Reflections

Catherine Kulley, MBA 2008 graduate and blog writer, is today’s guest writer, celebrating a 10 year blog anniversary!

It’s been 10 years since I wrote this and thinking about what’s happened since is tremendous…  the world is a very different place with the best and worst of humanity on display regularly; my family happily grew and sadly shrank; my “home” country changed 3 times and my career took several unexpected twists and turns.  The one common thing, however, is what I learned in my year at IMD.  Continue reading “Reflections”

The spirit of the IMD MBA

As we prepare to welcome in the next MBA Program Dean, Seán Meehan, here are some final words from Professor Ralf Boscheck, who has been running the ship for the past four years.

IMD’s year is ending and so is my fourth and last term as MBA Program Director. Time to thank you for your support and to sum up what we tried to do.

For the last four years, we aimed to put the program into the centre of the school. The idea was to combine its small size and the benefit of attention with the scale of one of the largest executive development operations in the world. In the process, we broke up silos and dismantled hierarchies. We changed our recruiting procedures, adjusted our marketing efforts and strengthened key elements of the program. We improved some rankings and even managed to change some rating methodologies. We also publicly challenged those appraisals where – even when results improved – we questioned the integrity of the statistics that had been applied. Some praised us for it – others clearly did not. And boy – did they not praise us.

Over the years, the MBA office transformed into a successful and truly collaborative team that generated a range of new and valuable initiatives. At the end, we hope to have made some improvements to what has always been a solid and unique program. For the last four years, our tag line has been – “the skills to know, the confidence to act and the humility to lead.”  Even if these words were to change in the future – I think we would be well advised to recall them as the spirit of what we stand for.

Personally, I am very thankful for the opportunity that the MBA assignment has given me – I learned things about others and myself that I would have not realized otherwise. I learned to trust, gained confidence and a bit of humility.

Let me end with a question that a former colleague of ours, the late Professor Stewart Hamilton, asked me a long time back – and I know I have asked this question to some of you before: “How many years are between 30 & 40?”

The answer is “Less than you think … may be three … So as you pursue your career don’t forget to live!

On that note, all the best to you and your families.

Ralf

Getting to know the Faculty

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.

IMD Champery

Jennifer