Monthly Archives: October 2012

BOOK REVIEW: “Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?” by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. (2003)

IBM so dominated the computing industry from the 1950s onwards that by 1980 the US government decided to set up antitrust commission to decide if it had too much power. By the time the commission gave in its report, IBM was heading towards bankruptcy. The man who saved them from that fate was Louis V. Gerstner and this book explains how he brought about a massive cultural transformation.

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Snow Patrol, Irrational decisions and Studying in Grenoble

October and it is already snowing in Grenoble! 

This weekend there were some 20 cms  (8 in.) of snow in Grenoble. In October! This is almost unheard of though you won’t hear those in the skiing industry complaining. This may also be good news for international students coming here soon on a study abroad program. In fact, just this week we finished the recruitment process for next semester.

Back in February I did a survey of international students   to see of the prospect of doing some skiing was important in choosing to study in Grenoble. Nearly 50% of them said that is was very important. Is this a rational decision for future managers to make? Continue reading

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BOOK REVIEW: “Jack: What I’ve Learned Leading a Great Company and Great People” by Jack Welch & John A. Byrne (2003)

No one would ever accuse Jack Welch of being short on ego. As leader General Electric for 21 years he imposed his style as one of the most charismatic business leaders of the 20th Century. He was known as being one of the world’s toughest bosses, and was dubbed Neutron Jack for his capacity to get straight to the point. Fortune magazine named him “The Manager of the Century.”

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STUDY ABROAD / INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE : China, Guangzhou

Foucauld Watine, a graduate management student from Grenoble EM, talks about his experiences at Sun Yat-Sen Business School.

If you can seize the opportunity of an exchange program – do it! I experienced Guangzhou but I am not sure everybody enjoys this city. I am far from saying it’s beautiful, no, but it’s highly instructive. Guangdong Capital, located on the shores of the Pearl River delta, is the cradle of world´ manufacturing. Therefore this place grabs attention of anybody who wants to benefit from its infinite supply capacities.  The fascinatingly complex Chinese culture is mixed with Cantonese culture but it doesn’t get the things more difficult than anywhere else in China – it hardly can!

  
Photos and text by Foucauld Watine
  
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BOOK REVIEW: Amazon “One Click” by Richard L. Brandt (2012)

This book is an interesting and impartial look at the development of Amazon. Unfortunately, it gets off to a terrible start. Any 9th Grader will have heard a hundred times that a good essay begins with a clear and dynamic start and finishes with a punchy conclusion. What a pity that Mr. Brandt seems to have forgotten this advice. The book is actually a very enjoyable read with a lot of information about Amazon. It is you really want to have a good impression of it, you should skip the first and last chapters.

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STUDY ABROAD / INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE : USA, Potsdam

Adeline Benoit, a graduate management student from Grenoble EM, talks about her experiences at Clarkson University.

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Being a student at the American University? An amazing experience! Living in the campus with roomates from other countries or seeing squirrels in the graveyards, taking courses of teachers who teach you to think and express yourself properly, you will simply live the experience of your life that makes you grow up.

  

Photos and text by Adeline Benoit

  
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STUDY ABROAD / INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE : United Kingdom, Birmingham

Fiona Devaux, a graduate management student from Grenoble EM, talks about her experience at University of Birmingham.

As the second city of England, Birmingham has come a long way from the industrial era! After numerous refurbishment investments, the city has become dynamic and young.

 
Photos and text by Fiona Devaux

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BOOK REVIEW: “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell (2007)

The subtitle to this book is “The Power of Thinking without Thinking.” Having read it, you have to wonder just how much thinking really went in to putting the thing together.

This is the worst type of “business” book; a collection (jumble) of stories and anecdotes that try to pass themselves off as having some foundation in science.  

Read it, blink and you will have already forgotten the contents.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Leading in Turbulent Times” by Peter Lorange (2010)

Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, has said that anyone could have run the corporation in the 1990s. Conditions were so favorable that “a dog could have run GE” he claims. Not very flattering for his predecessor, Jack Welch!

Still, leadership is certainly easier when the economic outlook is good. The real test is during an economic downturn and given the difficult past 5 years books of this sort are more than welcome.

Peter Lorange has had one of the most illustrious careers in academia. Having begun his career teaching at MIT Sloan School of Management and Wharton, he then went on to become President of BI, Oslo and then IMD, Lausanne. He retired from this last position in 2009 but instead of dedicating his time to golf he bought the GSBA, Zurich and renamed it the Lorange Institute of Business. You might conclude that he has quite a bit to say on leadership and you would be right. This is an excellent book.

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STUDY ABROAD / INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE : Denmark, Copenhagen

Natacha Durand, a graduate management student from Grenoble EM, talks about her experiences at Copenhagen Business School.

  

What could I say to sum up the 6 months I have spent in Copenhagen? Maybe I should not because this experience needs to be entirely narrated. Even better, lived.

Discovering Copenhagen and the Danes were an everyday surprise. Even in the cold and short days of winter, I could find some warmth, around a Carlsberg with friends experiencing the Danish concept of “hygge”. The “hygge” could be described as well as coziness inside your place and as spending a good time with people you care about around a cup of coffee or a meal. In Copenhagen, the hygge is everywhere: at CBS’s cafeteria, in the dorms, in the metro, in the malls, in the cafés, in the night parties of the Kødbyen… Many of my best memories are made with the bike-arounds, getting lost, enjoying the many parks and waterfronts, discovering new places and adoring this amazing Nordic capital.

All of it make me say: “I hygge Denmark”!

  
Photos and text by Natacha Durand 

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