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The Independent Online
Next month a team from the water company Severn Trent will be in Lisbon representing Britain in an international management competition. Next year it could be you.

The Severn Trent team gained its place in the contest by winning the first Independent Management Challenge shortly before Christmas. At the all-day final, after several months of competition, it fended off the challenge of United Distillers and NPI to win £10,000 of the total £15,000 prize money. Its win was attributed to "teamwork, sound decision-making and strong appreciation of the issues facing medium-sized businesses".

If you think you or your colleagues can match these skills, you should be signing up for this year's challenge, sponsored by National Westminster Bank.

The game, developed by Bill Robertson of Edit 515, is designed to replicate the operation of a medium-sized consumer goods company selling into mainland Europe and the United States over 15 months. But people from all sizes of companies, individuals banded together, or even groups of schoolchildren can take part.

Management games have been used for many years by business training and development organisations. But unlike many others, the version used for the Independent Management Challenge is highly interactive, with the teams of up to six members competing for a share of the market and labour force.

The criterion for success will be share performance. To achieve that, participants will have to demonstrate a range of specific abilities in production, design, marketing, exchange rates and human resources.

If you are interested in taking part, telephone 0181-671 7733 or fax 0181-671 4552. The closing date for entries is 28 April, but those returning entry forms by 17 March will be eligible for a discount on the entry fee.