Michigan Ross Students to Participate in Crisis Challenge to Develop Leadership Skills in High-Stakes Environment

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Immersive Leadership Program Brings High-Pressure, Action-Based Learning to Life for Students During 24-hour Crisis Simulation

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today unveiled details of its annual Leadership Crisis Challenge, one of the most ambitious and immersive leadership development programs of its kind for business school students. Organized by the Ross Leadership Initiative (RLI), the 2015 Crisis Challenge will bring business school students together for a 24-hour crisis simulation competition where they will experience leading in a high-pressure, high-stakes environment as they embody a company’s senior executive team managing the crisis at hand. For the past eight years, the Crisis Challenge has tested students’ ability to strategize through extreme turbulence, think on their feet, and demonstrate poise under pressure.

The Crisis Challenge is open to Michigan Ross MBA students along with Global MBA, BBA, Master of Management, and Master of Accounting students. Local executives from companies such as Google, Deloitte, Chrysler, DTE, Sprint, Whirlpool, and DuPont will be participating in the educational experience along with communication coaches and faculty experts who will provide real time feedback and guidance on student performance and decision-making as the students navigate through the simulation. The experience is an intensive program that prepares students to navigate ambiguity, adapt through turbulence, and perform under pressure.

“We fundamentally believe that students learn best by living the experience first-hand, and the Crisis Challenge is one of our signature action-based learning experiences for students,” said Scott DeRue, director of the Ross Leadership Initiative. “By challenging students in a fast-paced and high-stakes environment, we are forcing them to make decisions with little information and a small amount of time to consider important tradeoffs. They must do this while also demonstrating cooperation, composure and poise. In recent years, recruiters’ interest in students who have experience leading under pressure has increased significantly as these candidates have proven their ability to think on their feet and adapt on the fly. These are skills that are necessary to lead in today’s dynamic and complex business environment.”

On the night of the simulation, the 100 participating students are split into 25 teams and gather to learn about the scenario that the entire group is faced with. Throughout the night, teams learn more about the crisis as it unfolds in real time, becoming much more complicated and troublesome. In the morning, teams present a strategic plan for managing the crisis to a Board of Directors composed of Ross faculty business executives, and senior students. The top five teams then move on to the final round where they must hold a press conference with leading journalists, after which the best-performing group is named the winner.

Follow all of the Crisis Challenge action on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #RossImpact or learn more at https://michiganross.umich.edu/programs/rli/crisis-challenge.

 

About Michigan Ross
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

 

Note to media: Watch the results of 2014 Michigan Ross Leadership Crisis Challenge here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfyVrKInDcQ

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