Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ai...

JP, it did not take you long to discover the photos on GC! I guess I can forget my future jobs in politics now...
AIIIII!!! I've been eaten by a crazy dutch zombie disguized of semi sexy Buffy the vampire slayer that eats kinder eggs in journeys of white moons in black skyes!!! If I ever catch you!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Beating Halloween...

It's been a good Sunday so far (JB is in town & stopped by for coffee) , but now the memories from last night are slowly starting to come back...
Paul & Gemy had organized this kick-*** pre-Halloween party with a "super-sexy vampyresses and hunky zombie dudes" theme. Earlier in the week, Bram had suggested to go as 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' herself and it seemed like a good alternative to me, since I have a tendency to look like a zombie regardless when I wake up. The idea spiraled out of control fast when we entered the party shop on Gran Via (near the Zara). The final result is shown above; a tight, latex 'French Maid' dress with orange hair and fishnet stockings. Meet Heidi 1 and Heidi 2; the willing vampire victims.
Buying the outfits was only part of the fun, walking over to P&G's apartment was a good indication of what was to come. In Pl. Molina we were stopped by a group of kids whom desperately needed to make some pictures while hearing cars honk in the background. A couple of old ladies almost died laughing while we were crossing Via Augusta to head into Gracia. Perhaps they have never heard of a dress-up party? On my way home I think I was not the only mildly intoxicated person on the early morning streets; two guys in their BCNeta garbage truck tried to pick me up while they were waiting for the traffic light. It must have been my orange hair that turned them on. I cannot wait for the next party!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Where's Waldo 1 & 2

Yesterday evening it was time again for the annual "Groots Hollands Diner." Many thanks to the hosts Martijn & Martijn for an excellent evening with knakworsten, kaas, lasagna, Heineken and Grolsch.

The first who identify all 16 Dutchies in the picture on the left will win a cortado. My mailbox is open!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Random & Random, Random Dinner

As Bram's classmate in BUSE (Business Ethics); I share his ideas and enthausiasm for the class. The small size leaves space for intense discussions and thus many different views on the cases, where the issues are not always clear. A good example was today's discussion of New England Wire and Cables; does a corporate raider by definition act unethical when a company and its long time owner operate in a social responsible manner? I'll leave that question to be answered by Paul, when he discovers the other unused keys on his keyboard.

So, after a 1-2-1 shuffle in dates, the annual Random Dinner is set for Thursday October 27th! If you have not signed up as a host or guest, I would suggest you do so. As of now there are 117 guests signed up and 29 host locations, including myself with four spots. To make the dinner truly random, I would suggest to my guests that they cook me dinner from a bunch of random ingredients I will buy at Caprabo, Condis, Dia & Super Sol. In return I will randomly choose and solve one of your three assigned cases for the next day. The quality of my case work will largely depend on an evaluation of the creativity put in the dishes, taste and presentation.

Okidoki, back to the "Launching the Z3 Roadster" case. Btw, any one up for some Foosball at the l'Ovella Negra tonight? Dany?

the right thing..

Both Paul and Floris take Ethics with me. Before you proceed reading.. this entry might actually contain some real content, so you might want to skipe to the next, or just wait until Geijn continues on lessons of Miami Vice (maybe you should write about the ethical dilemmas..).

The course seems to review a number of well known dilemmas ranging from the obvious like Parmalat to the less obvious like a case narrative based on 'Other Peoples Money' (by Danny de Vito). Yesterday however, we discussed the pros 'n cons of corruption, or better, the narrow line of what is, and what is not acceptable.

The class evolved into a discussion on cultural differences and standards. Some (latin americans) argued that, in order to do any business in that region, you need to play along (mostly substantiated with the argument: you need to feed your family). Then, the abvious argument of 'leading by example' entered the discussion. Although we did not (to me) managed to finish the discussion satisfactoraly in time, the consensus seemed that some bribery to gain preferential treatment (red tape) was in some cases and in cultural context permissable.

However, there seems to be a fairly distinct relation between countries with poor economic development and the occurrance of corruption (for details see also: www.transparency.org/pressreleases_archive/2004/2004.10.20.cpi.en.html). The big issue to me is how we break this cycle of corruption. Most, or all people I know who can reason halfway decently will agree that fighting corruption is required. Before starting, this then requires a uniform definition.

