The 360º teaching experience

Who tells that the class room cannot be a circle? Prof. David Bach teaches in a new learning environment. Last July, Professor David Bach, Professor of Strategy and Economic Environment and Dean of Programs, taught an optional Business Government and Society class under a new learning environment. The “Open Space” room, at Maria de Molina…


Who wants to be an Entrepreneur?

Tomorrow is an exciting day for Entrepreneurs and Investors in Singapore. IE Business Schools and Angels Den jointly organized the first IE – Angels Den Seminar on Entrepreneurship. Here are the details: When? Wednesday, May 25 from 18:00 to 20.45 Where? Pan-Pacific Hotel, Level 1, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square Registration: IE Event Page As…


IE Focus || Causes

By Enrique Dans, Professor at IE Business School, published on IE Focus

Social networks have the capacity to mobilize millions of people in defense of a cause, regardless of their location. The far-reaching impact of this is now starting to show.The expansion of social networks has had one extremely interesting effect: the proliferation of causes or claims capable of garnering the support of a large number of people, sometimes very quickly. When this occurs, the person promoting the cause in question cites the number of people involved as evidence of support, whereas sceptics and detractors try to downplay it by talking about of the scant value of support provided by merely using an index finger to click on a mouse. 

Who should we believe? Can we consider this type of group as tangible evidence of support, the virtual equivalent of a street demonstration with banners and slogans, or does the practically zero effort required to support the cause mean it is worth very little? The social importance of this issue is growing as the number of social network users increases: Spain has the highest number of social networks users in the world (according to the latest figures, we are talking about around ten million active users on Facebook and around eight million on Tuenti). As a result, many are starting to see social networks as a kind of “trend laboratory” or a gauge for measuring the “social mood”, a kind of permanent, real-time survey on the widest possible variety of subjects.


IE Focus || Germany 4 – Spain 0

By David Bach, Professor at IE Business School, published on IE Focus

Germany has scored more economic goals than Spain because it applied the structural reforms needed before the crisis took hold, and because Merkel, has controlled spending from the start.Spain may have beaten Germany in both the European Football Championship and the World Cup, but where economy is concerned there is no doubt that Germany has the upper hand. Last Thursday´s news that the largest economy on the continent had grown by 3.6% in 2010 (the highest level since the unification in 1990) has surprised even the experts. The Spanish economy, however, closed 2010 with an average reduction of 0.2%. What does Angela Merkel know about economics that the Spanish president doesn’t? One analysis of the German success shows that the causes behind the differences go beyond the current Chancellor´s policies and also clearly point the path Spain should take.

Germany´s economic strength (and Spain´s weakness) is based fundamentally on four pillars:


The Power of the Word

Words are human, substantially human. They link our thoughts to reality and to other thoughts. Thanks to words, others know what we are thinking or what we want to say. Depending on how skilful we are with words, we succeed or fail in reaching others, obtaining personal or collective benefits, and building the future.

No matter how knowledgeable they are, no matter how intelligent they are, people who do not express themselves very well are at a disadvantage. Words are effectiveness.

Our thoughts are made up of words. As we progress in the art of the word, we learn to think better, we acquire mental skills that we did not have previously because the brain develops with language, and if we train and teach the word, the brain increases its muscle power.

Our brain deals with images, sensations, all kinds of memories and an endless array of words. Our language brings all that together. The word and the action are what best reveal what we are and what we want to be. People who do not use words well act as if they have had their strongest member amputated.


Businesses, customers and small fry

IE Focus | By Enrique Dans, Professor at IE Business School

It’s time to put an end to deliberations. If there is anything that really is changing as a direct result of the popularisation of the net and the so-called social web, it is undoubtedly relations between businesses and their customers.

Open your account on Twitter (Sorry? You’re an executive and you still don´t have Twitter or you don´t know what it is?) And write something about well-known large business organizations with millions of customers, such as Telefonica or Iberia, often criticised for their customer service. In a matter of minutes, if what you have said about the company merits a reply, you will quite possibly find it on Twitter. Have a look at the Twitter accounts of Movistar or Iberia… What can you see? Businesses talking directly with their customers and offering to solve their problems. Businesses that listen to the small fry.

