Archivo de la categoria ‘Leadership’

The challenge of investing in India

“On our EMBA study tour, we visited the Indian school of business. I must say that I was very pleased with the quality of the classes. They were all tailored to give us a general view of India’s current situation regarding foreign investment. After four days of intensive learning, I found myself wondering if I would I invest and how I should do it?

India is a pool of untapped opportunities, however doing business in India is not easy. When selling to the emerging middle class, prices should be affordable – hence low – while still managing high margins. It makes it tough to obtain an acceptable return on investment. I found interesting how the teacher mentioned that for a product to succeed in the Indian market it would have to succeed first at the bottom of the pyramid. Then it should be adapted to higher segments therefore making innovation a key reason for success in India.”

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Read Naïma M. Zodros’ (EMBA ‘16) whole experience in this article

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When organisational change requires a cultural change

Naïma M. Zodros and her classmates in ESADE’s Executive MBA just returned from an international week in Brazil, one of three trips abroad that will take place during the monthly programme format.

Zodros described a highly practical experience in Brazil, where the EMBA participants discovered the peculiarities of the country’s economy. She noted that multinational companies like Wal-Mart and Lenovo – wrongly assuming that the strategies they used in their home countries would also work in Brazil – have failed in their attempts to enter this new market.

When implementing business systems and procedures in another country, you must also make a cultural change. This is something of a revolution, in which, according to Zodros, women executives can play a leading role due to their management style. Thanks to – or because of – their efforts to reach heights until recently reserved exclusively for men, women have developed a unique entrepreneurial spirit. Zodros trusts that this sort of female leadership will inspire other women to pursue their goals and seize new opportunities in order to achieve their aims in any area.

Naïma M. Zodros (EMBA ‘16) shares her experience in this article

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My first days on the EMBA programme

“The brave souls who had signed up for the Madrid EMBA course began their adventure on the 28th of January. They were drawn from different backgrounds, and had different experience and expectations. However, they all had one thing in common: to make the most of the programme, whose purpose is to get the most out of its participants.

After the presentations and the first sessions with Prof. Sepúlveda in which we covered business strategy themes, we began to work as a group. This was the first stage in making the transition from group to team, once we had decided on common aims.

The following week involved preparation of some cases for class discussion in sessions to be held over the next weekend. Once again, Prof. Sepúlveda was our teacher. This was the first time we have come across the case study method. It was a new way of acquiring knowledge through an exchange of impressions and views. Speaking for myself, I think it is an ideal method for pooling the knowledge that we have acquired through our careers to date. The teacher acted like the conductor of an orchestra, guiding the group towards the case goal, which in general was to adopt a form of critical, constructive thinking on a given set of business problems rather than to come up with hard-and-fast answers.

The EMBA programme, participants and team are all very promising and the students have high expectations.

We have begun a quest for theoretical and practical knowledge but above all, it is a quest to know ourselves better, to face our fears and to venture as far from our ‘comfort zones’ as time and our limitations allow.

The ESADE EMBA programme helps us become responsible managers who are able to come up with answers. I like to think that these answers will not only be the right ones but will also be in accordance with values that allow the companies in which we work to grow. These values must also permit substantial improvements to the setting in which companies do business and benefit stakeholders, who include staff, suppliers, customers and shareholders. Tomorrow’s managers must take decisions that take these things into account. They need to convey the idea that while the company might have done better or worse without them, nobody else could have created a more competitive, transparent and collaborative way of working.

I hope to make these principles my own and to put them into daily practice with every decision — big or small — that I take.

If anyone needs a hand, you can call on any of us any Friday or Saturday, come rain or shine, in ESADE MADRID.

Best wishes and good luck!”

Written by Jesús Martínez Gil, participant of the 2016 Madrid EMBA programme

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THE THIRD STAGE: Business Development Project

The Third Stage of the EMBA programme contains a high-profile subject that also happens to be one of the most interesting. It is the Business Development Project (BDP) and its purpose is to develop a project from a start-up’s perspective, whether the business is a new independent one or is an In-Company project. In either case, the methodology is one specially tailored for such embryonic firms.

Once the project’s initial stages had been finished (setting up teams, brain-storming, defining the project and so forth), work was begun on building the foundations for sound development of the business, incorporating the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier stages of the EMBA programme. The process ends with defence of the project before the examiners.

Project progress is monitored and milestones and part submissions established. These are tweaked in the light of any deviations from plan.

The world is run by those who show up, not those who wait to be asked” (Steven Blank)

Jordi J. Lorente, EMBA Candidate 2015-2016

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The 12+1 keys for developing an outstanding corporate culture

How can we re-invent our profession so as to be happier in our jobs? This interesting question was the subject of the first Update Session in the #ESADEguests series held on the 10th of November. David Tomás, CEO of Cyberclick (a Spanish company that received the 2014 Best Place to Work award) and author of the book La empresa más feliz del mundo [The Happiest Company in The World] revealed the keys to developing an outstanding corporate culture.

