I had enrolled for a MDP on Enhancing Sales Force Performance program at IIM-A. The four-day program was to commence on Monday 18th February.
I reached the campus at 8.00 PM the previous day. After entering the campus I was given the course material in a bag with the room keys. The participant list of 35 executives included Sr. managers, CEOs from India and also 3 from Sri Lanka, one from Singapore and Bahrain each.
After checking into the well-furnished room, I freshened up, headed straight towards canteen which was to close at 9 PM.
When I returned to my room I said to myself, “ anyway the program is next day and after a hectic travel I deserve a good night’s sleep to do justice for the program.” But then curiosity caught over and I thought of glancing through the course contents.
A binder consisting about 12 case studies and other reading material totaling about 400 pages was dumped on each participant. My heart sank into my boots. “Anyway 400 pages, I can start it tomorrow. ” I said to myself. My attention was drawn to a small booklet which read Instructions for Participants and that I was a part of group 2 consisting of 6 participants who have to read 3 case studies amounting to 80 pages and prepare presentation of not more than 6 slides. And this has to be prepared on Sunday night. That means I have no pleasure of enjoying the sleep.
I went to room no 132. The other guys were sitting there most of them in their early 40s utterly lost in what they were reading. After exchanging pleasantries I asked Sudhakar, a manager from an event management company. He said, “ look at this case study on Ingersoll Rand. I cannot make out what a compressor is, the different types of products, around 7 tables with huge voluminous data and a case study 20 pages long. And if this is not enough there are no questions at the end of the case. “
Abraham Mathew, a Sr. manager from Kanan Devan tea said, “ we need to read at least till 4 AM to complete the assignment.”
Confusion and boredom loomed large over all the group members’ faces. I said, “ Friends, take it easy. You do not have to be so nervous. Guidelines for handling a case study are”:
- What is the major issue?
- What are the minor issues?
- What decision needs to be taken?
Try to separate the wheat from the chaff. You do not have to take all the data seriously. Take a distant outlook to get a broad perspective. And above all take it easy. This is not the only case you need to attempt. There are two more to be solved.”
Secondly do not waste your precious energy in reading all the case studies individually. What you can do is each of you read only ONE CASE today which I feel you can complete by 12 midnight. Come here at 7 PM and each member briefs the group within 5-10 minutes the synopsis” . Next You can make a ppt within 10 minutes.without any frils.”
Everyone heaved a sigh of relaief. That is a jugaad which we Indians are god at!
Suddenly the tension prevailing in the room subsided and everyone started looking at the problem with a cool mind. Now why do IIM professors subject the participants with such a huge workload?
We shall see in my next blog…
Its all about picking up what is important and developing the realisation that presence matters. That builds confidence.