Executive Management Program on Latin America for Singaporean companies

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Madrid, financial centre?

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July 2008 | By Ignacio de la Torre, Academic Director of Master in Finance, IE Business School

Over the last few years, Madrid has managed to climb a few positions to become a more important international centre of finance, but in order to consolidate itself in a top position it needs to carry out a series of improvements.

At the beginning of the 13th century, the all-powerful England of King John (the baddie in the Robin Hood films) was defeated by an extremely modest France, which at the time comprised only Paris and the surrounding area. What was the secret behind the French success? London was an important political centre with a financial power that was on the decline, whereas Paris was a political centre of little significance with a financial power that was just beginning.

This mediaeval anecdote should help us reflect on our capital city´s role as an international financial centre. Paradoxically, in a context of political decentralisation in which Madrid has seen how its political power has been considerably reduced, the city has developed huge economic power in terms of GDP and GDP per inhabitant. The next challenge is to take advantage of this economic importance, “capitalising” on Madridâ??s position as a top-tier financial centre. A few weeks ago, Deloitte published a report that classified Madrid as the fourth-ranking international financial centre (behind New York, London and Paris). However, a report commissioned by the city of London on the basis of 7,193 surveys (many of them biased towards Anglo-Saxon markets) position Madrid in 42nd place in terms of international financial importance. In recent years, Madrid has enjoyed an economic and financial environment that has allowed it to climb many positions as a financial capital, higher than number 42 without a doubt. Nevertheless, the black clouds that hang over our economy, the deficit of the Spanish current account, the difficulties affecting the securities markets and the low-level volume of corporate transactions will force us to increase efforts if we want Madrid to effectively be among the top five financial capitals.

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IE empowering African women through entrepreneurship

In conjunction with the FAS (Femmes Africa Solidarite) and the Spanish Government, the Center for Global Diversity in Management and the Department of Entrepreneurial Management at IE Business School has accepted twenty-two women from Liberia, South Africa, DRC, Mozambique, Senegal and Rwanda into the recently launched advanced training and mentoring program for women-lead businesses in…

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The web, friction, your business and you

1528.jpgJune 2008 | By Enrique Dans, Professor at IE Business School

The web is now 15 years old, and, just like any adolescent, it has revolutionized the previous generation. Business organizations need to find new approaches to keep growing in lockstep with the continuous changes the web brings.

The web celebrates its 15th birthday. Fifteen years have passed since Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau decided, at the CERN, to change the world by making their operating source codes freely available everyone, unleashing one of the most important technological diffusion processes of our time and giving rise to one of the development platforms with the greatest potential in the history of technology. Now, after 15 years of using the web, of seeing it grow and reach adolescence, it is a good moment to consider the future: that of the web, our future and that of our business.

If anything is patently obvious, it is that after 15 years of existence the web has become one of the greatest friction-reducers ever made available to humankind. Entering a search engine such as Google, keying in anything and pressing a button produces a page of results in a fraction of a second, when, before the advent of the web, it would have taken us hours, almost certainly after a number of trips and much detailed documentation and summarizing. And, as classic economics says, friction is a very important part of business.

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Leadership: the why versus the what

1524.jpgJune 2008 | By Javier Roza, Professor of HR Management at IE Business School
Management comprises much more than simply exercising the authority that goes with the position. It is about gaining the respect of a business organization, and motivating employees by winning their trust.

Business management can be considered from different standpoints. Take the most superficial and egomaniacal form, for example, that of the autocratic, insecure director (not leader) who needs and uses the power given to him by his post. He or she sees the firm as his property and employees tend to be seen as inferior beings of lesser intelligence the lower their place on the organisation chart, or people who (by default) have bad intentions which range from inaction to sabotage. The assumptions on which this view is based come from the hobbian idea of man, typical in preindustrial society and still visible in many companies.

Of course, in order to survive a company must be capable of managing the resources that allow it to give its employees and shareholders fair pay, as well as having access to investment to keep its activity competitive, all this through the satisfaction of its customers, users and consumers.

