Archivo de la categoria ‘Teamwork’

The Boston e-lab experience

What an experience it was to go to the Boston e-lab programme this summer! There are countless takeaways (too long a list to include here!) that will serve me well in the years to come, both personally and professionally. From this long list, at a personal level, I take with me the strong connection and the lessons learned from my classmates – an amazing group of people from various Executive MBA cohorts across ESADE.

We experienced situations both in and outside class that made us become a real team, and which I’m sure will lead to collaborations in the future. Of course, we now know how to close deals over lobster dinners with bibs and all! If that isn’t a bonding experience, I don’t know what is! At a professional level, the best way for me to encapsulate the experience is to say that it was eye-opening and mind-boggling at the same time. I felt challenged just about every day to do something new; I also felt a sense of urgency to make a difference.

Sometimes we think within the constraints of what we know, but why not “think big”? The possibilities around innovation, technology and robotics were simply amazing, as we learned at MIT, at Harvard and at the various e-labs we visited throughout the week. Even when an idea seems crazy or unreachable or simply “out there”, if you believe in it, if you feel passionate about it, try it! Leaving with this feeling that “I can do it, too” was worth the money. We saw teams and people working on projects that I would have never imagined, and yet there they are, building businesses and getting funding for them.

Unlikely partners like musicians and engineers working together to come up with solutions to simple and complex problems – why not?! “Thinking outside the box” can be a cliché, but we saw that the most creative ideas came precisely from those who push the status quo. Of course, we needed to bring it down to the practical level: ESADE gave us a good run-down on how to pitch ideas to venture capitalists (our final assignment!), how to manoeuvre the Boston ecosystem (which is the same as that of Silicon Valley) and how to think about teams and working spaces differently. Lastly, I felt proud to see fellow ESADE alumni and fellow Europeans bringing their ideas to life in the Boston ecosystem.

Thank you, ESADE! I had a blast and I can definitely recommend the Boston e-lab. Anyone interested in entrepreneurship or life-changing technology should sign up for this experience.

Post written by Aurora Martínez Ramos

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The EMBA premieres on Facebook Live

The EMBA team has added a new communications channel. On 19 July we premiered on Facebook Live with a video featuring Judith Puigbó, associate director of admissions for the Executive MBA. She was accompanied by two participants from the current EMBA monthly format, Naïma Maëlle Zodros and Alexey Kultyshkin.

The video included a relaxed discussion on personal experiences and various aspects of the EMBA. Naïma, from the biotech industry, decided on the EMBA because she wanted a 360º vision of business; while Alexey wanted to complement his previous education with a more comprehensive programme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both positively value the diversity of EMBA participants – something that enables mutual enrichment and productive teamwork. Alexey, who had not previously considered being an entrepreneur, felt that starting a business was now an option after his experience at ESADE.

Questions discussed during the interview include the various methodologies used in the programme, its international weeks, time management, and student business plan ideas (one of the most important sections of the EMBA in which participants choose whether to develop their own entrepreneurial idea, or develop a project within the company where they work – called intrapreneurship).

The care and follow-up provided by the ESADE team is another factor that participants value. ESADE enables participants to visit the school, attend classes, and talk with alumni to acquire more information and viewpoints before making a final decision.

During the video, there was also an opportunity to talk about the best personal moments experienced during the EMBA. At the end of the discussion, viewers could participate and ask questions live or later at: emba@esade.edu.

The video already has more than 2000 viewings and can be seen here. It is the first of a series that will be made periodically to bring live EMBA news, experiences, opinions, and advice from participants. See you next time!

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Congratulations, Executive MBA class of 2017!

The graduation ceremony of the Executive MBA class of ‘17 was held in late April.

Whenever the programme ends, both the students and the faculty members involved in their education have mixed feelings. On the one hand, they are enormously pleased about everything they have achieved, the growth they have experienced at all levels, and the excitement of a new phase in life; on the other hand, they are somewhat sad about leaving behind a group that has contributed to the personal and professional development of each participant, and about the end of an era that marked a turning point in their lives.

As class representatives Kseniya and Don confessed, the 45 participants, with their diverse range of backgrounds, profiles and objectives, “started out as a class of students and ended up like family”.

