Monday morning kicked off with the students negotiating the acquisition of Maywood cycles with their counsellor’s who were roleplaying as Emily or Sebastian Maywood. The creative accounting practices that some of the students used to justify their valuations of the company were very interesting, especially to those of us who have taken finance courses. They were given two 15 minute sessions to formulate a deal and sign an agreement.
After an hour of work on their restructuring of the company, the students were greeted by a banker (played by the counsellors) who challenged them about their short term cash flow troubles. The aim was to catch the students off guard and assess how well they could think on their feet in order to satisfy a concerned counterpart. A lot of them learned a good lesson from their performance and gained a lot of understanding about cash management in a company.
Next the students were subjected to a meeting with an angry customer who had almost been delivered 100 poisonous bikes. The counsellors had to be calmed down by the teams and the focus of the interaction lied on problem solving under pressure. The students really enjoyed the challenge, some of them were able to fully restore the customers faith in the company.
As a final meeting, the students had to navigate a PR disaster. Immediately after one of their workers had been injured in their factory, they were interviewed by a BBC journalist who knew about the accident. The questions were written to test the students in their confidence and perceptiveness in their positions as CEO, CFO, etc…
In between their meetings/interviews the students used their time to work on the restructuring of the company, essentially simulating the first 50 days of their ownership and management of Maywood cycles. There was a lot of discussion, brainstorming, emailing and endless fun.