We love having a clear problem to solve. Stryker’s global sales team gave us one.
Stryker’s question to us was: how can we create a sense of shared purpose across our global sales team, in a way that shows them the commercial value in black and white?
They quickly realised that the main stumbling block lay in the fundamental communication, and the assumptions that cloud it, between one culture and another.
Stryker is a US-based company and world-leader in the design, production and supply of medical devices and equipment such as joint replacement implants, surgical tools, stents and heart valves. With about 33,000 employees world-wide it is a truly global company, and very much the type of corporation that we like to help.
Our association with Stryker dates back about ten years, and as with many companies we provided a series of finance and commercial acumen programmes for the EMEA region, using our proven board-game technology.
In 2018 we were challenged to provide the same for over 120 delegates at a major sales event in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE. Such was the success of the one-day financial training for the front-line sales staff that we have been invited to spend a day with 180 sales people in February 2019.
Preparations have been on-going for months.
The brief has been to theme, in a totally experiential way, the key message of the conference: TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More. And for the first time we will use and integrate not one but three simulations during the day.
The warm-up was around mindset, and we used several interactive exercises to allow the delegates to experience what it is like to be in a Fixed or Growth or Benefit Mindset. Most important, they will learn the simple language to use, at work or at home, that will encourage a Growth or Benefit Mindset in employees and friends and family alike.
This set them up for the next challenge, The Transfer Simulation. We originally developed this for a large pharma company that was struggling in the transfer of known technology from Germany to China. They quickly realised that the main stumbling block lay in the fundamental communication, and the assumptions that colour it, between one culture and another. How to sensitise different cultural groups to very different ways of thinking and viewing the world?
Enter the WoBoT! These seemingly simple toys have to be deconstructed by one team, transferred to another and who reconstruct it. There were at least five nationalities at the conference, each with their own “stereotype”. This neat simulation underlined the importance of self-awareness and appreciation of another culture’s world-view!
While the teams roll through these two simulations, they will be accumulating Profitability Dollars, which are the iconic money chips we use for all our board-based financial simulations (of which we have at least 70 versions covering a multitude of different industries and challenges). This sets up the final challenge, which we call The Race to the Pole. With their Profitability Dollars they purchase all the equipment needed to race across an arctic wasteland, avoiding crevasses, crossing water channels between ice flows, respecting penguin colonies, dodging polar bears! The winning team will cross the ice cap first, with the most money left over…but who has also helped any other teams in distress: Together Everyone Achieves More.