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  The Herman Trend Alert

March 5, 2008

War Games II

Once a year, Fuld & Co., a global pioneer in competitive intelligence, hosts a "public" war game between business school students. This year's timely and competitive challenge took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts and included teams from the Harvard Business School, MIT's Sloan School, Northwestern's Kellogg School, and the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.

This year, the student teams took on the identities of executives from Google, AT&T, Intel, and Vulcan Capital. The topic for the 2008 War Game National Championship was "The Battle for the Wireless Internet", a business sector with many billions of dollars at stake. The students used their creativity and business skills to develop strategies for this rapidly shifting market, as they vied for a $5,000 prize.

We were impressed by the cultural diversity of the team members. Observers of the competition from high-tech, pharma, manufacturing, consumer goods, and finance, gained valuable insights by watching some very smart young people tackle what is next for this industry sector.

There were only three dozen observer guests, mostly strategy planners and judges from syndicated research firms and venture capital groups. About ten students from each B-school participated in the event.

Divided into two rounds, the war game affords opportunities for each team to present its strategic plans. In the first round, each group received feedback and had the opportunity to refine its approach before the second round of presentations. During the second round, the judges selected a single company for all four of the teams to represent. At this point, the once-rival groups employed all of their business creativity to create a single approach for the selected company. Moreover, all the teams ended by developing a final, best-of-breed strategy for the selected company against its direct competitors!

And the winner was... (Check out Joyce's blog for the answer.)

Expect more war games in more industries to help students and corporate executives consider scenarios and develop effective strategies for the future. Furthermore, as making informed decisions becomes more critical, expect business intelligence companies like Fuld & Co. to continue to grow.

Read our first Herman Trend Alert on War Games.


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