MRCC Team Challenge – An Ethics Initiative for Tomorrow’s Leaders
The purpose of the Team Challenge Ethics Competition is to provide local high school students with hands-on experience in team building, creative problem solving and dealing with the ethical decision-making process within the context of real world business problems. Using the Markkula Framework from Santa Clara University, teams of eight to twelve students from Allentown, Colts Neck, Freehold Boro, Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro High Schools work with business issues that have certain ethical implications. Over a period of several weeks, the teams work together to develop solutions that show their understanding of the dilemma, show their use of the Markkula decision-making framework in working through the dilemma and show evidence of their teamwork and presentation skills. On the day of the competition, each team presents their findings and solutions to a panel of judges from within the business community and the judges select a first, second and third place winner. Prior to the actual competition, the Chamber brings in a guest speaker and conducts a Teacher Training to provide the Teacher/Facilitators with background on the program and to help them develop their facilitation skills. That program is followed by a student orientation where the students are brought together and provided with an overview of the challenge, given training on the ethical decision-making process and given their individual business problems.
The program prepares students to effectively enter the workforce by placing them in an environment in which teamwork and creative interdependence is required, where they get to develop their communication skills and where they learn a process for ethical decision-making which will benefit them as they assume leadership positions at work and within the communities in which they live.
The Team Challenge program is a true partnership between business and education.
The success and continued viability of the program is reviewed at multiple levels each year, beginning with the immediate de-briefing of the competition judges who each year, have unanimously voiced their thanks for being asked to participate and their surprise at the quality of the student presentations and the program as a whole. In addition, students are asked to complete survey forms to provide feedback and recommendations for future programs and most give the experience very high marks with many of those students even expressing an interest in participating in future programs. The quality is also evidenced by the fact that our sponsors have had long-term relationships with the competition and continue to support the program. Finally, the committee members, teacher facilitators and district representatives meet to evaluate the program’s overall value for future years and each year, the determination has been that the uniqueness and quality of the program and the impact that it has on the student participants, makes its continuation well worthwhile.