After two long days of intensive gaming, we finally completed the game today. The total length of the simulation was three years which amounted to about 20 hours of work in real life.
It was one of the biggest games ever played on the Simbu platform, nine teams altogether, competing of the same scarce resources and customers. I was prepared to tell you why and how we failed and what I learned from our failures but instead we won all the other teams by far. So here’s a short analysis why we did so well.
- The team. All our team members were average Joes. Four normal people with average intelligence. What a team lacks in skills and knowledge, it can easily make up in team spirit.
- The plan. All teams had one. Ours wasn’t too special in any way. Sticking to one’s plan and especially believing in it even when the times are rough will bring rewards. But sticking to the plan isn’t about just blindly following it.
- The routine. We knew who in our team did what and why. A team with a complimentary set of skills and roles is a good one.
- Constant learning. Just doing something better every time.
These four were the cornerstones of our success. I can’t say our team built its success on determination. Instead we trusted each other to make the right decisions. Trust and mutual respect within a team makes it work.
Our plan was based on a cost leadership strategy. All the companies had some strategy but instead of using arbitrary opportunities to diverge from ours, we chose to stick to it the best we could. That really paid off.
When the team trusts each other and there is a specific routine of doing things, there’s a good chance that all the stuff also gets done.
Finally, we had a system of making small adjustments to the ways we do things. Even minimal improvements and optimizations each quarter add up to huge savings throughout a three-year period.
The bottom line
I must say that although this course takes a lot of effort and time, it still is well worth it. What I think is the most relevant learning is that all people and teams have what it takes to be winners if they just get their minds tuned to the right frequency.
It would however make sense, that consistency in method outweighs arbitrary risk-taking by far. I’m rather curious as to how much the fact that the environment was a game affected the risk-taking of the other teams.
I would say every success story requires a fair amount of risk-taking. Looking back at the game, all companies were forced to take risks to gain rewards.
However, many of the risks our competitors took were not in balance with their chosen strategy. For example, rapidly changing one’s purchase strategy in front of the competitors’ previous actions.
What comes to the game itself, it was obviously easy to experiment with different kinds of strategies without losing one’s own money. But luckily most of that experimentation was focused on the two practice rounds we played before the actual game.