Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Barefoot Wine Founders

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University Students Visit Their Outdoor Classroom in Wine Country

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University Students Visit Their Outdoor Classroom in Wine Country 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

Instead of listening to a lecture and watching a presentation in a classroom, what if you could get out in nature and enjoy a hands-on learning experience?

Instead of sitting in a lecture, you could watch a skit performed live with actors demonstrating various business principles throughout each story. How does that sound?

Year after year, we’re so happy to welcome the Technopreneurship and Innovation Master of Science program students from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. We invite them to Sonoma County Wine Country after their Silicon Valley tour to enjoy nature, and for a learning experience, they won’t soon forget.

Tour, Drink, and Learn.

This year, we included a nature tour, a picnic in the gorgeous redwoods, and a discussion about some tools these students could use in their new careers. We ended the day with a wine tasting (Barefoot wine, of course!) and a walk through Armstrong Redwoods State Park.

We taught these students about How Soft Skills Earn Hard Cash. These crucial skills are unfortunately overlooked in the search for technological excellence.

Short Skits and Live Actors Instead of a Lecture

This year, there was one noteworthy exception. Rather than a lecture and Q&A, we went for a completely different approach. We organized and performed 6 small skits.

We had 3 acts with 2 scenes each, all focusing on real business challenges. Each act demonstrated one of the three essential business relationships (Vendors, Buyers, and Employees). Each scene within each act showed two methods to handle the challenge, one embracing soft skills and the other one lacking.

These scenes showed these students the possible consequences of each approach to the same challenge.

To make things a bit more fun, we created two fake skateboard companies. One was “Above Board” and the other was “Cheap Skate”. Their approaches to vendors, employees, and buyers were completely different from one another.

We even whipped up some fun props, including hats printed with the company names, telephone bells, and skateboards, of course!

Cheap Skate’s CEO operated on a platform of fear and limited wealth. He had a narrow-minded and short-sighted perspective, leading him to lose his best salesperson, his credit, and his spot at Skate Board Depot.

Above Board’s CEO, on the other hand, demonstrated inclusiveness, empathy, and concern for his peoples’ goals. He avoided turnover, attracted the best employees, got extended terms and credit, and had his products promoted at the Skate Board Depot.

The students discussed what happened after each scene and why things progressed the way they did. We believe they will be much more likely to remember and utilize these important lessons since they were able to see them first-hand. Oh—and we acted it out!

Students of Nanyang Technological University—Thank you!

We want to extend our thanks to these students for allowing us to experiment with our pragmatic learning format. We thought it was a great learning experience (for us, too!).

We hope Nanyang’s students will continue to benefit from using soft skills to increase their credit, reduce their costs, and promote their products.

Let’s raise a glass to always staying Above Board in the way we treat others in the business world and in life!

For more, read on: http://c-suitenetworkadvisors.com/advisor/michael-houlihan-and-bonnie-harvey/



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