My name is Mark Thomas and I suppose you could call me the international guy at Grenoble EM, France. I was born in Wales, grew up in England. In 1991 I came to France for 3 months and 20 years on I am still on holiday.
Today, I am one of the lucky people that gets to travel to different parts of the world to set up various projects. The job is terrible for your health; long hours, lack of sleep, jetlag, bad eating habits etc. So, would I give it up? Not for the world itself! The people you meet in the job are so interesting and it more than makes up for all the down sides. And you never, I mean NEVER, stop learning.
Back in Grenoble I teach strategy. And when I’m not doing all that I enjoy being back at home. I have been a fervent supporter of Welsh rugby for years, through the ups and downs (and there have been a lot of downs!)
I am a little skeptical of the crazes that go with new technologies (Facebook, Twitter etc.) and that includes blogs. So let’s begin by giving this blog a fixed one year term. We’ll see if it attracts enough interest to continue it from May 1st 2012.
Writing this blog is a lot of fun, but it would be far harder to do without the help of a few people. Many people give me ideas during informal discussion and I am very grateful to them. However, I would like to thank a few people in particular.
Regis Faubet who set the blog up for me and does most of the technical stuff. Regis devotes a lot of time to this despite having being extremely busy with the other tasks in his job. And he is ALWAYS positive and eager to help.
Mary Zaccai Parrinello has been a great help during my time at Grenoble in giving feedback and ideas about the type of things to write as well as the style. Mary is as brilliant as she is modest.
Joelle Silvestre who often proof reads my articles. Joelle has a fantastic eye for detail and is one of my greatest critics (in the positive sense of the word!)
Chris Wyatt, an exchange student from Salisbury University, Maryland , who made a big contribution to the layout of the blog during the fall of 2011.
Lukas Vavra, who has done all the layout work on my blog as well as some of the research since the summer of 2012. Lukas is a highly dedicated person and his contribution to my blog has been huge. I could not have published nearly as much as I have in the past few months without his very valuable help.
Kai Peters, Peter Lorange and Patrick Mazzariol for having made excellent contributions to my blog.
Liesl Kloosterman for calling me up every now and then to tell me off for leaving in typing errors!
And finally, my thanks to you of course for taking the time to read it and in especially those people who have made comments which have all been very interesting.
Sometimes I am asked for my more formal biography. Here it is:
Originally an economist, he began his career in the banking and insurance industry in the United Kingdom. He has worked in higher education in France for the past 20 years as course director, director of business school programs and director of international affairs. He has worked extensively on a variety of international projects in some 40 countries. Among his current duties, he is currently leading an international recruitment project for 8 French business schools working in 5 continents.
He has worked for the regional council of the Rhône-Alpes Region, France as President of the International Commission for the Alliance of the 34 Grandes Ecoles for the region, AGERA.
He is professor of Strategic Management and has done research on the retailing and transport industry. He has also published articles on areas such as intercultural management and the future of education as well as the impact of accreditation. He has written for both EMFD (Global Focus) and AACSB (BizEd), the Financial Times, The Economist, Commerce in France, Les Echos etc. He has presented at many conferences for EFMD, AACSB, CIBER and CAMOT. He is currently Chair of the AACSB Associate Deans Affinity Group.
He has completed 2 Masters Degrees in France (one in Strategic Management and one in Linguistics) and is currently writing his PhD in Management Development. His research deals with the resource based view of management development and looks specifically at the transfer of learning within executive education.