Brainstorming with the Client

Team TEC is in Hong Kong.

We are five days into our IBD in-country experience. We are standing in front of 18 employees from top management to client service associates all suited up who are not completely sure who we are and what is this “workshop” they flew in for.

The CFO begins with opening remarks: “This is, without a doubt, the most important initiative the company is taking on this year!”. This makes me and my team members excited and reminds us about the project we have been brought here to execute – develop a strategic plan for a multi-million dollar serviced office business.

In the next four hours we deliver a Haas PFPS (Problem Finding Problem Solving)-style workshop encouraging divergent thinking and idea generation. We start by sharing sharing our key insights from the research we have conducted thus far – quotes from interviews, industry statistics and customer journey maps. Next we split into two teams and tackle the big strategic questions at hand. We do this by using Haas’s favorite accessory- sticky notes! The small squares are posted all over the room and people come up with smart, creative and sometimes silly ideas. We encourage them to group the ideas into larger initiatives and identify the necessary resources, potential barriers, and key objective of each group. 


When the workshop ends and we exchange business-cards with the participants and head back to our office with flip-charts sheets covered with ideas. Staring at the sea of colored sticky-notes we are able to extract the 4 BIG IDEAS to develop in detail for our final deliverable – an implementation plan for improving a highly profitable yet under performing line of their business. 

Satisfied from the progress, we call it a day and head out the a Haas Alumni Happy Hour in the city center.


Matt Roehl, Noa Elan, Uirauna Caetano, Caroline Bas

MBA Candidates, Class of 2014

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