Jun 27 2014

One of the best company visits (at least for me)

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On the very second module (December 2012), we read as an assignment a Harvard Business case about Bloomberg´s new strategies as well as developing sutainability indicators for their clients. After reading the case, one of our classmates (Nick M.) that works there, arranged a visit to Bloomberg.Besides the incredible offices they have, I have never experienced in the same lecture, theory combined with a company visit as well as having a skype conference with one of the managers that was the main character in the case and was based at that time in NY. Knowing the facts of a case, never felt so useful as it was, while beeing at the company and listening to one of the persons that develop the product mentioned. That was an amazing learning experience and an AHA moment for me!

Posted by: Posted on by Carolina Ibarra

Jun 3 2014

The unbearable lightness of financial management

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OK I’m being a little existential today.  Blame the long summer days and the fact that as of Sunday we’ve officially finished our first year.  The exam deluge is slowing (not stopping, this is LSE mind you…) and I’ve had a bit of time to ruminate before our Singapore module.

In our last module, financial management was taught in its entirety, and as a take home project we were asked to conduct a series of valuations of entertainment companies and make assessments of their present value and relative value to each other (in prep for a pending merger).

So here’s where the existentialist in me comes in – if accounting is the study of what has happened, then FM is the study of what might be – at a particular unknowable moment in the future…sort of like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle – we know the atoms are there, we just don’t know where they are, and we never will…the act of guessing is therefore the art and science of valuation.

If anyone can summarise this activity as an esoteric job description suitable for printing, send in your replies below.  Winners announced in the next blog entry.

Happy summer.

 

Ben Abbate

About Ben Abbate

I'm a dual national of the US and UK and a global client director at a large technology research organisation. I'm passionate about globalisation and the freedom of movement of people and things around the world. I'm in the 2015 cohort of the Executive Global MiM programme.

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May 19 2014

No pain, no gain

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Learning can sometimes be painful. Imagine surviving a long week at work and getting ready to relax on Friday – only to realize you have a take-home exam to submit by Sunday night.  Why should you put yourself through this sort of pain?  Because worthwhile challenges — climbing a mountain, running a marathon, studying for a Masters degree — cannot be achieved without some degree of pain.  If it were painless, then everyone would do it and it would lose its value.

But learning can also be stimulating, eye-opening, and even fun.  Writing an essay on a topic that interests you can be engaging and enlightening.  The subjects we teach are all applicable to work and organizational life, which means you are likely to have an “aha!” moment at some point – for example, studying motivation theory and suddenly understanding why that incentive scheme you implemented last year did not work.

And the classroom modules in London, Singapore, and Istanbul are not only about learning. They are also an opportunity to bond with your classmates, get to know the instructors, and explore the city.

So while it is true that you must endure some pain in order to gain valuable new insights and knowledge, it is also true that the journey is often full of friendship, fun, and free food.

I have a blog on the Harvard Business Review if you would like to find out more about my work: http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/03/asking-whether-leaders-are-born-or-made-is-the-wrong-question/

Connson Locke

About Connson Locke

Dr. Connson Chou Locke is a leadership researcher, teacher, consultant and coach, specializing in leadership development, culture, and change. She is Assistant Professor of Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter @connsonlocke.

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May 13 2014

Turkey and Foreign Direct Investment lecture

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We had Saul Estrin as the main teacher for our FDI lecture as well as guest speakers that have worked and know a great deal about China and Turkey. In addition, we had this subject during our Istanbul module which represented a great opportunity of being in the country where FDI is happening at the same time of political and social changes that greatly influence the countries economy, exports, consumption and relationship with their trade partners and neighbors. Being with my classmates in Turkey will definitely be one of the best and  unforgettable experiences of my life.

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May 10 2014

On Reading the News

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One of the most immediately rewarding side effects of my degree program at LSE is the way it has enhanced my daily reading of the news. Business and political journalism is filled with references to material we have covered in our course work. I constantly find myself spotting subtext or asking questions which never would have occurred to me before. Suddenly headlines about a stock split at Apple, or inflation in China, or the best way to divide up rent among roommates carry new interest. I read them with a far more critical eye and with a much clearer idea of their implications than I did before I began this program.

