We have started up module II of our Danish Action Learning set. This is a group of Danish Hospitality managers that are studying service management in a program that we are conducting in collaboration with The University of Chester.
We are using the the Service Profit Chain as our basic framework for this program, and Module II is all about how to create value – seen from the customer perspective. You could also call this the strategy module.
The big issue with strategy is not so much to create the plan – the tricky part is to implement the plan.
To try and illustrate this point for the students we first spent some time talking about the tools that one can use to create a strategy, we then asked them each to spend 3 hours on their own creating a strategy plan with the following objective: By 16:30 this afternoon you and your team must have built a complex LegoCity according to a briefing specification that will be issued to you. When building the legocity the person(s) with the manual may not be in the same room as the bricks – you will be issued walkie-talkies for your communication. You are required to make a plan as to what resources you will use (you have 17 fellow students at your disposal) and how you would like to organise your team (what kind of management structure, who does the work etc.) We will also require a time plan and a SWOT analysis. At the end of the 3 hours one of you will be selected as the CEO of this new company No Limit plc., and that person will be in charge of this project implementation.
What followed was 3 hours of intense planing:
First step was to get a grip on the task (above) then to try and put some thoughts on paper (below)
Eventually plans started emerging:
Anja was selected as the lucky/unlucky CEO who had to implement her plan:
The team listen to Anja’s briefing
And then they attacked the task:
Communication proved to be tricky – have we heard that before?
Four more minutes to go and the crane is still not working – things started getting a bit tense:
But in the end it all came right – well almost ;-)
Click to see the grand finale video clip:
We then spent quite some time discussing – what was the plan, how did it go, what could we have done differently and what did we learn.
It was quite some day and a big thank you to Lothar Friis (below) for putting the whole thing together for us.