Leadership Crisis Challenge to Put Ross MBAs Through The Wringer


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In the age of see-through yoga pants scandals and large-scale credit card security breaches at popular retail chains, leaders must be prepared to face complex, fast-changing, surprising, and stressful challenges at a moment's notice. The Leadership Crisis Challenge, kicking off this week here at Ross, is designed to put Ross MBAs through it all to prepare them to handle anything upon graduation.

Leadership Crisis ChallengeDuring the 24-hour challenge, 84 first-year and 16 part-time MBA students will split up into 25 teams and assume leadership roles at a company going through a crisis quickly spiraling out of control.

The tensions will be high as the student teams attempt to balance environmental commitments, ethical concerns and social obligations with fiscal goals, and quickly changing public perception.

Specifics about the challenge are under tight wraps until the public kick-off this Thursday at 5 p.m. in Blau Auditorium. Join us there to hear more about it, and follow the action on Twitter.

The challenge simulation, developed and executed by the Ross Leadership Initiative, in partnership with Ross Net Impact, is supported with the help of 20 second-year MBA students, 15 Ross faculty members, and a number of business leaders from the community. The Leadership Crisis Challenge is part of the Ross Leadership Initiative and is one of two immersive, action-based learning experiences for first-year Ross MBAs, following the RLI Impact Challenge which takes place during orientation in August. 

Stay tuned - this blog will be updated as the challenge progresses.

UPDATE: Jan 16 - 5:24pm Ross students have assumed leadership roles inside a company called Timora looking to develop hotel property in Guatemala. The challenges: The project is over budget; behind on their deadline; and forces are threatening the company’s future in ecotourism. More to come.

UPDATE: Jan 16. - 7:56pm Teams were instructed by the Timora CEO to terminate the employment of a team member in Guatemala who has been deemed largely responsible for some of the company's current troubles. Below is a short video of that worker, J.T. Anderson, receiving the news in Guatemala via Google+ Hangout. 

UPDATE: Jan 16. - 9:04pm Things are heating up in the challenge as a “fired” employee of Timora strikes back on Twitter, airing the company’s dirty laundry. Here’s how it unfolded with J.T. Anderson, who was let go Thursday night by Ross students acting as management of the fake development company. 

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UPDATE: Jan 17 - 12:10pm Tensions are reaching a high as the leaked information from the “fired” Timora employee sets off intense press interest in the story. The final five teams will face a live press conference with Knight-Wallace fellowship journalists starting at 2 p.m. today in Blau Auditorium. Will the pressure get to the teams, or will they handle the grilling with the grace of a seasoned leader?

To find out, join us in Blau for the public press conference at 2 p.m., or follow the action on Twitter.

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