HKMA Management Game toasts teamwork and thoroughness
The winning strategy employed by the champion team at this year’s Hong Kong Management Game – which saw participants operating an imaginary bottled-water company – was to keep their cool in the face of adversity and thoroughly analyse the impact of their strategies before formulating new ones.
Team “We Can”, comprising Carol Pau Wai-man, Dickson Lee Kok-tung and Dick Wai Lik-hang – all Wharf T&T employees – beat four other finalist teams to be crowned champions of the annual competition organised by the Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA). They received a HK$5,000 cash prize from Stelux Holdings International and round-trip economy-class air tickets sponsored by Cathay Pacific Airways, as well as the South China Morning Post Perpetual Trophy.
Russell Morris, systems developer at Universal Business Management Simulation and the game’s designer, said that the winning team excelled at detailed business analysis.
“The team demonstrated outstanding teamwork and had a clear division of labour based on individual’s members’ strengths and expertise,” he said. “Tough decisions were called for initially as most teams started losing money. The champion team made appropriate adjustments in their strategies after learning about the effects of the measures adopted earlier.”
The first runners-up, Team “Blackadder” from Jardine Matheson, won HK$3,000. Second runners-up, Team “JRL”, also from Wharf T&T, took home HK$2,000.
The Management Game is powered by a sophisticated, realistic online-business-simulation programme. Competing teams started taking part in the programme via e-mail in May. As teams were eliminated in subsequent rounds, the game became progressively more exciting. The finalist teams battled it out at the HKMA’s headquarters in Causeway Bay on 3 August.
This year, all the finalist teams were made up of working professionals, compared with previous years’ editions that had featured some finalist teams made up of university students.
Although the final round saw some excellent performances, Russell did note that some teams exhibited a general lack of attention to detail. “One team consistently ended up with insufficient materials [after each round],” he said.
Widely regarded as a holistic management training tool for Hong Kong, the game’s business simulation programme is applicable to almost all types of organisations, Morris said. The game is also updated regularly to reflect new developments in the business sector. For instance, the fictional bottled water producer is a small to medium-sized enterprise that has outsourced its production. This is in line with the current business environment in Hong Kong, which itself has transformed into a hub for product development and marketing.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives were another new element introduced this year. According to an HKMA spokesman, the finalist teams were asked to sell some goods to NGOs below market price. This forced them into weighing the intangible benefit of enhancing their corporate image against a slight loss of profit.
The game enjoyed more enthusiastic participation from well-established local companies this year thanks to the support of their HR departments, an HKMA spokesman said. “Many HR executives have encouraged their colleagues to enter the competition, because they recognise it as a great opportunity for their employees to apply their management skills on a risk-free, but realistic, competitive platform,” he said.
Morris said that entrants will get the most out of the game if they have team members from different divisions of their companies. That way, they can fully capitalise on the distinct strengths and expertise of individual members and the game can also become a great opportunity for mutual learning.
This year’s Management Game sponsors were Cathay Pacific Airways and Stelux Holdings International. The official media partners were the South China Morning Post, Classified Post, Jiu Jik and smartjob.com.
THIRST FOR VICTORY
Team “We Can” – Wharf T&T
Carol Pau, Dick Wai, Dickson Lee
Team “Blackadder” – Jardine Matheson
Robert Wills, Freddie Lee, Michelle Tao
Team “Win” – Wharf T&T
Fanny Lee, Sonny Sit, Ben Wong