The transitional journey through IMD is moving ahead…

Today’s guest entry is written by Thibault Acolas

… As this last day of Company Engagement Project at Honeywell Aerospace goes by, I reckon the immense opportunity this has been. No exotic destination like other of my IMD peers in Dubai, Seattle, or Tanzania, but the “Perle-of-the-Lake” town of Rolle between Lausanne and Geneva. Practical also when your children and family are courageously waiting home in Lausanne!Honeywell2

As former flight officer in the French Navy, this project gave me hands-on experience with business challenges, and the 3-month IMD Startup work with Hydromea until April, as well as the Finance, Marketing and Innovation classes taught at IMD made me really comfortable coming here one month ago. I’ve been working on End-of-Life Licensing strategy for the Boeing 707 platform and interacted with an amazing team from the HQ in Phoenix,USA to drive growth out of the legendary platform that flew for the first time in 1957! This was truly a global experience, with stakeholders dispersed around the planet with up to 9 hours time-difference. Capital budgeting, pro-forma P&Ls and NPV analysis – so many alien concepts to me a few months ago that were everyday material to use at Honeywell.


“It is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is the most adaptable to change” (Charles Darwin)

This short journey with the “Apple of the industry”, as Honeywell’s new CEO Darius Adamczyk describes his company, was also for me a glimpse into the future. As Tactical Coordinator on a 40-year old aircraft in the Navy, I used to use a satellite data system that transferred a blurry photo in 10 minutes to my land base. The products I saw here enable real-time Skype-like conferencing from any passenger airline or helicopter – unlimited. Honeywell has undertaken an impressive move towards “The Power of Connected”, and refocused R&D with now over 22,000 software engineers – for an industrial company of 130,000 employees. Change is in a connected digital future, in Internet of Things. Change requires companies to revisit business models that made them successful for centuries. From the IMD Navigating The Future conferences, the Industry & Competition analysis and this CEP, I now measure the pharaonic work that this digital shift requires from industries.

Lastly, I’d like to use this blog posting opportunity to congratulate my 89 fellow IMDers! Much has been done, and many challenges overcome (with many fun times as well!)

And let us together, if I may, paraphrase Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech in Henry V by telling to ourselves that, “From this day, [this mid-point in our IMD-year] and to the ending of the world, we in it shall be remembered as We few, we happy few, we band of brothers [and sisters].”

And as I cannot end this post with a British quote as a Frenchman, I’ll bring along the glorious general Charles de Gaulle into the picture to thank the IMD faculty for uniting our diverse class of 90 future business leaders by asking : “How can anyone unite out of the blue a country which has 246 different kinds of cheese?”






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