This almost daily experience is an excellent reminder that the value of this degree program goes far beyond the credential it leads to in the end. Perhaps even more valuable is the insight it gives you into the forces behind the events that drive everyday life.

Have any of you had this experience? Share the links below!

Jed Crews

About Jed Crews

From the United States, living in Poland, studying in London, visiting everywhere else as quickly as I can. I love food, dogs, baseball, and most of all my wife, Arlene. I am a part-time writer, a full-time reader, and a dismal but earnest musician. I am fascinated by the forces that shape the world. I study politics, religion, economics, business, and defense and all the ways they intersect and overlap each other.

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May 5 2014

Student Life

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Its difficult to say when your student life starts or ends. I remember having to do homework, giving exams or having to memorize stuff since forever.

It doesn’t seem to matter that I was working for 8 years before heading back to LSE for the MSc, I found myself back in the classroom – and it felt like I had never left.

While learning is a lifelong journey, one does end up having a few “aha” moments in course of the daily chores. I can only hope that we continue to find joy in learning throughout our lives so that we can call ourselves wiser instead of older without too much guilt.

Anubhav Jain

About Anubhav Jain

LSE Global Masters in Management 2014 Bsc in Management - Purdue University 2005 Currently working at Silverglades Group - Director (Real Estate Development - India)

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May 4 2014

Cognitive bias (it’s not me, it’s me)

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What a great day I had on Friday speaking with senior sales leaders at LinkedIn about the perils and pitfalls of cognitive bias…the deck is on prezzie here.

Two of the most common to those of us who carry sales targets are control bias and conjunction fallacy.  The former illustrates that execs. who believe they are more in control of events that is logically true are in fact manifestly less successful than their peers (see Paul Willman’s gamified study of traders reaction to indices) whilst the latter shows how easily we can be influenced to miss-conjoin information if it’s framed deliberately to confuse (google Linda the bank teller).

Identifying and understanding common cognitive biases not only improves performance, but demystifies the often murky corporate decision making process (hint: it’s not that rational).

Oh and we played a round of Golden Balls.

Ben Abbate

About Ben Abbate

I'm a dual national of the US and UK and a global client director at a large technology research organisation. I'm passionate about globalisation and the freedom of movement of people and things around the world. I'm in the 2015 cohort of the Executive Global MiM programme.

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Apr 6 2014

MTV predicts the future of banking?

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Late last year Viacom’s Scratch published the results of a 3 year study on the habits of millennials…the aggregated survey is particularly damning for an already unloved industry – retail banking.  If we take the predicts at face value – the MDI – that’s the Millennial Disruption Index to you and me – suggests change and fragmentation on the horizon.

Always worried about causation and correlation (like any good LSE student), I tiptoed into FinTech this week determined to try to understand the what behind the revolution.  FinTech hosted a great panel called ‘It’s the Technology, Stupid’ – a self-described forum to bypass Bitcoin and look at the disruptive power of the underlying technology – the Blockchain (think giant anonymous digital ledger).

I emerged a few hours later dizzy with thoughts of ‘trust-less’ transactions but still left wondering – does Blockchain + MDI equal a brave new world of distributive banking, or will the rage fade into a reshuffle of the usual suspects – new services and the same old transaction rents?  If it were only so simple, I’d have my dissertation topic.

Ben Abbate

About Ben Abbate

I'm a dual national of the US and UK and a global client director at a large technology research organisation. I'm passionate about globalisation and the freedom of movement of people and things around the world. I'm in the 2015 cohort of the Executive Global MiM programme.

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Mar 20 2014

Dissertation: an opportunity to explore new business

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Elaborating a dissertation takes time, persistence and many hours of research, interviews and editing. More than an academic requirement that enables the possibility to increase my writing and research skills, the dissertation meant to me the opportunity to study and understand ecotourism ventures in Colombia, get to know  the ventures managers and authorities of this industry,  and create my own business plan for the next years.

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Mar 14 2014

What I’ve Learned (So Far)

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I was very excited to be invited to write for this blog. As this is my first post, I think it would be fruitful to take a look back at my first eight months in this program and reflect on what I have learned. I won’t focus on what I have learned in the classroom. That would take too long. Instead, I’ll focus on a few things I have learned outside the classroom. This is in no way an exhaustive list and is presented in no particular order of importance. Without further comment, here are three things I have learned outside the classroom since I started EGMiM.

