"As a motorcyclist, it's all about preparing yourself for the race, so you can be at the starting line in the best conditions. That's why I encourage my students to interact as much as possible with each other, to articulate their ideas clearly and to focus on what's really going on, because in most of the cases we raise there's not a single right answer," says Mike Rosenberg, a veteran professor at Barcelona´s IESE Business School.
Mike works at the business school that has remained at the top of the world rankings, published by The Financial Times for the past five years. The case study method is one of its main learning tools, complemented by lectures, action-based knowledge, simulations and training. Unlike packaged teaching in master classes, IESE requires students to put themselves in the place of high-level managers. How can I improve sales, lead people in multicultural environments, or design incentives that are effective in highly competitive situations? These are examples of first-person questions that students have to face.
A teacher-led debate, with the main objective of enriching the discussion, invites the widest variety of points of view. Learn by doing, this is how students are taught to think and act as managers. The cases pose real problems that companies, in different sectors of activity, have had to face. For this active learning to work, cases need to be quality driven, scalable anywhere in the world, represent important general management dilemmas, and allow for new ideas or business models to be discussed in class. Classic examples like Apple, Amazon, Adidas and Unilever to name a few, will soon be joined by Opinno.
“Opinno was founded in 2008 in Silicon Valley, just a week after the fall of Lehman Brothers, with the aim of revolutionizing the way business consultants work. During this period, our constant has been to create a global business model in which experts in technology and innovation, based anywhere on the planet, allow us to offer the best solutions to the problems of our customers", says Pedro Moneo, CEO and founder of Opinno.
"Just as Airbnb has changed the perception of travelers in their search for accommodation, our innovation and technology consulting proposal is becoming a turning point in providing optimal solutions to customer dilemmas," Pedro says. Born in Madrid, into a family of scientists, and trained in Spain, France and the United States, Pedro began his career with Opinno establishing offices in Madrid and San Francisco. At the time, many companies were beginning to feel threatened by emerging technologies, because they felt unprepared to assimilate them. Pedro clearly saw the opportunity to build the architecture of a new global innovation, consulting model. In this process he had to know how to ask the right questions, which is already a challenge in itself, and bet on the answers that would condition the success of his plan.
This is where IESE students will have to put themselves in Pedro’s shoes and start getting acquainted with what awaits them in the real world and honing their ability to make decisions in a context of uncertainty.
Should Opinno grow through its own offices or rely on franchises? Should it search for new markets or strengthen existing ones? Will a customer, market, talent or people-oriented strategy be more appropriate? Students will have to decide, among other things, whether to maintain synergy between their three lines of business or let them function independently. Is it better to look for young talent, hungry for experience, or to rely on established professionals? Because this question is more than rhetorical, they will also have to select the most appropriate profile to run a new office abroad.
Playing Pedro Moneo is not going to be a simple exercise for IESE students. There's a reason they've been admitted to one of the best business schools in the world