Decisions and Commitments

Dr. Jorge Mongay – DBA Alumni of SBS Swiss Business School wrote the following article in the newsletter of International Faculty Program of IESE Business School:

It is the mind that takes the decision but it is the heart that makes the commitment

By Prof. Jorge Mongay, Universitat Auntónoma de Barcelona and Escola Universitaria Caixa de Terrassa, Spain, IFP 2007

“Is not what we do, it is the way we do it.” This sentence is widely used when making reference to the excellence in Services Management Theory. As teacher of Management for MBA and Executive Education programs I realize the importance of this issue. I am sure that all of us we remember some “terribly boring teachers” (and I do not mean “terribly boring subjects”) when we were at college as well as excellent teachers and mentors who were able to extract the best from ourselves. I always asked to myself, why some of them were better than others? Maybe because of their effort? Maybe because of their experience? Maybe because of a special talent? Whatever it is, and being myself adjunct faculty for Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Euncet-UPC, I realized the need to find an answer to some of these questions. In order to do so, I enrolled at the International Faculty Program (IFP) at IESE Business School mainly because of its global reputation. I really wanted to know the keys of their excellence, reputation and the critical success factors in Management Education.

It called my attention the welcoming message of IESE´s Dean Prof. Jordi Canals who mentioned clearly the importance of ethical values, corporate and personal responsibility. I never experienced this approach so clearly before in any other University or Business School with the exemption of the SBS Swiss Business School in Zurich, trough its Dean Dr. Bert Wolfs and Honorary President Dr. Charles Mercieca (President of the International Association of Educators for World Peace, a NPO recognized by the UN).

At the International Faculty Program I experienced how to go beyond the simple teaching of business techniques, analysis, theories and case studies. I experienced how students really feel themselves when preparing cases in an MBA or in any Executive Program. I experienced how to write cases and how to make them relevant in the context of management education at graduate level. I also experienced the difference between a “syllabus” and an “excellent syllabus” trough long discussions with professor Johanna Mair. I realized in a comprehensive way that is not the same “to be learning from someone” than “learning by discovery” trough the use of “High Impact Learning Techniques” (excellent job done by Professors Carlos García Pont, Pablo Cardona and Javier Santomà). I experienced the importance of involving Managers in the school´s projects when writing and preparing case studies, as well as the importance of being creative when explaining Manufacturing Theory using an incredible “Manufacturing Game” where students participate actively ( professor Marc Sachon was the “manufacturer” of this great idea!). After plenary discussions with Professor Juan Carlos Vazquez-Dodero I experienced that nobody is totally right or wrong in Business Sciences (in case they really exist) and consequently in Management Education, and that “absolute true” does not exist although “certainties really do”, so faculty development can be seen from many different angles.

I experienced the “for and against” of different lay-outs of a classroom and its impact on students. I could also learn how to convince students to be punctual at sessions using a very polite way of doing it. Since I graduated in 2007, I have tried to put all this experiences in action in my classroom sessions with highly satisfactory results. The IFP develops a holistic approach of Management and consequently the same approach to Management Education but no doubt that what made the difference at IESE Professors was something else. Something that cannot be measured, cannot be written down and cannot be copied easily. During the closing ceremony of IFP 2007 in Barcelona, I could see 25 students (officially faculty, but students at that moment), standing up clapping their hands in front of IESE IFP Professors during 3-4 never ending minutes.

While the program took place, there was a special atmosphere created by the staff and professors. These professors really took care of the participants in a very special way. It was not only a professional approach, I would say that it was more “humanistic” than professional. No doubt, for IESE professors “people are the main factor of the business equation”. I would call it “love”. Love and passion for the job done, love for people, love for students and love for doing a better job everyday. I noticed that the same feeling appeared in most of participants when the program was over. At the same time I experienced the importance of those extra activities like networking and professional interactions while at lunch. At IESE IFP I experienced more than I learned but I can say that I learned that integrity is the flag that must drive managers and management professors as well. As business professor, consultant and researcher I want to achieve my professional goals but now I realize that the only one way of doing it is helping others to achieve their own objectives. I am sure that helping others will help myself more than I ever expected.

Now some new questions arise: Is there something better than contributing to help others to achieve their goals? Is there something better in this world to see how somebody creates wealth and manages others under ethical values trying to be fair and not hurt anyone? As it occurs in the real world and in the companies, there are moments to shine. In Management Education now is the moment to shine, mainly because the market for MBA´s and Executive Education is in a maturity stage and most of the B-Schools are doing a mediocre task avoiding the essence of Management. Finally, I believe that the only way to shine is through a deep understanding that it is the mind that will take the decision but it is the heart that will take the commitment.”