries.  A few years back, Jim Cain at Teamwork & Teamplay showed me his new PVC tube game.  Using multiple sets of these tubes and a collection of cell phones, physically segregated teams must coordinate to design, develop, and deliver identical products to customers.  Useful for discussion of Intel's Copy Exactly manufacturing strategy.  Interesting sidebar: Many of the PVC components for this game are NOT readily available outside North America.  Asked to run this exercise once while working overseas, I spent two days and a small fortune on epoxy jury-rigging certain components.  This exercise runs in about 90 minutes, and can handle group sizes of 25-60.

Corporate wafer fab: What do you do if you really like the divisional wafer game, but have 150+ people?  We unveiled this game for the ASU Day MBA new student orientation in the fall of 2001.  Start by adding more phones, and a lot more pieces of PVC.  The exercise subsumes the divisional wafer fab, adds a separate division (also with multiple locations), and a corporate team responsible for coordinating a complex set of customer requests.

Photos and Slide Shows

ASU Outdoor Adventure 2000.