The staccato frequency of these blogposts stands in stark contrast to the almost unending excitement in the MBA program these days. And while I bring you up to speed with all the action let me confess straight-away that I have decided to stop branding any day at IMD as the “best day”, because experience has proved to me that the best is yet to come.
Take for instance the week that has just gone by. We had the CEO of Hublot come and speak to us of his experiences of turning around not one, not two, not even three but 5 watch brands. And these are not just any watch brands but the very best – Omega (yes he was the guy who gave James Bond his first Omega), Blancpain (again he was the one who brought Blancpain back from the dead) and Hublot to name a few.
Jean Claude Biver, with almost child like enthusiasm and energy (that could give 30 year olds a run for their money), shared with us the key ingredients of his success and the lessons that he has learnt during the course of his unparalleled career. His simple but profound and tested message could be summarized in three phrases: In any business – be the first, be different and be unique. As Fouad mentioned in his blog, we could not have asked for a better ending to the Marketing course.
From innovation centred leadership, we then moved to leadership when facing dilemmas. Martin Jahn, a senior executive at Volkswagen group shared with us the challenges that Volkswagen is facing as it attempts to recover from what is arguable the most catastrophic disaster in the long and illustrious history of the brand. I must commend his willingness to take all the tough questions on this issue head-on. Not for once did he try to dodge a question or avoid an issue. Personally, I learnt from him the importance of authenticity even in and may be especially in moments of crisis.
And when we were wondering how could the week get any better, Professor Carlos Braga announced to the class that he will be releasing his new book at the World Trade Organization in Geneva and that he has arranged for all 90 of us to be in the WTO chamber during that book release. An absolutely incredible feeling it was to be in the WTO chambers surrounded by Ambassadors from around the World. It was quite an experience to watch the ambassadors and academics grapple with the future of WTO and particularly, debate the question of impact of digitization on World trade and the role of WTO in the changing World order.
While we might have to wait a bit longer for the outcome of that debate, I hope the blog team on this side will not keep you waiting for more exciting posts. So stay tuned.