It might be a question about items on a bill, explanations about an incident or about an offer: the question is that, after many years of inflexible single-direction trading and contacting customers only to harass them by throwing new products and services in their faces, many businesses are finally starting to use bidirectional communication channels to maintain real relations with their customers. Such relations are much more genuine and make it worthwhile to manage exceptions or speak with a human voice if a problem can be solved and a customer can be satisfied. Trivial? At the moment, more or less testimonial. But undoubtedly a sign of the times. Times in which technology, far from isolating individuals, makes it possible to humanize relations and bring together those who are on both sides of the screen. How can invest millions in expensive CRM systems if our customers then speak about us in public and we pay them no attention?


Change of Screen

IE Focus | By Enrique Dans, Professor at IE Business School

Television is dead. And not only television, but all the other classic media based on unidirectional communication, because the young are changing the rules. A recent study on teenagers´ habits carried out in the United States reveals of how the way information is consumed in our society has changed over the years: the classic one-way media, such as television, have died a death. The medium that was considered for many years as a bastion of North American culture and which still brings together multimillion audiences for events such as the Super Bowl final is being abandoned by young people in their droves. Time spent in front of the TV has fallen drastically and those who still watch it do so on a different screen: their computer.

The final nail in TV’s coffin has been hammered home, as expected, by the social network. The use of the social network confirms that the absurd fears of some adults for the alleged “isolation” of young people in front of the screen (“they don´t go out any more”, “I prefer my computer to seeing my friends”, “they are so pale because they get no sunshine and only get radiation from the screen”) were unfounded fears: the young people who are the most active on the net are also the most active off the net… they have more friends, go out more and go to more parties.


Welcome, Spain, to the Euro

IE Focus | By Gayle Allard, Professor at IE Business School

After just 8 years of circulation the Euro has the dark side that Spain didn’t want to see when it took over from the weakened peseta. What we need now is real improvement in levels of competitiveness.We thought we knew what the Euro was about when we launched it in 2002. We started to spend those new coins and notes with an almost patriotic meaning for pro-Europeans. We went through the “rounding-up” stage, but anyway we were enthusiastic about the new currency and what it meant for Spain and Europe.

And the initial years of the euro brought the benefits we anticipated. Interest rates fell to the lowest ever levels. Trade increased, foreign investment reached new highs and Spain went through a golden era of growth and rapid increases in income. We should almost be forgiven for thinking that belonging to the Euro held only advantages. But we were wrong.

From the beginning, the euro was not ´pretty´ notes, but rather the final abandonment of two fundamental tools that had helped the member states balance out their economies: interest rates and exchange rates.


The World Cup in South Africa: Dream or Nightmare?

IE Focus | By Gildo Seisdedos, Professor at IE Business School

South Africa’s much-desired World Cup could turn into a nightmare if global coverage exposes the country’s weakest points.This year the World Cup will be held in Africa. For the first time in history, the world’s most coveted sporting event after the Olympics has gone to the African continent. Beyond the strong symbolism of the pictures of Nelson Mandela holding the trophy and the impressive athletic progress made by African soccer, an unanswered question remains: was it a good idea to take soccer so far away from its origins?

Events as drivers for territorial transformation
We live in times when everyone wants a piece of the action where sporting events are concerned. Why? We might have to look for the root of this growing demand in what some have called the “Barcelona effect”. An industrial city in decline, positioned rather poorly within the regional hierarchy, manages to turn itself into a world-class city for tourism and services thanks to the impact on its brand made by an ambitious urban redevelopment project that used the Olympics as a driver and a global showcase. What mechanisms lay behind this magic transformation? Big events are without a doubt an excellent opportunity to tackle a region’s lack of certain facilities or infrastructure, both of which can benefit from the impact of the magic and far-reaching legacy of a major sporting event.