BURLINGTON, N.C. – A group of students from Burlington Christian Academy will challenge the staff of National Agents Alliance in an exercise called the “Hat Factory” during a Leadership Millennium class taught by Alamance Community College on Thursday morning at NAA’s office on Maple Avenue.
The Hat Factory is a team building game designed to test participants in a number of leadership areas. The students will form one team, while the NAA staff will break up into several teams and compete against each other.
“We have enjoyed using the ‘Hat Factory’ exercise with our staff and it really helps you learn a lot about the people you work with,” NAA President and CEO Andy Albright said. “We’re excited to host the students from Burlington Christian Academy on Thursday at our Maple Avenue office. It’s a good chance for them to learn and it’s another way for us to give back to young people in our community.”
Each participant will learn a specific skill that will be their job during the game. Each team will learn how to cut, fold and assemble three different styles of hats – sailor, drummer boy and princess – in four different colors, but the groups also have order fulfillment, quality control and several other variables.
Playing time simulates five weekdays and a Saturday, each day being four minutes of playing time. The week will run from Wednesday to the following Tuesday, with an option to work overtime on Saturday if they desire. The teams are given 45 minutes to study orders, cut them apart, plan production runs, schedule resources and learn how to assemble each type of hat. There are other variables thrown at teams during the work week that players are not aware of until informed.
Jeff Bright, Assistant to the ACC President and the director of the Leadership Millennium class, said you can learn a lot about the type of people you work with during the exercise.
“The Hat Factory teaches participants about managing morale (desire), meeting standards (quality) and creating process (efficiency),” Bright said. “Each team of five people will compete to run the most profitable company. Rules of the simulation prohibit cheating and require manners among fellow teammates. It is planned chaos with the need to have organization within each individual company. There are six five minute days in which three types of hats are produced, paper is bought, workers go on leave, machines go down and trucks are scheduled. It is an experience that it is soon not forgotten by the people who survive it.”