Wikipedia defines corruption as:
In broad terms, political corruption is the misuse of public office for private gain. All forms of government are susceptible in practice to political corruption. Degrees of corruption vary greatly, from minor uses of influence and patronage to do and return favours, to institutionalised bribery and beyond. The end-point of political corruption is kleptocracy, literally rule by thieves, where even the external pretence of honesty is abandoned (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption

However, this still leaves the area of nepotism undefined. Generally, even in the western european world, making a curtousy call seems to be permissable. Wining and Dining seems to be as well, although accepting a gift such as a bottle of wine seems to cross the line.

My issue with the whole corruption discussion is that, as soon as you start to move down the line, you can argue about the definition. In order to prevent this from occurring, you'd need to stick to the one part. In real life however, this limits one to living in a very very small part of the world (see corruption index), because you cannot apply strategic ignorance in any other part of the world. In addition, in order to change the situation in many parts of the world, you'd need to engage into dialogue (on a subject I'd not want to give into). I can't say I have the answer, but I do know that working in just these countries is maybe too limited..

Ah well, if you have come to this point reading my general observations on a topic that blatently obvious: congratulations, you have stamina! Maybe I should just not have published this! Did I tell you that somewhere during my life I have worked for WorldCom, ACN, Drexel and Sotheby's.. more on this another time.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Team building similarities..

Well guys, I know there was a lot of team building during the bar crawl (I even heard of cross-team genes exchange) but, for heaven's sake, tell me who is this guy and what kind of team building he was up to??!!

Paul's First attempt

Lets just see if i type this in...and then press enter...what will happen? Where will this text show up if at all? Maybe in my pigeonhole.

Similarities...

After pondering over my last Red Sox post I came across this:


(IESE Bar Crawl 2005)


(Supporter at the 2004 Red Sox celebration tour through Boston)

I am glad to see similarities in the team building efforts that are going on!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Rod Sox, a team building exercise...

Perhaps we are not all are versed in the feats of the Boston Red Sox, so a quick summary. St. Louis, 11.40pm on October 27th, 2004; the Red Sox win their first World Series after a drought of 86 years, which started when Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees; commonly known as the start of the "The Curse." The 2004 season was marked an unprecedented effort in team building, one that many incoming IESE student would welcome with open arms. The result is shown below:




The image above roughly represents the joy after a successful completion of any of the first semester exams. The team had one common goal; win the World Series, which they did in unprecedented fashion; coming back from a 0-3 in a best of 4 ALCS series against the Yankees and to continue to beat St. Louis 4-0 in the World Series. A team working in such fashion can tackle any of the exercises presented to them in the first year, including Fluxys.

However, something went awry in 2005. After leading the AL East for most of the season, the Sox barely made the post season with the heroic efforts of Curt Schilling, only to gets sweeped in the divisional play off series by the White Sox:




So what lesson do we take a way from this? A dependence on the individual talents of team members can only take you so far. Ramirez, Ortiz, Schilling, Wakefield, etc are all great players, but the synergies were missing this year. Do not let the accountant in your team balance your balance sheets, or have the HR consultant solve the OB cases. Make an effort to pitch in towards the common goal of your team; make your IESE experience unforgettable.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Popularity

As good MBA students, we closely monitor our target market and to our surprise, we have become quite polular:



For those who do not posess Dutch language skills, our site counter calculated that 69 people will visit this blog today. Of those, roughly 89% are Spanish visitors from one of Telefonica's internet connections. (which other provider?) I think a thank you is in place for visiting this edgy, refreshing blog!

The Hymn!!

How could we forget to post and show our dear first years our hymn!! Check it out!

The essence..

I was skimming the bar crawl photos and I found it, the essence, the fundamental reason for us to be in second year. Just look at the pic, no words needed.. (noticed our dear Geijn with red hair on the back?)

Fiddy on internships

I agree with Bram, TGIF-AIASW (And I Am Soaking Wet). Nothing better then to start the weekend with a rained on moto ride home, only to find out that the portero had changed the locks on the front door. Hello weekend!
Nonetheless another exercise of how modern culture teaches valuable business lessons. Ten more days and Career Forum will kick off and turn the campus into a network market place for full-time positions and summer internship opportunities. The ultimate chance to rub some shoulders and lay a fertile foundation for a pretty paying internship. Lucked out? No problem, create your own summer internship! Meet Fiddy, aka 50 Cent. From a young age, this entrepreneur discovered a market need and subconsciously he applied the basic principles of running a successful business. I'll highlight just one; Decision Analysis. Understanding all underlying forces that dictate the market; he was faced with a "Go, no Go" decision. A simple decision tree as featured below sketches the decision he faced:


Decision Tree


Applying your knowledge of the first two weeks of DA, you will figure out that starting his business was a no-brainer. But when applying G-L principles and plain common sense, you will figure out more a simple decision tree does not always solve complex issues such as these, but at least it is a start.

