International MBA: Change in Action 2009

Between the second and third core periods of the International MBA curriculum, students explore – through a series of presentations from outside experts, online simulation, interactive workshops, group work and on-site company visits – the challenges and opportunities of discontinuous change. Topics will vary each year to include climate change, demographic change, nanotechnology, or the…

Details

Don't say CRISIS, say Opportunity!

1729IE Focus | By Manuel Bermejo, Professor at IE Business School
The long honeymoon that the Spanish economy has enjoyed means that many senior managers have not yet had to rise to the challenge of a crisis. The moment has come for a complete change of the way we think and manage.
The current period of crisis and uncertainty is leading to tension and difficulties for company managers. In addition, owing to a lengthy period of growth in recent years, a good part of the senior management of many businesses has never had to face the challenge of managing a company with the wind against them.
It is time to recover a strategic view and act differently since the outlook has changed radically in recent months. Therefore, the first consideration would be to move away from old paradigms that almost certainly cannot be applied in today’s world. We need to adapt to the new context and, as human beings, that is never an easy task. With this in mind, I offer the following Decalogue:
– Management by values: I consider it fundamental to recover values such as austerity, honesty, long-term vision, strategic alignment, commitment, work, perseverance, social responsibility… It is not a matter of earning money at any price and ignoring everything else. Speak with many family business owners and you will find magnificent examples of what I am talking about.

– Strategic thought: separate what is urgent from what is important. Many important issues are never approached and give rise to situations that are unsustainable in the long term. Government bodies must be created as true watchtowers to gain a peripheral view and take decisions that anticipate change. In all sincerity, many of today’s difficult situations could have been foreseen some time ago and corrective measures could have been taken, but sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees.

Details

Beyond stereotypes

1728IE Focus | By Celica de Anca, Director Centre for Diversity, IE Business School
The women’s leadership debate and the reasons that there are still so few women on boards of directors will come to nothing if we keep referring to the same old male and female stereotypes.
McKinsey recently published its Women Matter 2 study, in which it drew the conclusion that the women leaders analysed used certain styles of leadership that had a direct effect on the company’s performance more often than men’s styles. Women’s leadership styles involved people development, intuition and participatory decision-taking.Other studies along the same lines have insisted on the need for including more women in corporate bodies of management owing to their different leadership styles. However, despite the scientific rigour of the analyses, the same number of scientific studies can also be found to demonstrate that the presence of more women in senior management does not necessarily improve a company’s performance.

Accepting these studies as valid, I believe that in order to move forward in the issue of women in business leadership, certain untruths that add confusion to the debate must first of all be clarified.

The first is the search for reasons that justify something which, in my opinion, does not need justifying. Women represent half of the world population and 46% of its workforce. Some of them are competent and others less so, some are more qualified and some less so. Indeed, some of them are not qualified for senior management posts, most probably in the same percentage as men who are not qualified for positions of responsibility. In the globalised and competitive society of the 21st century and in the interests of corporate effectiveness there is no room for maintaining barriers that prevent talented or valuable women from taking up posts in senior management. The barriers we imagine exist, albeit indirectly and subtly, limit, for example, the number of women who sit on boards of directors to only 6% of the top 800 European businesses. Scandinavian countries have the greatest number of women on their boards of directors and the countries in the South of Europe have the lowest number. I hope there are other factors that explain what could otherwise be put down to Swedish women being more talented than their Spanish counterparts.

Details

IE Business School and Brown University: New approaches to Academic Entrepreneurship

A joint initiative for research and training for commerce, entrepreneurship and organizational Management IE Business School and Brown University are delighted to announce the formalization of a multifaceted relationship, bringing together one of Europe’s leading business schools and a leading North American research university. Brown and IE share a commitment to academic excellence and to…

Details

Marketing in times of adversity and stress

Marketing in times of adversity and stressIE Focus | By Roberto Alvarez del Blanco,  Professor at IE Business School
Taking the scissors to the marketing budget is an all too familiar reaction in times of crisis, but it is a mistake that can weaken the brand and hamper attempts to differentiate a product.
The current severe market conditions mean that marketing decisions have to be based on certainty, decision and courage. Avoiding mistakes that imply significant conditioning factors in the mid and long term is as important as managing the crisis. Skilfully solving this new paradox requires fast solutions and consideration of long-term implications. Peripheral vision is also essential to see and interpret the signs, and identify useful solutions for planning a more stable future.From a marketing viewpoint we are facing vast complexities, but it is also a time of extraordinary opportunity. It’s true that challenges are on the increase, that some models are more vulnerable, or that negative signs can be seen on the horizon, but we have to find a way through the jungle and healthy economic options for the brand must be created, all without dying in the attempt. The pressure of the scant room for error can be relieved a little by remembering an old Spanish saying: be eager when others are being cautious and be cautious when others are being eager.

