Zhijian CuiProfessor Zhijian Cui will be travelling through Asia in June to talk about “How to reinvent your company”. He will address questions like: Do companies lose their innovation drive? Why are start-ups more innovative than multinational companies? Can innovation be structured and institutionalized?

Cui’s highlights the importance of innovating business models and developing a framework on guiding firms on how to innovate their business model from both the demand and supply side. Through comparing several successful and non-successful business stories, you will learn about several key roadmaps of business model innovation, the recreation or reinvention of an existing business.

Have a look and register at our IE Event Page for the details of the events in Taipei (June 4), Hong Kong, (June 5), Shanghai (June 6) and Beijing (June 8). In the meanwhile, enjoy the short interview to know him better:

How did you come to IE?

I joined IE as a full-time faculty in 2011 right after the graduation from INSEAD. Before that, I visited Madrid as a tourist for several times and was quite impressed by the city. I know that I will like this city as well as the life in Spain. When I went to the academic job market at the end of 2010, IE naturally became one of the top choices on my list. Clearly, IE Business School is a great school with high international reputation and a promising environment providing opportunities for faculties. Therefore, I declined several offers from other schools and decided to join IE.

What is your background?

I was an engineering student before. In 1995, I left my hometown and went to Tsinghua University in Beijing. After spending five years in Tsinghua, I joined Siemens and became an engineer. In 2001, I went to France and got my first Master in Management degree from Euromed Marseille School of Management. Then, I spent four year in US, including one-year study at Pepperdine University to get an MBA degree and three-year full-time work as a plant manager supervising 300 workers in California. In 206, I returned to France and continued my study for PhD. After five years full-time study, I graduated from INSEAD with PhD in Operations Management in 2011.

Why are you so passionate about what you teach?

At this moment, I am offering several courses at IE Business School, including Operations and Supply Chain Management core course, Strategic New Product Development elective for MBA and Master of Management programs, as well as Principals of Operations Management for PhD program. I am quite passionate about the topics I am teaching due to two reasons. First, as an academia, I believe that the topics of Operations Management and New Product Development are extremely important for the success of a business and are probably one of the foundations of all know-how in business school. Operations Management helps firms achieve efficiency and reduce cost, while New Product Development helps firm distinguish it from the competitors. I strongly believe that this knowledge will bring value for the business. Second, as a former practitioner, I was excited to see how change could truly happen in a business by implementing the knowledge of Operations Management. I am passionate about the implacability of everything I teach in classroom and the possibility to do good things for the business and the society.

What do you learn from IE students?

IE students come from different countries with quite different background. From them, I on one hand get a lot of specific managerial examples from different industries. This will for sure enrich my teaching and research materials. On the other hand, I, as a faculty, see and experience the challenge of managing a highly international, diverse pool of people. By talking with them, I learn how to communicate with different type of people.

Professor Cui Zhijian is also featured on The Other Side, a blog about IE faculty.