That just about says it all. Congratulations to all of you, and I hope these months are just the beginning of a lifetime of successes and achievements, both personal and professional.

Click here to see more photos of the EMBA class of ‘17 graduation ceremony.

 

 

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#beachanger: How the EMBA Transforms You Professionally and Personally

A turning point. A challenge. Leaving your comfort zone. A push towards a dream. Trust. Passion. Finding your place.

What do these concepts – which attract us as much as they scare some of us – have in common? Change. They all arise from a change, a decision, a transformative act that opens up paths that you had never before imagined. New experiences that, once you’ve had them, you are very grateful for.

And you know what? These are the responses that our EMBA students gave when we asked them what ESADE’s Executive MBA meant to them. These are the opinions of our changers. But now it’s time for others to form part of this transformation, which begins in one person and expands throughout the community.

Watch the EMBA’s testimonial video (in Spanish) here

What is #beachanger?

Our changers talk about drivers of change, personal development, catalysts, and how the EMBA has given them the personal and educational tools they needed to cope with changes in their careers that many of them had dreamed of but didn’t know how to bring to life. The professionals who take the EMBA acquire a renewed sense of security and confidence as a result of gaining new knowledge and sharing business ideas and experiences with their peers and professors.

For these professionals, the EMBA is a holistic change that affects them and their companies. And the companies, in turn, value and cultivate the participants’ new capabilities. That’s how you create a cycle of positive feedback and growth that benefits both parties.

Many people simply see change, but not our EMBA students. They want to be change. And they are. They are changers who, from day one, want to be involved in transformations that they believe in and are passionate about.

And slowly but surely, that passion makes them feel more and more unstoppable. A passion that many of them say is the most effective and accurate way to find one’s way in business and in life.

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Learning across borders: an enrichment inside and outside the classroom

Elective Exchange Program SDA Bocconi, September 2016

Opportunities are everywhere; you just have to grab them. One of the great possibilities the EMBA at ESADE offers is to participate in a study abroad program in other renowned business schools around the world. From multiple courses  and schools one can select the elective which suits best its time and study plan and once accepted the adventure can begin.

I was lucky to be one of five ESADE students selected for SDA Bocconi electives in September 2016 for the course “Corporate Entrepreneurship”. The participants in this seminar came from all over the world: Besides Global and Executive MBA students from SDA Bocconi, people came from UCLA (USA), Mumbai (India), Recanti (Tel Aviv), ESADE (Barcelona) and a few executives were send directly from their companies. Italians, Israelis, Spanish, Germans, Belgians, Luxemburgish, Indians and a Danish professor created a enormous diversity of experiences, nationalities, professions, industries and cultural backgrounds, enriching any group work or class discussion.

During two and a half days we were able to really evolve into the subject, to approach the topic corporate entrepreneurship from different perspectives, learned theoretical models, benchmarks from innovation leaders and understand through case studies different ways of practical applications. The fact that we had people in the class who were entrepreneurs, working in start ups, incubators or leading innovation centres in their companies fused the discussions with actual issues, successes and failures.

Doing all this in a new learning environment with new study colleagues created an exciting experience that I can just recommend anyone who is given the possibility. Electives abroad are not only connecting the best business schools in the world but creating a sense of community by bringing international students closer together, enhancing cultural understanding and creating global networks that might evolve in new partner- and friendships. Isn’t that what an MBA student should aim for?

Written by Linda Ferstl, EMBA MOD15 student.

 

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Brava Fabrics, The shirts ‘woven’ in an MBA programme

Pubblished in Cinco Días on Monday the 19th August 2016 by Javier García Ropero

MBA programmes are considered the best training option for would-be senior managers yet they can also be a great place to start a small business. One such company — Brava Fabrics — was born in the ESADE MBA programme. It makes printed shirts (whether with bicycle or cassette designs) which are unique. The firm has made a splash in under a year and a half after being set up. Its founders, Ramón Barbero and Ivan Monells met while working together in the EMBA programme.

Ramón Barbero, on the left, and Ivan Monells, partners of Brava Fabrics. (Marta Jordi).

