I am not a morning person, but I recently eagerly woke up at 3:45 a.m. to attend a class discussion with my DBA and PhD classmates. Under the direction of Dr. César Baena, I recently completed the Dynamic Strategic Management course which explores the challenges and analyses required for businesses to remain competitive and responsive in their ever-changing environments.
As part of our coursework, my classmates and I were able to come together as a group to ask questions and discuss the course materials and our research. Although unusual for an online course, attending an early morning wake-up call was a welcome interaction to spend time with my classmates in time zones across the globe due to the rich and diverse perspectives they bring to the course materials.
You know how they say art imitates life? Well, the timeliness of ISM’s academic course offerings certainly imitates work. More often than not, I find myself consuming knowledge from the rich course discussion and materials then find myself applying and practicing those lessons at work the very next day. Although my professional career has almost reached the twenty-year mark, I find that the contemporary and classical course offerings both reinforce my knowledge and prepare me to tackle the challenges that our team and organization face on a daily basis.
As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 rolls in with new expectations and opportunities, many people mark the start of the new year by setting personal and professional goals. Some people set health-related or physical challenges, like losing weight or running a marathon. Others set out to spend more time with friends and family, reduce time on social media, or dedicate additional time to giving back to their communities. Unfortunately, a recent survey indicated that only 9% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. In many cases, this is because they did not set realistic goals and expectations. Even though it is routine to set milestones for business goals, quarterly checkpoints and often measure for success along the way, we do not adopt the same practice for our own personal goals.
The global impact of nonprofit organizations is immense and immeasurable. Without the work of nonprofit organizations providing health and social services, advocating for the rights of the voiceless and championing environmental causes, to name a few, our world would be a far worse place than it is today. In addition to the important social roles they play, nonprofit organizations are also powerful contributors to the economy. Within the United States, the nonprofit sector raised $390 billion in 20161, and the number of people employed by the sector comprised more than 10% of the total U.S. workforce2.
The aspect of the classroom in DBA/PhD seminars influences the intellectual personality, productivity, and strength of all the participants. Given the digitization and globalization age, diversity of age, experience, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, and many other functional as well as physical attributes contribute to the beauty and richness of the environment for both learning and research. In fact, the ISM Paris doctoral seminars are aimed at sharpening the knowledge of the participants in terms of their research and area of specialty. Therefore, a diverse classroom has immense contribution to the needed problem solving, innovation, and creativity in research.
I had planned to write something more a bit earlier in the summer, but I'm happy I delayed long enough to have attended the ISM NY summer reception before "putting pen to paper." For me this casual get-together in a bar near Baruch College was "right on time" and amazing!
I am not as nervous about re-starting formal education this time as I was when I went for a Masters (that time also after a period away from school). I'm comfortable about doing the work. I've been a little unsettled, however, about the nature of the work itself. The MBA coursework was like college (or high school), which included a lot of reading, classes held in classrooms and points for class participation. I knew what I was walking into because I had been there before. The independent study and research components sounds interesting, but are somewhat intimidating. Also, I majored in Engineering and then in Finance. The longest papers I ever had to write (in ancillary courses, by the way, not my major) were 10 pages, double-spaced (large font). As I think about the requirements of the ISM courses, and the required dissertation at the end, a cold sweat makes me start to miss all those problem sets "back in the day."
So here we are – back from Shanghai and a 2-week unforgettable stay in the city that never stops. First timer in China, it was quite an experience that the promise "study with ISM in the economic and business center of China" offered us to live...
As such the city of Shanghai can best be summarized as per Pr Yuann reminder; "the good news about Shanghai is that there are no rush hours. The bad news about Shanghai is that there are no rush hours..." It is indeed always rushing, honking (even at 02.00 am, trust me), lane jockeying, with electrical motorcycles and bikes continuously driving upstream (lightless, "noiseless" and on the sidewalks, that is), with whistling traffic officers only adding to the confusion (if anything else). A web of streets, bridges, upper, lower, wider lanes, and an insatiable need for driving flat out, if only to the next traffic light. So, so much for the very first impression one can get, when landing in the 5th largest city of the world.
My name is Anthony Brown, but most people call me Tony and most of the people I’ve gone to school with since high school have called me T. I grew up in a section of New York City called Harlem, my four younger brothers and I were orphans raised by our Aunt, and I was lucky enough to win scholarships to a private school and then later to Harvard and Stanford, where I got my MBA. I’ve been fortunate to have led an interesting life. When comparing notes on goals and dreams back in high school, I offered up a list of almost completely unrelated occupations against my friends’ goals to be doctors or lawyers. Their derisive attempt to change my nickname to “Renaissance Man” failed, and I became that much more determined to lead a life of many different roles and occupations. Somewhere in college I determined that the right title for these unfocused things that I wanted to be was “Businessman,” and since then I’ve been a manufacturing guy, a currency and derivatives trader, a management consultant and a headhunter. I’ve worked in healthcare, high tech (and extremely low tech), financial services and not-for-profit. I’ve worked with all kinds of people. And I’ve had a great deal of fun.