TGIF

After a week of long and hard work (or at least, after a week of making 4x my 08.15h class), I feel I deserve a break. Today has started with a lecture and alas, it will also finish with a lecture. Still contemplating if I should go (although the topic is game theory, which should be quite interesting..). But then, it is raining cats and dogs, so I might pick up on starting my 17h Miami Vice marathon (that, or a re-run of Shogun).

I must say I have been impressed with all the blogs that have seemed to have emerged out of nowhere (either that, or I have just woken up to reality). Well done, and so politically correct as well. Evidently, it is in our interest to portay a very solid, committed and inteligent class of '06, but personally I think we should use this Blog to create some controversy. I could for example elaborate on the relation between the decline of the american circus in the latter part of last century and the impact it had on cross dressing (as we leared in competitve dynamics yesterday), or invent some rumor about the dungeons with whips and chains, but then, maybe I should not..

Maybe, this Blog would be of better use if we'd use it as an announcement board. For professional purposes (ie who has become a banker/wanker and who's ended up in jail, or both), or otherwise for general gossip. But then, I seem always the last one to hear, so maybe someone else is better informed to keep us posted. For me, I can always elaborate on my relationship with my hamster, or Uri could as he shares a house with me. I could also try to update you on informative topics such as the weather, but the important thing is that it is always better in Barcelona then in London, Amsterdam or Vienna. Not much news value though.

I guess it is time to flip a coin; go home or stick around.. I'll try to find some other lonely souls at the bar for inspiration! Hasta pronto, B

Rain..

Ok guys, its raining, as you noticed. If you're hoping it stops soon, forget about it! It won’t stop before may. Well maybe some day or two, but that’s it. If you wanted to do the MBA in a sunny city you just had to go to Hawaii! And then the snow will come, just like every year here at BARCELONA!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

23 x 46 minutes...

If you have 17.63 hours to spare, I can recommend watching the first season of Miami Vice. See your favorite cops in action, but, more interestingly, your favorite bad guys such as Calderone, Lombard, McCarthy (powerboat scene) and Bruce Willis (arms dealer) . Guaranteed this 8 disk collection will keep you on the edge of your seat, or in my case my bed, with a brilliant mix of coke, Ferraris, power boats, fake money, guns and 80's fashion.

But I would not make a little write up promoting the DVD collection if there were not be any sound business lesson attached to the show. I would like to highlight just one: negotiation. In the episode "Evan" (disk 8, episode 22) Sonny & Tubbs are negotiating the purchase of ten MAC-10's. Tubbs displays his superb negotiating skills with Mr. Gusman; $1500 per gun, with silencers and 1000 rounds of ammunition per gun. When hearing a counter bid of $2500 from Evan, he and Sonny get up, ready to leave. Mr. Gusman, crawled back and eventually a deal was struck. Both Tubbs and Sonny had done their homework; they knew Mr. Gusman had excess inventory he needed to get rid off.

Well enough bedtime stories, the only thing left is to wait till December 15th when Season Two hits the stores.

The quest..

I agree with you, Floris, we should be in the quest of our ultimate job. Even so, for now I just want to enjoy peace and quiet and a calm restart of this MBA that is changing our lives.

I have to that I enjoyed seeing these efforts of a first year of IESE to keep up the scaling hard work with some blogging of her own. That's why I find it's a good idea to create our own hole to put some bullshit about IESE classes and rumors and joys of being a second year IESE student.

First years that read this: You may find in this blog the essence of all the good advices a second year could give to a first year. Don't listen to all the other crap.. they are only trying to scare you and they enjoy it.. okay, we enjoy it too.

Anyaway, enjoy life... while you can.

Jean Pierre

As we should...

With the explosion of first years blogs, a second year blog would be in place to provide a different perspective and a carrot for the first years to study hard to make it to the second year. This blog will be maintained by three second years in their quest to find, I guess, the ultimate job.