We are in Guadalajara, Mexico running the 3-day global business game for a large group of managers at HP. Most people in the group already have a strong finance background, so this program falls more into the ‘non-finance for finance managers’ category. It was a slow start, teams did not start pushing out of the standard Royals industry until the second day: when they grew their businesses, they chose to grow within the starting framework (i.e. Royals and the home market) instead of growing into new opportunities (new products, new markets).

Because they were conservative, their financial results were worse and more painful than if they had been more adventurous, and been willing to take risk, looked for more forecast information and used it.

They are working well as teams; but they have similar professional backgrounds… maybe, they would benefit from having a broader cross-section of experience and attitude. This would create a bit less agreement in the group, but a bit more ‘stretching’ in strategy.

In our experience, a classroom of sales people can go bankrupt from taking too many risks, but here is a case of a classroom of finance people going bankrupt from being too conservative. A healthy company needs managers of both types, or ideally, managers who have both qualities.

Which was the intent of this program – to introduce a bit of risk-taking to the conservative mindset.

Today is the third (and last) day, and it is anybody’s game to win.

(Last night we ate dinner at El Sacromonte, a restaurant that specializes in traditional and new Mexican foods. The food was incredible, and quesadillas with rose petals and strawberries is my new favourite food. Thereby ensuring I will again come back to Guadalajara.)