The firm’s garments have a ‘hipster’ touch, although both Brava Fabrics‘ founders are loathe to pigeon-hole their customers. “We want customers to love our style. The aim is not for customers to buy just a great shirt but rather to wear a ‘Brava’ on special occasions, explained Ramón Barbero, a 36-year old who trained as an Economist and who looks after the firm’s branding. His partner, 30-year old Ivan Monells, is an Industrial and Computing Engineer who takes care of the logistical and financial sides of the business. The two men have different backgrounds but they found that their skills nicely complemented one another when they worked together on the EMBA Capstone Project.


The Brava showroom is sited in Indiana House, in the Poble-Nou district of Barcelona.

It was then that they decided to work together on a new venture after trying their hands at various on-line businesses on their own. The earlier experiences helped them learn and see things more clearly. One of the things they saw from the outset was that the new business had to be based on E-Commerce. They studied various sectors and realised that men’s fashion had bags of potential. “We chose shirts because it is a product that creates barriers to entry. You know that others are not going to copy your products — at least in the short term”, said Ramón Barbero. They scraped together their savings and got a couple of entrepreneurship loans to create Brava. In the beginning, the printing was not going to be the differentiating feature. “However, we quickly saw that it was what made the product a hit”, said Barbero, who noted that the company’s shirt designs are agreed on by the whole team, which comprises three members of staff and two outsiders.

The founders do not see the firm as part of the textile sector but rather as a lifestyle brand. Brava Fabrics does not follow the dictates of fashion but rather pursues successful E-Commerce models, such as Everlane in The United States and Hawkers in Spain. Their on-line vision is compatible with fashion-consciousness. All of their shirts are cut by hand using a pair of scissors. They are produced in Barcelona workshops under a Fair Trade policy.

This year, they hope turnover will rise to €600,000, a big rise over 2015 (€150,000). Their sales are made through the on-line channel, while 15% of sales are split between their Barcelona showroom and various marketing campaigns, such as city market stalls. Last year, the company was present in both Palo Alto and Barcelona, helping fuel the company’s launch.

This growth has helped boost production. They bring out four collections a year, which now feature 10,000 garments apiece. However, they also come up with new products every two months. “That means our products change every month, spurring customers to keep spending”, said Barbero. Short-sleeved shirts, Bermuda Shorts, men’s underwear, and women’s dresses and blouses make up a range of the firm’s highly distinctive garments. The next step will be to expand the firm’s equity in 2017.

Read the whole essay (in Spanish) here: http://cincodias.com/cincodias/2016/08/18/sentidos/1471547469_225013.html

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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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Barcelona EMBA students make their first international stay at HEC

Participants of the weekly format EMBA programme in Barcelona made their first international stay in the programme at the end of January. The students (who began this edition of the EMBA programme last September) travelled to the HEC business school in Paris and during their stay, which was themed as “Organisations, Transformation and Change Management”. The stay focused on corporate strategy, value and business.

The students found this first International Week at HEC extremely useful and interesting. Participants were able to combine work, networking and socialisation with classmates and faculty.

ESADE’s Executive MBA includes three training stays at some of the best business schools in Europe, Asia and America. During these stays, programme participants get to discover at first-hand how a country and its companies work. In the process, they get a broad vision of the global economy from their on-the-spot experiences. Students also get the chance to visit major companies in the country being visited, meet top executives and identify business opportunities and the scope for collaboration in the host country.

The next international stays for students of the weekly format of the Barcelona EMBA programme will be at Antai (China) or ISB (India), themed as “Growth & Development in Emerging Markets”, and at Georgetown University (The United States), where they will go on the last international week, whose theme is “Leading in Global Organizations”.

If you want to see more photos of our students’ stay at HEC Paris, click here.

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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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2nd International Stay in Paris

EMBA participants of the fortnightly format of the programme in Barcelona and of the weekly format in Madrid took an intensive module at HEC, Paris. The institution was founded in Paris in 1881 and is one of the world’s top business schools.

Over four days, we delved into “Organisations Transformation & Change Management” in Europe, reviewing business models that ranged from the traditional to the highly disruptive, and covered sectors as diverse as Industry, Technology, Cosmetics and Luxury Goods.

In addition, the sessions were enriched by speakers from L’Oréal, Microsoft, Amazon, etc., who gave their personal visions and specific examples of the real-life applications of various business models.

The only source of knowledge is experience” (Albert Einstein)

Jordi J. Lorente, EMBA Candidate 2015-2016

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