But to achieve this in the 21st century, a time of the greatest intellectual capacity in the history of the human race, we can no longer apply models based on ignorance. Today, if we treat employees as inferior beings, we will only obtain disinterest and cynicism as a response. However, if we treat all employees as intelligent beings who know what they are doing in their job and we give them the information they need to be able to take the right decisions at their level, we shall obtain at the very least greater organisational efficiency since decision and subsequent action will be taken at all levels including the lowest possible, increasing speed and adaptation to the market. We will also see greater enthusiasm and commitment, both based on respect. People are loyal to people, not to abstract entities.

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Myanmar: have we again forgotten the tragedy?

1525.jpgJune 2008 | By Gayle Allard, Professor of Economic Environment at IE Business School

Cyclone Nargis has once again placed the spotlight on the brutal repression taking place in Burma. Will the world forget as quickly this time as it did after the â??Saffron revolutionâ??

Myanmar disappeared from the news headlines and our collective consciousness months ago after the brutal repression of the “saffron revolution”, a peaceful protest led by Buddhist monks to demand the end of a repressive government. On that occasion, we forgot to ask how many hundreds of unarmed demonstrators had died and when a new democratic government would arrive. Sadly, the catastrophe of the Narcis cyclone has once again put the Asian country, one of the poorest and most repressed in the region, on the front pages of all international media.

On its way through Myanmar (Burma for the country´s democrats), the cyclone has destroyed everything in its path. The houses built with cardboard walls and earth floors did not need much and the cyclone has flattened entire villages without leaving one single building standing. The almost inexistent transport network has isolated hundreds of thousands of victims. An independent international sources set the number of deaths at 100,000, with at least another one million victims left homeless. Witnesses say that endless numbers of corpses float down the rivers and that it is impossible to walk through the rice fields without stumbling over them. Food is expensive and scarce and does not reach survivors. Furthermore, there is no electricity or drinking water in the most heavily affected areas. With the passing of time, the threat of contagious diseases such as cholera and dengue fever is imminent while the dead bodies of people and animals rot in the streets.

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IE Business School receives Univerhsus Awards 2008 for innovation in training

IE Business School, Sun Microsystems, and Pueblo Inglés have received awards for contributing to the development of innovative contents and tools to improve training programs. Indra, the leading IT multinational in Spain and Europe held the 1st Edition of the Univerhsus Awards for Innovation, designed to recognize the work carried out by institutions and partners…

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IBM and IE Business School present the first Master in Service Management

IBM and IE Business School presented the first Executive Master in Service Management, which will focused on management in the services sector. The initiative is part of a scientific and technological collaboration agreement between IE and IBM to foster training and research activities and promote the use of information technologies in knowledge-based services. The signing…

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New Stars in Finance

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Game for online MBA?

IE Business School Student working on computer

The original of this article was published on June 28 by India Times

With the advent of the Internet and advancements in technology, schools have realised the importance of online education. In order to cater to working professionals, who donâ??t have the time to attend a full-time MBA programme, many schools have started offering online programmes.

Online MBA is an excellent option for working students: you can pursue an MBA and take up specialisations such as finance, marketing, international business, etc.

â??One important benefit and difference between an ordinary MBA and an online MBA is the asynchronous sessions. When you have the time, you follow the forums and appear for the exams. Also, the opportunity to review classes and discussions several times is extremely valuable. This is the only way for many managers to do an MBA, and of course valuable for participants in different time zones. The challenge is to â??virtuallyâ?? put your personality, skills and knowledge, and network across. Also you need more cross-cultural and social skills in order to succeed on the Internet; words are more apparent when written online,â? says Sara Sjogren, a Swedish student pursuing an online MBA at IE Business School.

An online MBA is mostly attractive to people with financial constraints, commitments to work or family, or the lack of access to higher education. The most obvious advantage of an online degree is the flexibility to study and learn whenever you want.

You are not time bound and can fit the online schedules in your working life. â??Again one main benefit and reason for me to choose this programme is flexibility. I work as a manager and am trying to pursue my business ideas as well. I also have domestic responsibilities. So this is the only way I can manage an MBA,â? adds Sjogren.

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