Saturday, January 29, 2011

Team Gruyere

As part of the MBA program, we work extensively in groups. Since we will be exercising leadership all our lives in small groups throughout any organization, we put a lot of time in our groups. The great part about IMD MBA group work is that in addition to case discussions and completing assignments, we also study our own behavior in these groups. We use video, group observation techniques and various psychological assessments to really dig deep into who each of us really are and how we can view the world from another person's perspective, at the same time taking note of what our initial reactions were.

This may sound very "touchy feely"... well it is! But it is so important! Effective leaders must understand themselves, both the dark and light side, the conscious and the subconscious. Throughout our short time together, I came to realize the power of active listening and self reflection as well as how better decisions can result from the conflict and differences in the team. Cheers team, our roller coaster ride is just beginning!

Team Gruyere - From left: Ayman, Hannes, Constanza, Elisa, Nicole, Sanjar

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting in the groove?

It's about 2 weeks into the program and I am starting to feel the load of work on my shoulders. It's no joke, I am probably averaging between 6-7 hours sleep during the week and it's just go go go every day. We all know it's going to get worse, but the thought that all 90 of us being in the same boat gives me some comfort. So far the classes have been great and we went through an operations simulation today, which was great! We had the choice of several input variables including mobile phone design and supplier allocation. We ran the simulation through 4 years and we were presented with financials at the end of each year. It was a great break from the usual 4 hour class routine. But the down side is that our group spent about 5 hours on it... until next time!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The power of 90

Where else but IMD would you get the highest number of faculty to student ratio?

Where else but IMD would you get 90 students from 45 countries?

Where else but IMD would you get a fruit basket and never ending coffee a few steps from the auditorium?

Where else but IMD would you get 90 students with an average of 7 years work experience?

Where else but IMD would you get a personal card to welcome you into the program, signed by the MBA staff?

There is no where else... that's the power of 90

Half a week

The first weekend of the program! After a packed couple of days, we finally have a short break to catch up on some sleep, readings, life and some homework. Our Saturday class ended at ~12pm today and after a short group huddle, we left IMD and greeted the sunshine and balmy 43F weather!

So far, the experience has been simply amazing. 
Starting with a team building activity (scavenger hunt) in Lausanne, in which our group spent the longest time running around town (since we love each others company so much!), 90 minutes and 90 people to build an arch (talk about too many cooks in the kitchen! We completed the project nonetheless) and lastly a group homework in the evening and into the night (we left IMD ~12.30am). This was our kickoff to the program.

I loved our classes. Although each class was 4 hours long, I loved the fact that philosophy and history was a strong part of them. (I wrote a post on Leadership on the IMD blog). Here's to a great start and a wonderful experience. Cheers!

Economy Class

Team 4 aka Team "Gruyere" in our study room

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

IMD MBA 2011 has begun!

After 2 days of administrative to-dos, we are finally ready for the official kick off tomorrow. The 90 of us along with our partners have been welcomed by the MBA team and ate at the wonderful restaurant for both days. It's amazing that we get a buffet lunch everyday, along with coffee and fruits in the MBA building outside of lunch. Believe it or not, I am excited to be a student and am looking forward to the bonds we will form in the year ahead.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

GEM #6

Anyone who knows Seth Godin should already have read Linchpin. I am somehow late to the party! Seth gives amazing insights about your career and how to be indispensable in this age where workers are minimal-ized by processes and systems. Seth uses the term "emotional labor", which is the key to being indispensable. His advice also leads us to be the artist and creative beings that we all are!

GEM #6 - Linchpin
My top 3 book quotes:
1. "Work is nothing but a platform for art and the emotional labor that goes with it"
2. "Passion isn't project specific, it's people specific"
3. "Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion"

Linchpin is a must read for anyone who wants to be free of the "work" and perform art on a daily basis in any career. It will motivate you to face your fears and dare to be successful! Will you commit to being indispensable today?

It's a MAD world after all

Last night was the first time the majority of students got together. One of our fellow students organized a party at MAD, in Flon, Lausanne. I believe we had more than 70 students and about 30 partners. It was really great putting the real person behind facebook profiles and introduction posts. We get more excited about this journey every time we meet new and interesting people. It is truly an amazing experience! I can't wait to chat with my fellow classmates and not have to shout over Lady GaGa and huddle in front of a bar serving 13 CHF mixed drinks.

Here's to a great year and the life changing experiences it will bring us. SALUT!

MAD - a Lausanne club/ bar with an attitude

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011

The countdown to 2011 was a remarkable one, surrounded by classmates and new friends, we toasted to the year ahead. The 36 of us, students and partners find ourselves at Le Bleu Lezard, where we had a six course meal, complete with wine, champagne, funny hats and some party props.

2011 New Years Eve Party @ Le Bleu Lezard

All of us left something safe, familiar and comforting behind, and took a leap of faith to challenge ourselves, to put ourselves out there for something a little more dangerous, adventurous, and different. I applaud us, the students for steering our future and the partners for being strong and supportive so far and even more so throughout the year.

Here's to a life changing year ahead, as all of us dig deep within ourselves and have the courage to grow a little more each day. Happy New Year!