Tomás believes that the best way to be happy at work involves developing an outstanding corporate culture. Design of the corporate culture is important but so is ensuring that new recruits fit in with the company’s values.

David Tomás illustrated his argument with 12+1 keys for developing an outstanding corporate culture:

1. What culture do we want? He recalled that “No culture is better than the rest but if we do not clearly define the culture, we will end up with one that we dislike”. 

2. Values. These should not merely be listed, rather they should help us take decisions.

3. Recruit top-quality staff. It is important to ensure the company is staffed by top professionals whose values are aligned with those of the firm.

4. Selection process. David Tomás noted that the key lies in detecting the patterns that lead to the professional success of those whom the company recruits.

5. Spend more time on the selection process. The whole team needs to be involved to ensure that the right person is chosen for the job.

6. Call referees. This is another way to check that the right person is chosen for the post.

7. Sell. It is important to convey the company’s values to someone joining the firm.

8. Review. The speaker explained that his company holds a meeting with the individual after three weeks in the job to check whether his or her values are fully aligned with the firm’s business culture.

9. If you believe you are in the wrong place. Companies in Grupo Cyberclick offers two months’ salary to those who feel the post is not for them so that they can look for a new job.

10. Three drivers of happiness in one’s job. These are: having freedom to take decisions; feeling that one is continually improving; finding purpose in what one does. Tomás noted that these principles are based on the book Drive by Daniel Pink.

11. Always learning. It is important not to get stuck in a rut and to feel that one is making progress in the company.

12. Open Book Management. The company must be open and give its staff full information on how the business is doing.

12+1. The importance of measuring happiness. David Tomas explained that his company uses daily questionnaires in which staff are asked about how satisfied they are. 

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Shanmei Yu, ESADE Executive MBA 2015, ‘Best Executive MBA’ according to Poets and Quants

Poets&Quants spotlights the best-and-brightest EMBAs graduates who are in a class of their own. This year’s group is as diverse as it is distinguished.

Shanmei You, ESADE Executive MBA, is one of the 30 most exceptional Executive MBA graduates from the Class of 2015, according to Poets&Quants. “Unlike full-time MBA students, executives who gain an Executive version of the degree must balance work and family with an often gruelling educational load. Gaining the degree and the confidence that comes with it is no easy task”.

Read the story: esade.me/1Js6ArV 

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Organisational and professional development. The Madrid EMBA experience-based learning programme

The Madrid EMBA 1 group held the Outdoor Training part of the programme from the 12th to the 15th of March at Aldea Santillana. The training focuses on developing leadership skills. Faculty members Jaap Boonstra, Francisco Loscos and their team of helpers ensured full group immersion in the activities.

¨The Outdoor Training changed my view of the world”.

¨I have learnt a great deal in the professional field but this made a difference to me as a person. It was one of those experiences that changes you forever¨.

¨From Friday onwards, classes will be very different because none of us are the same people we were before the Outdoor Training. We are now truly a team after this transforming experience¨.

¨The whole experience wildly exceeded my expectations¨.

“Our coach guided us in an absorbing way throughout the various activities and showed us how to break the bounds that had confined us in our professional lives hitherto¨.

“It was an emotion-packed experience¨.

 

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“Our experience of the ESADE EMBA programme”

“It is a hard task to briefly sum up what the last 18 months of the ESADE Executive MBA programme has involved. It has been a whirlwind of activity and emotions and of course we have learnt a whole host of things that are absolutely vital to doing business in today´s world”.

The programme is both ambitious and demanding. Taking the programme was a constant challenge at both the professional and personal levels. It is precisely this mix that makes the programme such an interesting one for both participants and faculty, who both give their all in every session. This combination is complemented by international weeks (The United Kingdom, China, India, USA), which give participants a much better view of the world.

It is thus not a programme for people who lack curiosity, who are conformist or have no wish to change their settings. Rather, the EMBA programme looks to the future and those who will shape it by taking a dynamic approach, adding value. EMBA graduates look at things in a global fashion, are keen to venture outside their comfort zones to explore new, unknown scenarios that hold the key to success.

ESADE plays a key role in all of the foregoing processes and makes them possible. Without ESADE´s Values and Vision, it would be impossible to grasp the depth of the Executive MBA programme. It is precisely this vision that ensures that the EMBA goes far beyond mere Management to reach the individual, allowing each participant to grasp the transcendence and complexity of the values that underlie success.

While the present economic and social situation is tough, taking the EMBA programme allows one to see opportunities where others only see problems. It reveals new paths that would hitherto have seemed impossible. The old limits can be passed given that the programme (which lasts a little over eighteen months) provides intensive training, testing and learning in designing a more propitious setting for one´s business ambitions.

All of the foregoing means that the Executive MBA programme is really a personal adventure that begins not with the very first session but rather from the moment that the student realises that it is possible to change things through his or her own efforts and a desire to grow as a person. All that is needed is that he or she recognises how to go about it. ESADE deals with everything else — the faculty team and the rest of the programme participants.

Ignacio López Fernandez

EMBA Delegate, EMBA 2012-2013

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