At least two times a year we invite an external company to challenge our students. The company will bring a real business case and give the students 24 hours to come up with the most creative but feasible solution. This time we invited L&D Support, an Amsterdam based business specialized in talent insights. They asked all our students, from the first till the last year, how they should internationalize. We are now 2 months further, time to get in touch with them and evaluate the process and results…
Have you ever experienced an event like the 24H challenge before?
Well yes, except that I was actually in your role as a student. We had to solve a real case and were surrounded by very competitive students. It was challenging and interesting and really relied on team effort. When I appealed for a job as a consultant we also had a bit of a similar experience. It wasn’t a challenge it the same sense, but they did want to test me and my abilities. But not in the pressure setting as the 24-hour challenge; That was something I really liked this time. I also liked the idea of having four different teams work together to solve the challenge, each them delivering a different idea and approach to solve our case.
What did you expect beforehand?
I have to admit it was quite difficult to know exactly what to expect, but I did anticipate on a lot of out of the box thinking. I know our company L&D Support and I know what kind of challenges we have. I didn’t exactly know any of you, besides the fact that I know a little bit about the goals of team academy’s entrepreneurial perspective and what kind of students they appeal too. I’m also at least 15 years older, so I was interested to see how you would interpret the challenge, how you viewed things.
Have your expectations been met?
Yes, they were. We deliberately made the challenge a bit vague as we could have made it far more into detail. We did this because we wanted to ensure you had enough room for your own creativity. We wanted to pull your brains out a little, and we were very pleased with the results. On the other hand, it took time for us to really absorb the 24h challenge. It’s a lot of ideas and information to take in in a short amount of time. I needed a week to really digest everything, to pick out the ideas and connections that were presented for our company, which we can really use to our benefit. We hoped that as a compact and practical company facing certain challenges, we would be getting something real out of this challenge. The 24h challenge was great but our goal was not to give the winner a nice feeling, but to really get something practical out of it, pursue your ideas and work together in the coming months.
Do you have any feedback for us?
For Team Academy as an organization, I would suggest that they offer a bit more guidance on how things are going to look. The wave of information we received in the short period of time during the presentations was a lot to handle all at once. Maybe like getting a bit of a feedback schedule from the students, whether it’s giving us a heads up on the subject of their presentation or just being able to give us a better idea of what to expect. I believe that could help us better to digest that wave of information. And perhaps give us just a bit more time in between the presentations to talk more amongst each other as judges.
For the students, my feedback would be listening even better to the underline challenge. The team that won had really listened to what we gave them, even tho it was purposely vague and rather broad, the underlining challenge was in between the guidelines of our presentation. They had the room to develop their own creativity like everyone else, but because they had really paid attention to the guidelines, their creativity was most relevant. This is something we would call “toegepaste creativiteit” in Dutch, applied creativity. It stands out from the rest of the crowd and can really make the difference on how your presentation is being interpreted.
Thanks, George van Ederen from L&D Support for this challenge, and good luck with the internationalization of the company.