National Case Competition League

Image Credit: letmein As an interlude to my regular posting regarding OCI I thought I'd let you guys all in on the last couple of days of the National Business League Case competition. I was able to attend the last two days of the 5 day finals held at Massey Albany. The Thursday was a development day held with various entrepreneurship super star appearances and the Friday was the last day of competition and the prize giving dinner. Massive fun had by all and it was amazing to watch such talent.

Thursday: Entrepreneurship Challenge

The challenge was this: how can we create more entrepreneurs in New Zealand. Pitched the idea for a potential solution by Selwyn Pellet, the 24 minds of the case competition had three hours in which to prepare a comprehensive proposal to give a panel of New Zealand entrepreneurs. The students definitely delivered on this one as a fantastic demonstration of their fast paced analytic ability, realistic understanding and what must be epic co-ordination skills. What was produced was a feasible entrepreneurship apprenticeship model combining New Zealand's top young talent with New Zealand's top entrepreneurs on a one to two year program designed to create a platform that will create New Zealand's top business owners of the future. The best thing about this is that on Monday, Selwyn and two of the programs students will be presenting this same proposal to government minister Pete Hodgson. Following the presentation we had the pleasure of being exposed to some jewels of wisdom from the panel. Among them was Sam Morgan who told us some stories from his time at Deloitte before he went on to start Trademe
"If there's any more than 5 consultants on a project you can pretty much do nothing and get away with it" -Sam Morgan
In addition, we got to hear some criticism of common organisational culture approaches in New Zealand from the Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Rivera:
"If you've got a bad culture you just throw alcohol at it until it comes right" -Wayne Norrie
Fortunately he now spends a lot of his time teaching people how to do it right.

Friday: Case Competition Final

The final case for this year was on the New Zealand Fejoa Growers Association and written in part by our very own Liliana Erakovic. As with any non traditional business form this provided an interesting challenge to all the teams but unfortunately fairly homogenous strategic choices from most of them as well. As it often does, it came down to the teams or could clearly articulate their strategy as a viable solution, the manager of the firm alluded to financial viability as his key concern at the awards ceremony. The awards dinner was a great chance to meet the talent, judges, coaches and various parties who supported the program. After a massive dinner, huge dessert and plenty of drinks, the part we had all been waiting for came:

Final Day Results

1st University of Waikato 2nd Auckland University 3rd Auckland University of Technology And the overall placing for the inaugural National Business case League 1st Auckland University 2nd University of Waikato 3rd Canterbury University On the rumour side of things there was word going round amongst the participants that Deloitte may not be sponsoring the league next year. If that's the case I'm really disappointed, one of the reasons I signed with them was because I felt they took an active stance towards what I consider to be the best form of business education in New Zealand. Their presence at the competition has always been I thought to establish a talent pipeline, something which I was proud to be part of. For me these competitions are in large part about the talent you meet. Often in commerce degrees, people are just there to get a degree and aren't passionate about being successful or engaged with what they do. But the people you meet in these programs are all going somewhere, all want to be engaged and most of all, know how to have fun doing it.
image credit: Justin Soong The best thing about the above photo is that everyone is having an awesome time and the winners of the competition aren't even in the shot. I hope to hav a shot of the auckland team up shortly. Update: Here are the champions
image credit: Chris Jenkins