1) WhatsApp is the universal language.

EGMiM brings together a very diverse group of people. After my first module last July I suddenly found that I knew people all over the world. I liked these people and really wanted to keep in touch with them in between modules. For a lesser group of managers this might have presented a challenge. It honestly sounds like the kind of problem we might be asked to write about in an Organizational Behavior essay. I imagine the prompt reading something like this:

 “Propose a strategy for maintaining effective communication between a culturally and ethnically diverse team of geographically dispersed individuals while preserving group identity and team spirit. Please limit your discussion to application of the assigned readings. We are not interested in your personal opinions.”

As it turns out, the solution is WhatsApp. I have enjoyed our class WhatsApp group tremendously. It has helped us keep each other informed about program-related information, but it has also become a great way for us to get to know each other better. We have shared pictures and jokes and occasionally discussed serious applications of our studies. There always seems to be something going on on WhatsApp. It is always a holiday somewhere. Someone is always awake. When I take a step back and think about it, it really is amazing how easily and fruitfully we have all kept in touch with each other. That’s just my personal opinion; luckily this essay isn’t graded.

2) Everyone is a “high type consumer” at the George.

The biggest revelation during our December module was that the George IV pub accepts sQuid loyalty points as a form of payment. It is amazing how much our propensity to consume went up when we realized that we had one week to spend 80 Pounds Sterling worth of loyalty points. Suddenly we were all fighting over who got to buy the next round. This market has some interesting characteristics. Here are a few that immediately come to mind:

·         * Our Marginal Propensity to Consume is 1 for sQuid points and something less than 1 but greater than 0 for actual money.

·         * Our demand for draft beer (or tea, in some cases) is completely inelastic up to the point where our sQuid points are depleted, at which point it becomes somewhat more price sensitive. The elasticity of demand at that point is a function of the number of rounds already consumed.

·         * Until our sQuid points are depleted, demand for draft beer (or tea) increases in inverse proportion to the number of days left in the module.

       I was unable to figure out how to depict all of this in graph form. If any of my classmates can succeed in doing so, I’ll buy them a drink. At the George.

       3) There is a time and place for everything. Even microeconomics.

The Managerial Economics course we recently completed was a revelation for me. I suddenly felt like I understood so much more about the world and was eager to share my insights with anyone who would listen. However, I have learned the hard way that it isn’t always an appropriate time to talk about economics. Here is an example.

It was sunny afternoon in Paris and uncharacteristically warm for February. I was walking across the Pont de l’Archeveche with my wife. This is the bridge commonly called the “love lock bridge” because it is a tradition for couples to attach a lock with their names written on it to the railing of the bridge and throw the key into the river, symbolizing the eternal bond of love between them. By now so many people have done this that the entire bridge is so covered in locks so that you can hardly see any of the original structure. We paused in the middle of the bridge, looking at all the locks. My wife squeezed my hand. Our conversation went something like this:

“This is beautiful,” I said.

“Isn’t it?” she said, smiling warmly and leaning into my shoulder.

“I mean look at this. Here we have a bridge where sentimental people like to write their names on locks and attach them to the bridge, and look! Right over there is a guy selling locks and magic markers! People need locks, and locks appear! The invisible hand of the market really is amazing, isn’t it?”

She walked away and suddenly I noticed a chill in the air.

Take my advice. Economics is dangerous and should be used with caution.

The Invisible Hand

These are just a few of the valuable things this program has taught me so far. I am certain there is plenty more to come. I am looking forward to returning to the classroom and seeing all my classmates again in a few weeks. Till then, see you all on WhatsApp! Thanks for reading.

Jed Crews

About Jed Crews

From the United States, living in Poland, studying in London, visiting everywhere else as quickly as I can. I love food, dogs, baseball, and most of all my wife, Arlene. I am a part-time writer, a full-time reader, and a dismal but earnest musician. I am fascinated by the forces that shape the world. I study politics, religion, economics, business, and defense and all the ways they intersect and overlap each other.

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