Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lessons of Power and Politics 3: the right Networking is the one that Hurts

I'm starting to feel unfocused and overstretched. Too many parties, big ones coming are Summer Ball and Montmelian Summer Party (anyone has a military uniform to lend? Alternatively I may go in evening dress for fun...), Tavers Bunny party tonight, house dinners etc.
There's also the time pressure of the end. I think the right approach, at this point of the programme, is focus: some people you care about, some people you're indifferent about.
I'm also realising the opportunities opening up after INSEAD. To explore them takes lots of time and energy, and again, maybe I should focus more. It's just thrilling to enjoy that feeling of choosing. These opportunities have come to me at total random through personal network and INSEAD event. All of them have been made possible, or enabled, by the INSEAD brand, or clout. I think I've changed too. The MBA has been an extremely fast self-maturing process.
There was a great PP session yesterday. It was about Networking. The English word encapsulates very well the meaning: to create a spider web, a net, that will catch opportunities...
The most interesting part of the lecture was the pain idea. If, when you network, it's not painful, then you're not doing the right network. The point was, if the person you're connecting with is lots of fun, you're likely to expand your network in depth, adding a same-value same network to yours, whilst you should go for the breadth, because it's the most difficult one to get. Breadth is painful (networking with people you don't like a priori, or with different sets of values), in that regards when it's painful, it's good...
Prof. Alvarez also had an interesting theory about our tribal heritage in being cliquish.
Now a word about Kevin Kaiser. We're still enjoying tremendously his classes. The last one I attended was about Vivendi JM Messier's shot at Universal. Kevin's main point was that any managerial decision based on share price or attempting to influence share prices are bad, because, after a long explanation which lost me "you don't know what you know, you don't know what you don't know, you don't know what they know, you don't know what they don't know" (they being Capital Markets), therefore you'd be making decisions on shaky grounds...
I think this class, like Karen Cool's in P4, should be mandatory to MBAs...
Among his quotes -there are so many...
"If you get 1 out of 10 in Case Analysis, just relax, it just means that you've missed all the issues of the Case. Don't worry, you'll get a good elective grade, an MBA from a decent School. It just means that you've missed all the points..." commenting on his tough grading.
"That's a very good question. It's just not relevant..." replying to a Student's question which apparently was off subject.
"14 euros for a coke? In canadian dollars that's 500 something" on teasing one student's willigness to pay for a Coke, on defining Value ("Value is Happiness").
There were plenty of other funnier comments, but it's so many by the minute with Kevin that I can't read my crappy "fast-mode" writing anymore. And as said, too many things going on here, and that was 1 week ago. Sorry readers!

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