- Discrete Tasks - where skills are exercised in a narrow context, usually with a small number of people involved.
- Common Processes - where skills usually support critical decision making in a familiar context, often involving a number of people working together, following policy or process guidelines
- Complex Management - where skills are exercised in coordination and delegation within large groups of people, often in a dynamic and complex environment.
The challenges faced by people working at these three different levels will be fundamentally different. In the first case, you may be developing the skill necessary to operate a piece of equipment. In the second, you may be managing situation which requires people from a number of functional areas to follow predefined processes in order to achieve a successful result. In the third, you have to focus on 'big picture' critical decisions and strategy and leave the execution details to those with delegated responsibility.
Real world challenges are never neatly divided into three levels - in every situation, you move between levels, applying different skills in different contexts. While initial formal training is necessarily focused on specific skills applied at a specific level, in order to be effective, it's critical that you exercise a range of skills through realistic real world challenges.
Take It or Leave It
Your largest customer needs to ensure continuity of supply to meet extraordinary demand. They have just made an offer to double the volume of business they do with you over the next two years if you can guarantee a price reduction on current supply of 40%. If you choose not to proceed, they will offer the same terms to your biggest competitor.
Apart from price, all other existing terms of trade would remain the same. They will not negotiate on the price.
What is your response?
Company Facebook posting
This morning a member of staff posted pictures on Facebook of an office party taken on Friday night. Instead of posting them to her personal account, she accidentally posted them on the company's page. A number of media outlets have automated alerts which notify them of any changes to the company page and they have now taken copies of the pictures which show a number of senior executives in embarrassing positions.
You did not attend the event, however you are on the executive management team - what is your advice to the CEO?
School playground knife fight
You are a science teacher and the year 7 class advisor. The end of recess bell rings.
You are in your class room preparing for the next lesson when a student from your home room class runs into the room and says that there is a fight between two of your students and one of them has pulled out a knife and is waving it at the other.
What do you do?
What procedures apply to this situation?
Hack Attack - Database Compromised
Last night, a hacker broke into your web hosting environment. The site and software was not changed however you have discovered that data was changed. This means that the hacker also had access to any data in the database.
1. How quickly can you restore the database - what is the date of the backup?
2. What data could the hacker have found that might compromise your customers?
Insolvency - Director responsibilities and liabilities
A fellow director on the board of the small business where you are a non-executive director has just informed you that they have discovered a notice from the taxation department demanding payment for unpaid tax in excess of $2 million. The company is not in a position to pay this and there is a suggestion that directors may have allowed the company to trade whilst insolvent.
What is your responsibility?
What is your cover?
What are the first 5 actions you will take?
Backburn LPG Tank
During the course of a routine back-burning exercise, you discover an 20 litre LPG Tank in scrub which is surrounded by fire. Embers from a small tree are lying on the tank.
What guidelines cover this situation?
Who do you inform and how do you communicate with them?
What are your actions?
Aggressive Customer Incident
You are acting as a temporary store manager of your retail chain.
You are conducting interviews with potential new staff members when you overhear a customer yelling at one of your in-store staff. Looking into the store from your office, you see a customer becoming aggressive and abusive at the check-out counter.
What do you do?
Contaminated supplies disrupt supply chain
A supplier of poultry products operating across southern Asia is reported to have failed numerous food quality inspections over the past month. Inspections by your own laboratory has confirmed that batches of your 'real-meal-deal' product contain ingredients sourced from this supplier. You are still waiting for the results of further testing to establish whether your manufacturing process has eliminated the risk of contamination. More than 20 batches are involved with sales already made across the country for the past three weeks.
Will you issue any public media statements at this stage?
Will you notify company Directors of the potential risk?
How confident are you of your product recall process?
End of Shift Check List
It's Friday night and you are the last person to leave the buidling. Which of these tasks are NOT part of the End of Shift Lock Up Procedure?
a) Close all doors
b) Ensure there is no clasified material left out
c) Check all filing cabinets are locked
d) Turn off all desktop computers
e) Turn off all office equipment
f) Arm the building alarm
g) Contact security to let them know you have left