Perigee Products Logo

It used to be called a "pink slip." It later evolved into a downsizing, a rightsizing, and a workforce reduction. But no matter how many words the HR professionals invent to soften the blow, a layoff is a layoff. And as the winds of economic change blow hard through the 21st Century, every manager has to deal with them -- on one side of the fence or the other.

The Layoff Game is a role-playing exercise that lays bare the difficulties managers face in making decisions about layoffs. Set in a highly recognizable and frighteningly realistic (though entirely fictitious) scenario, it thrusts you right into the middle of the gut-wrenching world of layoffs. Cast as a mid-level executive in a once-promising solar products company that has been rocked hard by the recession, you are forced to confront the human face of layoffs, and to weigh the competing interests of commerce, economics, company loyalty, office politics, law, ethics, morality, and unabashed self-preservation.

It is a fun and challenging tool for helping MBA candidates, college students and executives learn how to deal with this all-too-common modern managerial dilemma.


Heads Will Roll in this
Heads-or-Tails Tale

The Time:

August '09, right in the teeth of The Great Recession.

The Place:

Carver Park, NV -- 25 miles southeast of Las Vegas, the epicenter of the economic maelstrom.

The Situation:

You are the 38-year-old Vice President of Retail Operations for Perigee Products, a manufacturer and retailer of solar-powered devices that began as a Dot Com, reinvented itself, and zoomed quickly into profitability. You have created an exciting new Retail Division for the company, with two stores open and more on the way. You have methodically built your team, with many hand-picked hires.

But the company has now abruptly hit the skids amidst the economic tumult of 2008-09. Senior management wrangled over what to do, but has just announced a 17% workforce reduction, with the strong suggestion that a disproportionate amount of that should come from your Retail Division.

Everyone has a story. Everyone has a need. Only you can decide who stays and who goes.