I love what I do. 

I’m both an HR practitioner and an adjunct professor. I get to work with brilliant minds from both worlds. One of the things I enjoy the most if helping students develop skills they can use today and not necessarily something a textbook say they need, but do not use. One of the ways I get to do this is by using my "10-minute rule."

The HR classes I teach are about five weeks long. I pepper the students with different theories that make HR what it is today, and how they can apply this information to solve tomorrow’s problems. It’s a lot to take in. Throughout the five-week course the students know about a dreaded final team presentation. At the end of week four I pull four articles from the Wall Street Journal. I split the class into four teams and give them each an article. I tell the students they have a week to prepare a presentation on how to solve the problem outlined in the article using what they have learned so far in the past four weeks. 

I gave the students just one rule:

-They have 10 minutes to deliver their presentation. If they go over by just one second, they lose half their grade for the assignment. 

At first glance, students hated this rule. They thought it was unfair and unrealistic. They had just 10 minutes to attack a real business problem using information that was gathered over a four week period. But when the teams met throughout the week, they realized they needed to determine what information was crucial and what wasn’t. Each team member had their own idea on what information should stay in the presentation and what information should go. They each had to present a business case to each other to show why their piece of information was crucial and how it added value to the assignment. Then, as a group, they made crucial decisions.

You know, those skills needed in the workforce. 

I didn’t tell them they had to do all this.

I only gave them one rule. 

That’s all they needed to show off their talents.