Monday, May 07, 2007

Last lane

P5 starts today. It's the shortest term. It's the last moment to bond, the last moment to connect, the last moment to enjoy the INSEAD experience. It should be better than P4, because there are few classes, the weather should be awesome, and people should be in the mood to socialise. Some students still have to find a job, but I hope they'll realise it's ok to find a job after INSEAD. It'll probably come across as selfish or insensitive, but priorities should be to nurture the network.

Courses I'll be attending/auditing: Power and Politics, Financial Distress, Financial Analysis, B2B Marketing, Business Plan Workshop. That should be fun.
I'll try to push for Your First Hundred Days. It's a course specific to INSEAD, designed by Entrepreneurship specialist Patrick Turner, about the first crucial moments in your company. It's so specific (with lots of legends around it), that I may not get in. I guess YFHD concept is derived from Milton Friedman's theory for Statesmen that the momentum, the flavour, the success of a leadership term is created within the first hundred days. It is within that moment that tough reforms must be held.

The good news is, for those who cannot get into the course, Sarkozy has just been elected President, and he promised he'll push for his reforms within his first 100 days. Thus, we all could witness live what a First 100 Days looks like. That's what I like about Sarkozy, and a good lesson of leadership for all; I suspect his team is very professional, very managerial in synthesizing Lessons Learnt from other countries, and leading theories in Strategy and Management.
- Strategy: to choke the extreme right, then expand to the centre. Tactics: leadership in ideas, in pace, in communication. Tough right policies and surprisingly cutting-edge social policies for France (like positive discrimination).
- Management: although he probably was not 100% sure of winning, he had a true faith, and the interesting fact is, this is the first time that a post-election is so clear. Why? He was crystal clear in his positions before (at the risk of shocking some) and prepared his first 100 days long ago! Sure, it does help that he got a clear mandate (both in 53-47 and huge turnout) ie. people either cannot say "I didn't know" or must abide by the majority.

My point of course, is not about the contents of Sarkozy's policies, it's about the whole vision and dynamics of his ambition. It is very relevant, say in a case where you would takeover a distressed company (a France in crisis): employees, suppliers, clients would be willing to make some efforts to change, so implement that in your first 100 days, in the momentum period.

Ok enough of politics. To answer an email about India, yes it requires more than 5 days to know India, although I believe 5 days are enough to get a very strong intuition of business there (Can I go there? Where are the opportunities? Where are the barriers?), especially since now is a time when business is getting its structure, mostly shaped by the guest speakers we have met.


PS: If it's not Milton, then it must be Thomas Friedman. Anyway you got the point, one of the big chaps of American theorists.

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At 7:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Domo

You crack me up. I graduated INSEAD July 1994. Some things never change.

Good luck with the job stuff.

INSEAD '94 July and ex student council President.

At 8:29 AM , Blogger Dee said...

Hey Domo,

Thanks for the help with the BBI team in India, we didnt catch up this time but thats ok...
Can you also talk about the job scenarios at INSEAD now since we only have a 2005 career report to go by

At 9:46 AM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Thank you again for your appreciation of the job. Dee hope you'll share your experiences for next year's prospective students too! You know what, if I were some years younger with no commitments I would go to India, seriously. So guys make the most of these times!

Thanks Dear President ;-) I'm actually more into Entrepreneurship so will not look for a job. It's decided nothing will divert my energy :-) BTW if you have something nice, I'm available lol.

At 8:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


"El Presidente" here.

TIP: Hunt down all INSEAD VC's and tell them that if they place you in a portfolio company, you will remove risk and increase reward.

Serious - best way into an entreprenurial company is through VC introductions. How can company say no to the ones who hand out the pesos.

Worked for me...

At 1:18 AM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Thanks Presidente for the Tip, I will post it, I'm sure many will find this really useful. Can you share your path (roughly)? Where are you now? I'm always amazed at how INSEAD community is strong.

At 8:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Major Corporation (MC) paid my way at INSEAD, so I did several years at MC in return. Left MC to run an electronics company, where I left because ethics turned out to be quite shady. involved with VC friends, who placed me into the company I still run today. I just sold 15% of company to strategic investor to fund next round of expansion.

That's it. The entrepreneur's life is rough on the marriage, but very rewarding and satisfying - you are actually building something, rather than at MC's where you fight for real or imagined credit for something already built.

But be cautious, uUnderstand that if you are not increasing value, VC's will dump you in a nano-second.

Live by the sword, die by the sword!


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