On Tuesday 28th June 2016, as the world continued to discuss the business repercussions of Brexit, over forty corporate professionals in Hong Kong participated in the Kaplan Business Challenge - a demanding simulation that places participants on the board of a business struggling in a volatile and uncertain market.
The aim of the challenge is to test technical competence and behavioural confidence – qualities which are essential for effective decision making and leadership. It is not enough to have business acumen and foresight; you need to be able to build and lead a team in the most difficult of times.
Mike Sarwar, Senior Training Consultant and technical lead in Hong Kong, described the Kaplan Business Challenge:
It forces people out of their comfort zone in terms of marketing, production, finance and forecasting. As the simulation develops, so does the complexity across each of these core business areas. It is vital that business leaders not only possess these skills, but are also willing to be tested – this is how you ultimately identify knowledge gaps and foster development.
As the tension increases so does the pressure - decisions need to be justified and strategies developed. As teams seek to meet the demands of the numerous stakeholders, it is easy for cracks to appear – the question is who has the strength to bind the team, instil a vision and communicate a clear path?
Simon Taylor, Senior Leadership Consultant, Kaplan LPD, said of the event:
The participants in Hong Kong were provided with an insight into the behavioural dynamic which includes a vast array of set piece topics – each of these are bound round the central spine of the challenge. So, for example, as teams aim to negotiate a strategic alliance, or seek to raise capital, they are introduced to the practical skills surrounding negotiation and behavioural economics.
Consequently, participants are continually reminded of the link between technical competence and behavioural confidence as they are pressed to justify their decision making.
As one of today’s delegates made clear, with the ambiguity surrounding Brexit, such high pressured training is not a luxury – it’s a must have.
Anyone who is interested in knowing more about how the Kaplan Business Challenge can be used to develop teams from graduates to senior leaders, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.