Today’s guest entry is written by one of our newer Faculty members, Jennifer Jordan. Jennifer is a social psychologist and is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD. This year she is teaching part of the MBA Leadership stream along with Professor Anand Narasimhan.
After almost 11 months at IMD, I can look back with some fondness – as well as struggles.
The greatest parts of being part of this institution is the cool experiences you get to have and the great people you get to develop relationships with. In a relatively short period of time, I have visited several countries for the first time – including Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Denmark. But I have also been fortunate to start this wonderful journey with four other awesome colleagues and professors – Jay, Knut, Ina, and Stéphane.
As probably all the MBAs can relate to, it is SO MUCH EASIER AND MORE FUN to go through challenging experiences with others. And each of my new colleagues brings something different to the group and my appreciation for them. Jay and I have a similar background in social psychology, so we “speak the same language” when it comes to leadership. And as a true whipper-snapper in negotiations, I also have so much to learn from Jay in this area (not to mention that he is just a super duper fellow!).
With a background as partner at BCG, Knut has been such a valuable colleague in terms of learning about client engagement and adding value for the client. We have also started putting together some material to stretch his strategy concept on Exploration-Exploitation into the personal leadership domain.
As for Ina, I am so grateful to have her as a colleague. Not only is she extremely smart and competent at what she does (I learn so much from her!) – but she is just an overall great person. We have become true friends, which is priceless to me.
And last but not least Stephan. Coming from such a cool background – both professionally and personally (French and Italian origins!), I have really learned a lot about the luxury industry from him and was reminded of his strategic expertise and insight during a recent client visit with him to Italy.
While the pace of this place is completely insane and often times tests my patience and resolve, the great experiences and people I have met in my last 11 months make all the struggles truly worth it.
My philosophy around teaching MBAs is really to just engage in a guided dialog. I have learned that as long as you constantly keep in mind the overall objectives that you want to convey during the session, letting the audience guide the discussion can often lead to the richest take-aways for the group – as the outcomes are most meaningful for them. And I truly love to teach, which I hope comes through in my work!
I have included a photo of one of my favorite memories with my fellow IMD newbies. The five of us got to spend an evening and day at beautiful Chateauform in Champery.