Winging It

Cold call summary:
The protagonist is in a difficult situation here. There is an important decision to make, and a lot of external factors which need to be taken into account. I think that it is important to begin by clarifying the objectives-what we need to achieve, who the stakeholders are, and in what time frame are we operating. [Note: It is extremely important to avoid all use of gender pronouns as this could really trip you up-moving to “we” both aids this and allows you to look as though you are really in the mind of the protagonist]

Once we have clear objectives, I will need to assess all of my possible options, their chances of success and the impact on all of the stakeholders. I should canvas the opinions of the other major players mentioned in the case, and make sure I have all of the facts before I make a decision. In this case, I think that the most obvious course of action probably is the correct one, so that is what I would do. [At this point the Professor may try and press you for specifics – you now have two options: ask for opinions from the rest of the class, or mention a section in-joke to distract them]

All purpose disagreement:
I have to say I completely disagree. I can see why you have come to that conclusion, and I think that it is in some ways very valid, but at the same time I believe that it is completely indefensible. You haven’t taken into account all of the facts in the case, the context in which the protagonist is acting, and the potential pitfalls of that approach. I would propose the exact opposite, and I’d be interested to hear if anyone else in the class supports me. [Look around expectantly at this point]

Personal experience:
I think that an interesting way to approach this question is to compare it to a situation I was in at [insert name of previous employer here], as I think that there are a lot of parallels. In the case the protagonist has a complex and important decision to make, and I once had to make a decision. You see, what happened was…[follow with long rambling anecdote of your choice]…and I’d be interested in anyone has any other similar experiences which could be relevant in this case? [More expectant looks around the class]

Any finance/investment numerical question:
What a coincidence, I was just discussing that with [insert classmate’s name here] before class and he/she had a really interesting approach. I’m sure he/she would be happy to take you through the numbers to demonstrate it. [Run like hell as soon as the class finishes]

Disclaimer: Use of these comments may result in derision, confusion and a 3 in the course. Try reading the cases properly instead.

March 5, 2007
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