Last weekend was a wonderful trip to Boston, reconnecting with friends, classmates, colleagues, and professors!
I flew up Thursday night and spent Friday in business meetings downtown + catching up with a dear friend / former colleague in Somerville. Lacking a car was no problem because Boston has a very robust public transportation system.
Saturday I turned my attention to IMD, preparing and helping to set up for our opening dinner. We chose this particular weekend because it coincided with the opening weekend of the Academy Of Management‘s annual conference. I came up with the idea of hosting an IMD all-continent event last year when I presented at the AOM’s annual conference and realized that ~1/3 of IMD’s faculty were there as well. It is not often that we have so many IMD professors together in the US, so it seemed worth capitalizing on!
In all of North America we have the same number of alumni as there are in Switzerland – but we’re obviously much more spread out here! We weren’t certain how many people we could motivate to travel hundreds or thousands of miles for such an event but it was worth a try.
We were very pleased with the results: 60+ IMD alumni joined us at the opening dinner at The Top of the Hub, coming from the US, Canada, Mexico – and even some from Europe and Asia! Add to that number 12 IMD professors and some other honored guests and we had a nice group!
Dinner was very nice and a great chance to meet other IMD alumni in this part of the world. My class (2008) tied with 1982 for the most alumni in attendance (3) and it was fun reconnecting with my former classmates. Years go by but relationships pick up right where they left off! We shut down the restaurant, stopped in a bar for some Olympics watching, and then turned in way too late.
Sunday morning began very early. We had lined up seven excellent IMD faculty presentations at the Harvard Club of Boston so we needed plenty of time to squeeze them all in:
IMD President Dominique Turpin – Introduction to the day’s program
Professor Margaret Cording – Identifying, Valuing & Capturing Strategic Synergies
Professor Bala Chakravarthy – A New Type of Country Manager for Winning in Emerging Markets
Professor Martha Maznevski – Developing Responsible Leaders Through Action Learning
Professor Michael Watkins – Moving Up: The Seven Seismic Shifts
Professor George Kohlrieser – Care to Dare: Secure Base Leadership in Action
Professor Maury Peiperl – What Makes a Global Leader Global?
Professor Suzanne de Janasz – Beyond Juggling: Achieving a Sustainable Work-Life Balance
It was a long day but so packed full of great discussion and learning. It was like a shot in the arm, a reminder of what it was like to be at IMD, when every day covered so much ground that you felt almost like a completely new person by the end of it. As someone dedicated to constant self improvement I was grateful for such a “dense” opportunity to learn and grow. And besides, exhausted as we were by the end of it, several of us still found the energy reserves to go out for drinks and plenty of seafood afterward!
It was an excellent weekend and I hope we can build on the success to bring more IMD activity to North America.