Some friends back home make fun of the way I frequently divide things into fifths: probabilities, progress, alcoholic beverages . . . anything. Well today my pro-fifthism is justified as we are 40% done with our Mod I final exams. LPO went well yesterday as we analyzed a very interesting case about leading change in uncertain times. Today Accounting went . . . less well . . . but I was impressed during my studying by how much I had picked up in class. Stewart has managed to teach me a thing or two whether he likes it or not!
To help me tune out all the clackity-clack of laptops and calculators during the exams I have been listening to Mozart on my mp3 player. As Maury, my LPO professor, is a pianist, I listened to piano concerti (especially 21 and 23) and sonatas (especially 11 and 16) during the LPO exam. During Accounting I played operatic overtures. Given how much better I think (hope!) the LPO exam went, I think I’ll return to the piano tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s exam is Marketing. We have already received the case on which the exam will be based and most study groups are here in the Dungeons working feverishly to dissect it. Then tomorrow we will individually present our analyses and formulate marketing plans. I’m sad that marketing is coming to an end; it was an interesting class about everything from market research to branding to comunication and distribution of products. We learned much more methodical approaches to answering marketing questions (and that most business questions have at least some marketing relevance) than I’m used to in my “put out the fire” and “if the shoe fits, wear it” software startup experience. Indeed, marketing has turned out to be much more than just “tra la la.”
What we have learned is just the tip of the marketing iceberg. IMD’s objective isn’t to train marketers; it’s to train general managers to be familiar enough with marketing concepts to manage marketers well. I’m embarrassed and disappointed that my group received a barely passing grade–the lowest grade in the class–on our Marketing Plan, the key group project of the Marketing curriculum. However, I’m not here because I have all the answers; I’m here to learn and a key part of learning is failure. Tomorrow I will deliver a much better marketing plan during our exam because I have learned from the failure of our group project. More than just enhancing my grade, hopefully this will help Martin understand that he has succeeded as a professor as well. We got him a bottle of champagne for the last day of class, but I think he will feel more rewarded by our high performance. I hope so at least, as high performance is what I intend to deliver.