How's my Luck now?

Reflections, views and descriptions during my stay at IIM Lucknow from July 2004 to March 2006

Location: India

Friday, January 28, 2005

Count Godzilla!

Last Sunday, we had the HR Head of Hero Honda - Mr. N. N. Akhaouri - visiting us. He was supposed to take a session on Recruitment and Selection as part of the subject PMIR (Personnel Mgmt. and Industrial Relations). But instead of that session, he organized a two-hour game testing consensus-building and problem-solving in large groups.
Our class of 61 students was divided into two groups, with a few students taking on the role of independent observers. The groups were made to sit in different classes and were both given the same problem. The aim and the basic data of the problem was there with both groups. However, additional data was split, with one item of data with one group and its complementary item with the other group. There were to be three or four meetings between one representative each of both groups, where each one could ask the other just one specific question, to which the other had to give a specific answer (if that group had the information asked for). Both groups had to independently solve the problem. The one which arrived at correct solution first would be the winner.

The problem was an odd mix of Dracula, Godzilla and Frankenstein. It was this: You are in London and have to kill Count Godzilla who lives in a castle in Transylvania. You start on a Monday, and have to draw up a schedule of traveling to the castle and killing that Undead creature by driving an oak stake through his heart. There were many constraints relating to transportation, holidays, opening and closing times of the church where one would get the castle keys, and the time of day during which the Count could be killed. The data on the constraints had to be equally split between the groups.
Our group was pretty chaotic in its approach. But a few people took the lead and used the blackboard of the class to draw up the schedule and decide on the questions to be asked to the other group based on the missing data. However, eventually our answer turned out to be wrong, the only reason being that the information about holidays was only given to the other group, and was not equally split. But the other group's answer was also wrong, so nobody won.

Finally, the observers commented on both the groups in terms of their approach in solving the problem and building consensus. They also picked four members from each group who showed leadership skills, analytical ability, etc.
It was a fairly interesting game, and would have been very good but for the one flaw.


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