Electives and Beethoven

The first week of electives is halfway done and what a ride it has been. We are definitely back in “class” mode: reading cases late into the night, showing up on time to class, and throwing ourselves back into heated discussions. Well, some of us are, at least. Some, on the other hand, are checked out, arriving at class late and unprepared; I feel like only a subset of us have successfully re-engaged.

I try not to be resentful of the “slackers” but it slips out sometimes with snide remarks. Perhaps I’m the stupid one, clinging religiously to school rules and assignments while I neglect my career search. However, my intention in coming to IMD was to learn, not to “get a job.” I’ll be OK with continuing my career search into 2009 if it means I can focus more on the few weeks of learning opportunities we have left here.
And speaking of which, our classes have been really excellent so far. Global Strategy is taught by IMD newcomer Cyril Bouquet who will later be joined by IMD president John Wells. We have visited some interesting topics so far: how to choose the right internationalization strategy and how to build the best cross-border consensus in international M&A.
Managing Change has also been great. The first half of this course was taught by Anand Narasimhan, who used many movie clips to help illustrate techniques for creating a sense of urgency, building a guiding team, and defining an inspiring vision. Old favorite Maury Peiperl (whom we first met in Leading People in Organizations) is back now to finish up the course and focus on implementation. 
He began today’s class, as he did in LPO, with a musical piece that he was able to tie into today’s class objectives. I recognized it as I walked in as Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D–such a tour de force and one of my favorite classical musical works of all time.
A performance by Leonidas Kavakos with the Houston Symphony Orchestra first impressed upon me the incredible difference between classical music on CD and in the concert hall. The intensity of the piece was communicated not just by the sound waves coming from the 1692 “Falmouth” Stradivarius he plays, but also his body movements, breathing, and facial expressions. It was amazing.
Perhaps someday we too will be virtuosi of business–I’m working on it!

Published by Bryan Guido Hassin

These are the musings of a global cleantech entrepreneur. This blog began as a way to document my experience during the IMD MBA in Switzerland and now is the place where I publish eclectic thoughts on business, politics, fitness, entertainment, travel, wine, sports, and . . . whatever else is top of mind.

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