I'm currently taking night courses towards earning my MBA. My current course is an introductory course to all of the different subjects that the MBA program will involve. This is the 8th and final week. Our class is broken down into project teams, with 5 or 6 students on a team. Each team performs group assignments throughout the course. Tonight we had our final presentations. Each group was given a different company to research and perform a presentation on, to include history, management culture, identification of a problem within the company, and a suggested solution. Our group was to present on Rolls-Royce. Rolls-Royce is a major employer here in Indianapolis. At one point, there were one of the top five in the state. Contrary to what you may think, Rolls does not make cars. That brand name was sold to another company a few years back as Rolls attempted to focus on the turbine and engine industries. Rolls-Royce motor cars are now made by BMW.

The instructor told us that we had total freedom to do our presentation however we wanted. I assumed that each group would be doing your typical final presentation: stiff, monotone.... boring. I wanted ours to be something different. I wanted our team's presentation to stand out, get the audience interested, and most of all be fun. I started thinking on how we could do this. We had done plenty of research on Rolls-Royce. We knew that here in Indy, RR was made up of the Rolls-Royce Corporation, which was formerly Allison, and AADC. We knew that Rolls-Royce had experienced a lot of layoffs recently. We were going to focus on how to keep up morale during layoffs. There was some talk of how there was a bit of strife between the two companies at times. Since AADC is a defense company, it is under tight security and controls. A worker across the street at Rolls-Royce Corporation would not be able to walk over to AADC and get in the door, even though they both operate under the same parent company.

I was thinking about this when the idea hit me: Family Feud! I thought, we could put together a spoof of Family Feud and pit AADC against Rolls-Royce Corporation, making the game questions and answers correspond to what we were to talk to the class about. So the next time we got together as a group, I pitched the idea. Everyone seemed to be behind it. Over the next couple of nights I put together a PowerPoint slideshow, complete with images and sounds from the real game show. Another member of the group put together a script, and another did the outline to hand in. We got together yesterday to rehearse. It seemed like it was going to be a lot of fun. Our only reservation was that another group in the class had done a skit for a previous presentation. Their skit didn't go over very well. They just didn't seem to "sell it". We were hoping that we would get the class to enjoy it, and not just roll their eyes at us.

So tonight was the big night. Three groups went before us, and then we were in the spotlight. We blew them away! I was so happy with the way this went. I was right on in thinking that everyone would do the routine, stiff presentation. It was like they used some precut stencil to stamp them out. Speaker #1 does slides 1 through 4. Speaker #2 does slides 5 through 8. Speaker #3 finishes and answers questions. We were the only ones to show any kind of enthusiasm. We even got the instructor to laugh. It was very flattering that, when we finished, one of the students immediately made a comment to congratulate us on how well we did. Then one of my teammates thanked me for the idea. I usually don't get so wrapped up in school projects, but for some reason, I'm really proud of this one. Our team worked hard, and we pulled it off very well, to the adulation of our class. I guess it probably stroked my ego a little too, that the skit was my idea :-) I better not let that go to my head!


Jade Mason