Today we finished a three-day business simulation. Each study group represented a company bringing new products into a new, international market. In a turn-based, simulated universe, we competed against each other to position our products, make marketing decisions, optimize our supply chains, and work within the constraints of international regulatory uncertainty.
My team did not finish in the top 3. We made a key supply chain planning error in Q3 and another blunder in Q5. The key learning comes not from the errors we made but from the group dynamics and processes that allowed them to occur. As many of you know, I am extremely achievement-oriented so not winning doesn’t sit well with me. However, this year has been a lesson in embracing failure for the associated opportunities to learn. It is better to learn these lessons in a simulated universe than in a real one, where profits, jobs, or even human lives might be on the line.