The enclosing Business Challenge for 2013! [review and useful tips]
Business challenge – the national finals!
Just a quick info before we dive into the review: there are four Business Challenges in Serbia and they are located in Novi Sad, Belgrade, Nis and Cacak. The first 3 teams from each town qualify for the national finals in Belgrade.
The first day
The people who formed my team this time were Anđela, Đorđe and Jovan (greetings for them :D).
Establishing the good communication within the team is crucial, hence the team building activities were oriented towards an early-competition cooperation test, before the real thing. At the very beginning we were given a task to design a logo of our team, using several colorful papers and a sticky tape, in 20 minutes.
Đorđe’s professor, Nikola Petrović, was around and he advised us that a good way to start is:
Start from something that you all love in common.
Soon we realized that we are all sort of related to sports. However, a very interesting fact was that we love four absolutely different sports! Đorđe’s Europe vice-champ in karate, Anđela used to train volleyball, Jovan’s student company produces boomerangs and I am very much into working out.
We had agreed that picking ‘the ball’ as a recognizable symbol of sport is a good choice, and so we designed sort of a prototype of our team logo:
Even though the four triangles had no special meaning, I dare to say that each of them presented every member of our team 🙂
The final team building activity was both interesting and specially useful. We were told to close our eyes, count up to 60 and rise our hands as soon as we finish the counting. It was clear that there are offsets in one minute’s length for everyone, therefore Ksenija (Junior Achievement) stated:
We don’t perceive time equally.
I find this very instructive, as I’ve often been wondering why some people feel very comfortable even though the deadline is approaching, while on the other hand, some people lose their minds (like me :)).
All right, so the teams were ‘warmed up’ and so it was time to announce this Business Challenge’s task. And Junior Achievement prepared, to say so, very exotic topic this time. We were set the task to think of a business idea related to the next Olympic Games in Brasil!
It is quite apparent that this topic can initialize the generation of a great variety of ideas, so we started brainstorming the ideas on the paper, to catch up all of them.
And sooner than anyone of us would have expected – we had a tempting idea!
An ethno village with a traditional restaurant with Serbian brands, near Rio de Janeiro. The idea looked promising, but it was time to prove that it can come to reality, both to ourselves and to the jury, so we started confronting and solving the obstacles related to finances and marketing.
Soon we got the additional support, our mentor – Nikola Dunjić (now greetings for him too! :D). After briefly introducing our idea to Nikola, we started brainstorming more ideas altogether.
At some point, we were psychologically noticeably tired and our inspiration was highly stuck 😀
However, Nikola suggested us to bounce off the work and have some fun. Thus he introduced a game where we should be circling around and counting. If the next number was divisible by 3 or contained the number 3 (e.g. number 13), the person who’s turn is to pronounce it, should clap instead. Several minutes of clapping was simply refreshing, therefore the third useful tip from this Business Challenge is:
Taking a break through an energizer game is useful for stimulating the ideas flow, after long working sessions.
Up until the end of the first day, we were summarizing our ideas and getting a whole picture of our ethno house.
The second day
Everyone’s business plans, presentations and speeches were ready and so the teams started presenting their work.
Slightly before our presentation, Nikola had pointed out that we might get stuck after a question of the jury and so he advised:
Let your reply to jury be: ‘We need a moment to consult each other’.
This increases your chances to come up with an answer, since it is highly possible that the rest of the team has the answer or will think of it during this break. And you’ll get the bonus points for teamwork … 😉
The presentations were over and, after the break, the jury made the decisions!
The third place:
Team 6 with the idea of gathering the stadium rubbish and recycling it!
The second place:
My team with the idea of Serbian ethno village, near Rio de Janeiro!
The first place:
Team 8 with the idea of producing vitamin potions based on Brasil recipe and fruits, in Serbia, and thus promoting healthy life, sports and bringing Olympics atmosphere closer to Serbia!