A Team and Leadership Experiment for Turkmen Entrepreneurs

Within the scope of personnel management training, a group of Turkmen participants took part in an interactive simulation in which they were able to demonstrate their team and leadership skills. The MP participants can now also put what they learned to good use when in negotiations with German business partners.

The question of what can be done about the high staff turnover in their enterprises was the starting point for the Turkmen entrepreneurs. They tackled the topic, in a playful manner, by means of a simulation. Four teams were to swap, buy or sell parts of different shapes during the course of the game with the aim being that each team should put these pieces together to complete a shape of their own. After a preparatory phase, the teams had three opportunities to interact with the other teams during “interaction phases”, repeatedly had time for team meetings and tried to achieve their respective goals as efficiently as possible. During the final phase, everyone was haggling over the puzzle pieces. The situation became all the more interesting, when after the winners had been nominated, it was made clear that it was not only the "what" and "how much" had been achieved that counted but also the "how" that counted, i.e. how the teams had interacted with each other and thus the feedback of the other teams with regards to fairness and collegiality was to be taken into account. Suddenly, the “winning” team which had had the most points slipped down into third place, as not all the teams had regarded that team’s cooperation with the other groups as respectful and fair.

Dr Julia Moritz

"Through the simulation, the participants, who brought very different leadership and communication skills with them, were able to learn, in the shortest possible amount of time and through the shared experience, what ultimately makes every enterprise and manager successful: in the long run, it is not only about the goal that each business unit achieves individually or with the help of others, and not just about the performance of each employee under the direction of his or her manager. If you want to manage your enterprise successfully, it is about the quality of the working relationships between all the parties involved, i.e. about the corporate culture," sums up trainer Dr Julia Moritz from Akademie International.

What began as a game, resulted in serious questions being raised: How did we work together? How successful were we in doing so? How respectful and fair? And: Would we want to do it together again? The Turkmen managers were left with a lot of food for thought, also about which strategy is most likely to lead to success. The simulation was a powerful way to demonstrate that: the more fairly and more openly the teams interacted with each other, the higher the chances were that each team would be given the right pieces to complete their puzzle and be able to do so whilst complying with the rules.

"This game gives us a concrete insight into the implementation and practical application of what we learned about team motivation during the first half of the MP training. Together we were able to identify new solutions, but also problems that were not visible at first glance," summarises MP participant Velmurad Orazmamedov.

At the end of the day’s training, it was clear that openness, transparency and the involvement of employees in decision-making processes are extremely important not only in simulation games, but also in the development of real relationships within enterprises. The creation of a win-win situation is crucial not only for negotiation situations and working with German business partners, but also in one's own business. Only this guarantees long-term working relationships between all the parties involved and thus the sustainable success of the business.

Photos: © Akademie International