Lesson Plan: Bombardier Corp.: After the Visionary
Write the phrase "generation gap" on the board or chart paper. Compile a list of the differences the students see between themselves and their parents, including attitudes, beliefs, lifestyles, and philosophies. Ask: How would you run your family differently than your parents do?
Outline the Opportunity
Have students view the clips 'The tireless inventor,' 'Winter workhorse is born,' and 'The Ski-Doo' on the topic Bombardier: The Snowmobile Legacy on the CBC Digital Archives website. Students will write to explain how J. Armand Bombardier operated the Bombardier Corporation while he was in charge.
Then have students view the clip 'Younger generation takes over,' including the sections "The Story" and "Did You Know?". Students will list the challenges that the new generation faced as they took over the family business in 1964. Students should focus on how well the new generation did, what external influences affected the business, and any disputes that arose between the generations.
Students will debate the "old ways" of J. Armand Bombardier and the "new ways" of the younger management team. Divide the class into groups and assign an even number of groups to each side of the debate. Give students time to research their position, identify three distinct arguments, and prepare their debate.
Revisit and Reflect
Pair groups with opposing positions and have them debate the resolution: Be it resolved that J. Armand Bombardier's way of running his business was the correct way. After the debates, gather the groups. Ask: Did you feel that one side was more persuasive than the other? Why? Which position in the debate do you support personally? Why? As a class, discuss and summarize the challenges inherent in a management change in an organization and the strategies that people can use to complete such change effectively.
Pose the question: What characteristics are required of a leader who is involved in the takeover of a company? Have students write an opinion paper to share and explain their ideas.