George Mason High School Hector Gaming Company Case Study

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Read Case “Hector Gaming” and complete the questions and develop an action plan.

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Case Study

Hector Gaming Company

Hector Gaming Company (HGC) is an educational gaming company specializing in young children’s educational games. HGC has just completed its fourth year of operation. This year was a banner year for HGC. The company received a large influx of capital for growth by issuing stock privately through an investment banking firm. It appears the return on investment for this past year will be just over 25 percent with zero debt! The growth rate for the last two years has been approximately 80 percent each year. Parents and grandparents of young children have been buying HGC’s products almost as fast as they are developed. Every member of the 56-person firm is enthusiastic and looking forward to helping the firm grow to be the largest and best educational gaming company in the world. The founder of the firm, Sally Peters, has been written up in Young Entrepreneurs as “the young entrepreneur to watch.” She has been able to develop an organizational culture in which all stakeholders are committed to innovation, continuous improvement, and organizational learning.

Last year, 10 top managers of HGC worked with McKinley Consulting to develop the organization’s strategic plan. This year the same 10 managers had a retreat in Aruba to formulate next year’s strategic plan using the same process suggested by McKinley Consulting. Most executives seem to have a consensus on where the firm should go page 61in the intermediate and long term. But there is little consensus on how this should be accomplished. Peters, now president of HGC, feels she may be losing control. The frequency of conflicts seems to be increasing. Some individuals are always requested for any new project created. When resource conflicts occur among projects, each project manager believes his or her project is the most important. More projects are not meeting deadlines and are coming in over budget. Yesterday’s management meeting revealed some top HGC talent has been working on an international business game for college students. This project does not fit the organization’s vision or market niche. At times it seems everyone is marching to his or her own drummer. Somehow more focus is needed to ensure everyone agrees on how the strategy should be implemented, given the resources available to the organization.

Yesterday’s meeting alarmed Peters. These emerging problems are coming at a bad time. Next week HGC is ramping up the size of the organization, the number of new products per year, and marketing efforts. Fifteen new people will join HGC next month. Peters is concerned that policies be in place that will ensure the new people are used most productively. An additional potential problem looms on the horizon. Other gaming companies have noticed the success HGC is having in their niche market; one company tried to hire a key product development employee away from HGC. Peters wants HGC to be ready to meet any potential competition head-on and to discourage any new entries into their market. Peters knows HGC is project driven; however, she is not as confident that she has a good handle on how such an organization should be managed—especially with such a fast growth rate and potential competition closer to becoming a reality. The magnitude of emerging problems demands quick attention and resolution.

Peters has hired you as a consultant. She has suggested the following format for your consulting contract. You are free to use another format if it will improve the effectiveness of the consulting engagement.

   What is our major problem?

   Identify some symptoms of the problem.

   What is the major cause of the problem?

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