In times like the present the great temptation is to cut back budgets, and marketing is often the first to suffer. It is vulnerable because of the search for fast results or survival and because it is assumed that reducing marketing efforts does not have any short-term effect. The current climate requires the consideration of a number of priorities to avoid missing out on opportunities or committing irreversible errors and accepting that Lady Luck smiles on the decisive in times of crisis.

Details

Madrid: more than one million foreigners

Madrid: more than one million foreignersIE Focus | By Rafael Puyol, President IE University

The crisis has affected every level of society, but particularly immigrants. Madrid’s immigrants are faring better than most, however, evidencing that the capital is still an attractive destination for the immigrant population.
The report on the foreign population registered on the Comunidad de Madrid census on 1 January 2009 is very recent and is one of the first documents to show the impact of the crisis on immigration.

Every intuitive guess and forecast for the situation of the foreign population is confirmed in the report, but it applies in Madrid less severely than in other parts of Spain.

The base figures for the analysis are very clear. The first is the slowing-down of growth and, to a certain extent, the absolute reduction of immigrants if the count includes only the last few months. But it is a quasi-symbolic reversal as there are only 159 immigrants less than last October. It is true that the number has fallen and that some have gone, which means that the year-on-year growth is down on other periods. However, consideration must be given to the fact that many foreigners are no longer considered as such because they have been awarded Spanish nationality. Madrid is also unique in this respect, since it accounts for one third of Spain’s nationalisation processes.

Details

How the Next Generation will change the world: IE Junior International Advisory Board

Without innovation, all institutions become irrelevant. In the IE spirit of innovation, IE University decided to create the Junior International Advisory Board. Universities do not exist for the benefit of its educators and fellow institutions; universities belong to the people, they belong to society, and but above all they belong to students. We not only…

Details

The green hope

1726IE Focus, April 2009 | By Javier Carillo, Professor at IE Business School
Green stands for hope as Governments worldwide start to consider new economic development models based on energy saving and clean technologies.
In recent decades the connection between the market economy and environmental sustainability has passed through different stages. The environment appeared on the international political agenda with the publication of the Brundtland report in 1987 and has gained in importance in various international and national legislations since then. Many companies still see this mandatory inclusion of a social objective in its private objectives as a burden on their results accounts. At the beginning of the 1990s, the enterprises that belonged to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) established the paradigm of eco-efficiency and started to see the private benefits of reducing environmental costs. More recently, two new dimensions have been added to the market-environment connection: the reduction of energy dependence and the creation of environmental business and employment.

Here, I will focus on the latter. Indeed, the so-called eco-industry is becoming the green hope for many governments. Indeed, there are indicators that point to optimism in the clean technologies sector. According to a recent report published by the Cleantech Group, investments in risk capital totalled US$8400 million in this sector in 2008 for the economies of North America, Europe, China and India. This result is a record in the sector and 38% up on the figure for 2007. It was tarnished only slightly in the last quarter of 2008, which was 4% down on the same quarter for the previous year, albeit on a notably worse economic scenario. The most outstanding technologies are solar (40%), biofuels (11%), transport (9.5%) and wind energy (6.0%). If world investment in renewable energies reaches the figure of US$630,000 million between now and the year 2030, the International Labour Organisation estimates that the sector could create twenty million new jobs.

Details

IE Higher Education and King Abdulaziz University sign agreement to launch a Center for Islamic Economics and Finance

IE Higher Education and King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia) have signed an agreement to jointly create a Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance at IE Business School. The agreement  was signed on March 31 during the visit to IE of the Saudi Arabian Minister of Higher Education, HE Khaled Al Anqari. Based on the principles…

Details

At the heart of the Bernabeu

Professor Raúl Respaldiza and the students of the Master in Sports Management visit one of the world’s best known sporting venues. During the first face-to-face period in February 2009 in Madrid, the students of the Master in Sports Management and Professor Raúl Respaldiza had the opportunity of visiting the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. As part of…

Details