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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CKGSB’s trip reflextion in IE & Spain

前两天更新了IE对长江商学院西班牙之行的文章CKGSB’s Chinese executives attending 4-day Open Program “Europe: an Inside View” @IE,今天上午Google Alert就搜到了长江对西班牙之行的文章,现摘录全文一场人文盛宴,一次心灵洗礼:2008长江商学院西班牙商务考察项目圆满结束如下
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“当南部随着弗拉明戈的激烈节奏飞舞鲜丽裙裾时,北方却终年如一日地沉睡在中世纪的冷峻严谨里——人们说,这是一个极端的国家。这里的人民骨子里的奔放热情与令人窒息的历史阴影并存,交织成浓烈复杂、撼动人心的美。这就是西班牙!”
2008年6月22日,长江商学院一行16人,带着对神秘国度的憧憬和对灿烂文明的向往,踏上了这一片洒满阳光的大地,开始了为期12天的西班牙考察项目。
身未动,心已远
2008年长江商学院西班牙考察项目从最初的设计和策划,就突破了传统的思路,将对人文元素的考察和体验贯穿到了项目始终,以更大的力度探求独特的历史、文化与社会体制为经济活动带来的机遇与挑战。考察团启程前一天,一场题为“回首哥伦布,感悟西班牙”的讲座在学员企业北京龙湖•滟澜山别墅会所举行,原北京大学西语系主任、中国西班牙、葡萄牙、拉丁美洲文学研究会会长赵振江教授娓娓道来,为学员们勾勒了西班牙两千年来的历史发展脉络,以及这种历史背景所造就的宗教、哲学、艺术等人文特性和文化瑰宝。波澜壮阔的历史宏图与绚丽夺目的艺术经典,令人身未动、心已远,对这一远在西南欧的国家产生了无限的遐思。
在西班牙首都马德里,学院与战略合作伙伴西班牙IE商学院二度携手,为学员们提供了4天的精彩课程。当代西班牙概况、西班牙与欧洲的经济结构、西班牙与拉丁美洲的经济联系等课程循序渐进地帮助学员们建立了对西班牙宏观经济和社会制度的认知与了解;西班牙企业的创新机制与国际扩张战略的课程则从企业战略和管理的实践出发,进行了理论与案例相结合的阐述。而与几位长年在西班牙生活工作的华人企业家的座谈,将本次课程部分推向高潮。学员们纷纷表示,对东方管理者眼中的欧洲商业社会的探讨具有极大的参考价值。热烈的讨论从课堂一直延续到午餐结束,仍令很多人感到意犹未尽。
企业考察——游走于传统与现代间
在企业参观方面,考察团一行走访了两家世界500强企业——西班牙电信(Telefonica)和西班牙对外银行(BBVA),以及一家西班牙特色企业罗意威(Loewe)。西电集团对未来电信技术创新的大胆描绘冲击着每个人的感官和想象力;西班牙对外银行坚守企业战略稳步推进市场的坚韧精神博得全体学员的敬重;而罗意威展室里历经百年仍旧精致入时的皮具又将所有人带入了一个传统与现代完美结合的意境。
今年项目精心策划的人文考察环节,将学员们带往世界文化遗产千年古都托雷多,并深入西班牙历史与文化发源地安达卢西亚大区,访问科尔多瓦、塞维利亚和格拉纳达三大主要城市。学员们时时处处深切感受到多种人类文明冲撞与融合所造就的震撼人心的美……在全球化的今天,我们如何能做到以史为鉴,在兼收并蓄中激发自身的活力?相信这是每一个在科尔多瓦主教堂里、在阿尔汉布拉宫内发出惊叹呼声的人发自内心更深处的感叹。
今年西班牙考察项目的成员来自EMBA首期班开始的不同班级。一路从首都马德里行进到蔚蓝的地中海岸,团队成员之间建立了深厚的感情。大家抛开了世俗的身份,包容了个性的差异,一起在佛拉明戈舞步中挥洒汗水,共同在欧洲杯决赛的画面前振臂欢呼。
回顾12天的短暂行程,众多学员表示,最大的收获来自于心灵的释放,和对人生价值的重新思索。“长江商学院的国际商务考察项目是一个很好的载体和平台,是长江独有的特色。我要每年至少参加一个这样的项目,一直在此平台上持续地学习下去。”一位七期学员在考察结束前,道出了大家共同的心声。
相关报道:
西班牙主要经济报刊《Expansion》报道
这份西班牙主要经济刊物在显著位置并以较大篇幅,分别介绍了长江商学院与西班牙IE商学院的合作项目,以及长江商学院本次商务考察行程中部分长江学员的心得,并配发了学员合影照片。
西班牙IE商学院中文博客
西班牙IE商学院作为西语地区的知名商学院之一,也在“中文潮”中开辟了中文博客。这一方面体现了西班牙对于中国这个新兴市场的重视程度,同时也可视为中西方交流的窗口与平台。对于长江商学院此次西班牙商务考察之行,中文博客以快速、便捷的特点对活动图文并茂的进行了回顾与总结。

Supply Chain Management: a trip to China

下面是教授Oswaldo Lorenzo对目前全球供应链话题 (Supply Chain Management) 的一个概述。他同时也是IE商学院Executive Master in Global Supply Chains的管理项目负责人,也可以参看该项目的Blog of Executive Master in Global Supply Chains 获得更深认识。 本月11日他受西班牙驻中国商会、英国和意大利驻中国使馆的邀请,将在广州对该领域内关键公司和商务人士作此话题的讲座。此次中国行,他还应全国精神文明、物质文明典型城市,拥有目前中国最大内陆港口的江南水乡张家港市政府及保税区的盛情相邀,为当地市政官员和工业园区作供应链管理的短期培训。 概述如下:Supply Chain Management (SCM) is increasingly seen as a strategic weapon for global companies. Managers are now using the SCM approach to run their businesses based on an integrative model rather than from the perspective…

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