"BMW, the Maze, and Me" by Roland Spinola

It must have been in 1994—I was doing management training for BMW. They had just bought Rover and teambuilding among managers of different nationalities (and therefore different cultures) was high on their priority list. Also, the plant in Spartanburg, USA, began delivering the first vehicles.

At one of my two-week-seminars at the Bavarian training center of BMW the chief financial officer of BMW Korea was present. We used the Electric Maze intensively: Decision Making in Groups, Intercultural Differences and, above all, Dealing with Change were among the application. One whole day was dedicated to always changing exercises with the Maze. And whenever participants thought that we had exhausted the possibilities of the Maze there came a new challenge.

At the end of the two weeks the CFO asked me if I could come to South Korea to run a two-day version for BMW Korea—a sales company of about 24 people. "No problem" I said—never expecting something would follow from this brief remark.

To my surprise he called two weeks later and asked to take out my calendar and inform him of my availability! So, later that year I flew to Seoul—taking the EM3 with me!

It was a wonderful experience and I was glad I had such a powerful "companion" with me. Every sentence I said had to be translated into Korean, so I kept the verbal part as short as possible and let the various exercises speak for themselves. My friend, the CFO, was of tremendous help—he knew the exercises and assisted in extracting the learning experiences He could relate them to the local customs and the relevance for BMW Korea.

I'm still using the same Electric Maze to this day—and it has never failed me!

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