I’m sorry to all my readers for taking so long to post an update. The last week has been very hectic for me between finishing school, career search, and preparing for the post-IMD tansition. Let me bring you up to speed in a few areas:
Last week we finished our second and final week of electives. Global Strategy changed somewhat as we moved to professor (and IMD President) John Wells, who focused on the need for strategic agility for long-term success. IAGD continued to be emotionally draining but we touched on some really significant–if painful–issues in group dynamics. Managing Change was replaced with Managing Information, taught by Don Marchand, who drove home the importance of focusing on people and information, not just on technology.
Electives really brought it all together for me. The classes presented many similar initiatives through different lenses. For example, to remain strategically agile (Global Strategy), it is critical to foster information sharing within your organization. Information sharing is facilitated by incentives and systems (Managing Information). Changing incentives and deploying information systems require major change management (Managing Change) initiatives. For change management initiatives to succeed, it is helpful to know what is really going on within your senior leadership team (IAGD).
The electives were excellent and really helped me finish on the right note. Another factor contributing to my happiness was a long, belated Thanksgiving dinner at my professor’s house in Lutry. Corey was our faculty sponsor for the ICP and invited the whole team (+ guests) to his house overlooking the lake. He cooked for us, shared wine from his awesome cellar, and facilitated 6+ hours of merrymaking as the sun slowly set over the mountains. Best of all, we also got to play with his 2-year-old dog, who was most excited to to have visitors. She left so much black hai on my clothes that I was reminded of the infinite supply of white hair once provided by Ivan the Terrible, Nick’s Samoyed. I will miss Corey and my ICP team a great deal but this was an excellent way to begin the process of saying goodbye.
Another reason that dinner at Corey’s place was so nice was that I have a strong, positive association with Thanksgiving. I usually spend it with my relatives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which I really missed this year. It is always wonderful to see them, catch up, and get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. When I’m in Hot Springs, I’m so relaxed that I actually pull myself away from my computer and go to the movie theater.
In fact, it was in Hot Springs that I first saw Harry Potter and became hooked. Speaking of which, I finished the Half-Blood Prince and I am now making my way through the final book, the Deathly Hallows. IMD and Lausanne will always stand out to me not only as the place where I did my MBA, met life-long friends, etc., but also as the place where I [finally] read all the Harry Potter books.
While I still have several opportunities in the pipeline, my only firm offer is with Poken here in Lausanne. It is a great opportunity with a company that has lots of potential. In that it is a start up, there is none of this “take your time, find yourself, and start in March” nonsense; if I accept with them I will start Dec. 8th!!! So, in addition to my other preparations right now, I am also soul searching and advancing my other opportunities to see, by the end of this week, if this is what I really want to do.
Graduation is upon us! Our committee has put together a black-tie ball following our ceremony at Beau Rivage Palace, to which I am really looking forward. After that it’s goodbye, which obviously encompasses some very mixed emotions: jubilation at finishing, excitement about next steps, and sadness at leaving a great year behind. This was the subject of an entire day of classes yesterday: how to say goodbye and move on in a healthy way. We’ll see if I can put into practice tomorrow.