Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers: The Strategist

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The Strategist

“The Strategist” is a management game cum role play. It is best suited for the program modules or sessions on “strategy management”, “business plans”, “investment decision”, “cash flow management”, “marketing management”, “product mix decisions” etc.

In this management exercise each participant of the workshop is made to play the role of a strategist for his company.  Each participant plays the role of a director of a company and contributes in strategizing company’s future growth plans, investment and cash flow decisions, product mix decisions etc.

To begin the game, you as the program or workshop leader, will distribute to each participant of your program the following written brief:

The brief starts here:

Brief for the Management Game “The Strategist”

You are one of the directors on the board of directors of your company “XYZ Corp”.

XYZ Corp has four strategic business units (SBUs). What each of the SBUs do is given below:

SBU1: It produces and markets a range of products that has a high market share in a low growth rate industry. The market has already matured in this industry. SBU1 is the oldest unit of the company. The unit is highly profitable generating lots of cash but future growth seems quite slow. The unit is a high earner of the company and produces lots of surplus after whatsoever cash it consumes to maintain its operations.

SBU2: The product range of this SBU has low market share in its mature, slow-growing industry. The unit is barely able to breakeven. The generated cash is just about adequate to maintain the existing market share. The unit employs a significant number of employees who have been loyal employees of the company for quite some time now. Other SBUs of the company occasionally use the resources of this SBU but not on any regular basis.

SBU3: The product range of this SBU is a part of a rapidly growing industry but as of now the SBU has acquired only a small share of the growing market. The future looks prospective though. As per a recent analysis the market share of the products of SBU3 is likely to go up significantly provided the company is willing to invest more in this unit.  However, as of now, cash consumption of the unit  is much higher than its cash earnings. And one is never too sure what will happen in the future.

SBU4: This unit’s products already have a high market share that too in a fast-growing industry. If the company wants to sustain its leadership position in this sector, this SBU may need extra cash. At this stage it is rather difficult to predict as to when and how soon the growth rate of this particular industry will slide down. The odds are assessed to be marginally in favor of SBU4 as per a recent study. And supporting the unit financially is though to be a prudent decision in order to maintain its supremacy in the market.

You as the director of the company are attending the company’s board meeting right now. The board has to decide on the following points in relation to its four SBUs and your point of view is invited by the board in order to formalize the future strategies for the company. Other directors will also give their points of views and then together the board is to arrive at its final strategic decisions.

  1. Examining the relative growth prospects of company’s line of products/SBUs to zero in on the possible avenues of future development.
  2. Decisions on growth or continuance or closure or selling of the SBUs.
  3. Positioning of the products of the SBUs in the market in terms of their market shares.
  4. Decisions on the extent of future cash investments in each of the SBUs.

At the end of the discussions by you and you colleagues, the board will document its decisions on the company’s future strategies and business plans and make a final presentation.

End of the brief.

After distributing the above-cited brief of the management game, you will ask all the participants to read it carefully. After they finish reading divide the participants in to groups; each group consisting of 5 or 7 participants in each group. The group formation should be done randomly (refer the management exercise “Pass the Message” at the link

Now each group behaves like the board of directors of the company “XYZ Corp”. You may like to allow them around 45 minutes to conduct their board meeting.

After each group finalizes its strategies, ask each group to make a presentation to you and the rest of the participants.

After each presentation, let the participants ask the questions and the presenting group members should answer them.

Wrap up your session by giving extra inputs on the concepts that emerged in this management exercise.

(100 classic management games and icebreakers are available in our book in two volumes. Contact our email:

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Training in all the soft skills and various management functions/techniques is imparted by Prodcons Group’s Mr Shyam Bhatawdekar and/or Dr (Mrs) Kalpana Bhatawdekar, eminent management educationists, management consultants and trainers- par excellence, with distinction of having trained over 150,000 people from around 250 organizations.

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About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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One Response to Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers: The Strategist

  1. Serena says:

    Helpful piece of writing. I must say I watch for fresh news from you.

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