Monday, September 6, 2010
While here, we will follow up with companies with whom students will work in March 2011. Our goal is to provide well-organized, well-scoped projects so that students complete a robust consulting experience. We can capitalize on two years of experience, contacts, and knowledge of the city. The plan is to fly the company owners into Bloomington in late January so they can form relationships with the student teams before "getting down to business" (the refreshing way business is conducted in Latin America). Ana and I look forward to SKYPEing in for the presentation to interested students by Matt, Rocio, Sen, and Caroline (the student leadership team) on Thursday - we'll be able to show the city off in real time. Not a bad way to market this opportunity, eh?
This first morning back in Peru, I woke to see how, during this time of year, Lima is shrouded in a fog formed by moisture off the Pacific that is trapped by the Andes. The fog emphasizes a sense of mystery as the new day begins. Throughout the day, though, the fog slowly lifts to reveal a vibrant community alive with new construction, growth, and optimism. This is symbolic of how Latin America is breaking dated stereotypes held by us in the United States. Our GLOBASE Peru teams will plug clients into Lima's new vibrancy and our MBA students will inhale fumes of entrepreneurial excitement hard to find right now in the U.S. Some of our best lessons in the MBA program are learned thousands of miles away from Bloomington. Ana and I feel privileged to be blazing a trail for these opportunities in March.
Monday, June 28, 2010
After a long and very productive week, our trip to Lima has come to an end…I am sitting at the airport waiting for my plane to start boarding and thinking about all the cool things we went through this week. Phil has already blogged about the great contacts we made and the new opportunities that are waiting for us, so I guess it is my turn to write about the companies our students will potentially be working with next March…Jessica, a young entrepreneur that started a web design firm in Peru, then found an opportunity to expand to the US and is now working on starting a new handbag business -unique Peruvian designs manufactured by artisans in 2 local communities. Miguel and Diego, 2 young entrepreneurs in his late 20’s that started a paprika business a few years ago…at the beginning of 2010, they got money from the Interamerican Development Bank to develop a robot that will increase harvesting capacity and now want to commercialize it…pretty cool, huh? And lastly, Pilar, who ventured in the food segment and started selling jams, olives, salad dressings -among other Peruvian delicacies- in the local market…suddenly she realized she could expand to Europe and has done it with great success. Her sales have increased in such a way that she is now looking at investing in building her own manufacturing plant…quite impressive!
My greatest takeaway was to feel the passion that these young people have for their businesses and their country. It is great to see how committed they are with their community and how much they care for their employees and their families. Their positive energy and optimism is contagious and made us feel we definitely want to be part of it!
Friday, June 25, 2010
If this certificate becomes a reality, two years of success with GLOBASE (and the efforts of Professor Roberto Garcia and student leadership teams) will have made it happen. The Kelley brand will continue to expand in the region and enhance our ability to attract top MBA students from Latin America. The Kelley School’s recent establishment of the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness will also help efforts. Led by Professor Herman Aguinas, the institute will match graduate students with projects that solve management problems for companies in Latin America.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The photo above comes from a Monday night reception with conference participants. At that event, Alex and Judy (see above photo) from the Department of Commerce informed us they had discussed GLOBASE in meetings with members of the Peruvian President's cabinet. To the Commerce Department, GLOBASE is the perfect vehicle for U.S. assistance to Peru and the rest of Latin America. Deployment of MBA teams contributes to private sector development in economies still weaning themselves from state enterprises. A focus on small enterprises serves the poorer sectors of the economy in a way direct foreign assistance cannot. Interaction with MBA students also solidifies economic and cultural ties with Peru, a country with whom the U.S. has a free-trade agreement.
Through the week we have met other American Chamber delegations from Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Ecuador. Expression of interest by all in hosting a GLOBASE presence speaks to the public relations power this instructional model brings to Indiana University and the Kelley School. I cease to be amazed by the benefits that GLOBASE demonstrates in so many ways. The MBA office and the rest of the school now move forward to fully capture the power and value of a truly innovative way to deliver global business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and consulting education.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Soon, though, each member of our close trio hits their own sustainable pace and we leave each other's company. Yours truly falls behind Ana and Roberto, both of whom have run for many years and who know better how to manage the breathing, pacing, and balance (and have better shoes) required for the art of jogging.
I could not help but equate these dynamics to MBA graduation. Everyone leaves Bloomington with the same knowledge and hard skills. Analogously, I know how to put one foot in front of the other just like Roberto and Ana, and in fact, I can choose to run faster than they do when we start. But in the end, I fall behind.
From the same graduating class, why do some get ahead in satisfying their dreams and others fall behind? Just as good running depends a jogger's internal ability to breathe and pace her speed, moving forward in an organization (and moving the organization itself forward) has everything to do with a manager's quiet capacity to build the confidence and optimism of those around her. If she just depends on hard skills to move her career forward, then her jog that is her career suddenly becomes a walk as she fights the cramp that is unbalanced relationship with those in the workplace -- just like the cramp in my side that stopped me yesterday as I watched Roberto and Ana jog around the corner not to be seen again until the hotel.
At its foundation, GLOBASE is an experience designed to develop those soft skills needed for professional success. And what better place to do it than in Peru where small businesses are hungry for the hope teams of Kelley MBA students can give them.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
In Latin America, the priority placed on relationships instills loyalty (both from employee to manage and manager to employee) and a sense of personal place in the organization. This type of solidarity allows organizations in Latin America to drive performance and productivity in ways unfamiliar to U.S. employers. The U.S. workplace is mostly transactional with a common attitude of “don’t waste my time talking about your personal life”. In Peru, listening to a boss or employee talk about their personal life becomes an investment in instead of a liability to the enterprise. This is one refreshing fact that draws me to Latin America as a management scholar.
A culture which emphasizes personal linkages makes Latin organizations much less lonelier places to work than their U.S. counterparts. The next time a U.S. company complains about a lack of employee loyalty, they should look south for a “back to basics” lesson in human resource management. This is a lesson GLOBASE Peru participants take back to Bloomington – a lesson that could not be learned within the confines of a classroom.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
It begins at the security gate. “Mr. Powell, please remove your jacket, shoes, belt …” – geez, how far does this have to go? I even had to surrender my glasses one time. The incentive is simple here – fewer clothes mean fewer hassles (and therefore lower airport transiting costs). I am thinking sundress, flip flops, and a ridiculously small handbag is the optimal solution, but an option I can’t exercise for obvious reasons.
Why are people so anxious to board the plane even though they have an assigned seat? The answer is undefined property rights. If you get on the plane early, you get first dibs on storing your bags in the overhead compartments, even if it’s not the compartment above your seat. Squatter’s rights goes to those who best position themselves so they are first to the door when their boarding zone is called. Charging for carry-on bags would solve this problem, and make life at the gate feel less like a kennel full of dogs waiting to be fed.
And what’s the deal with armrests? -- yet another problem of undefined property rights. Has your seat neighbor ever claimed the whole armrest and contributed to your claustrophobia? Shouldn’t the upper half of the armrest go the person in the left seat and the lower half to the person on the right seat? Even in the 21st century, the only way to protect your armrest claim is through brute force and physical positioning.
Those of us with a social conscious take into consideration the costs our choices impose on others. Thus, we seek to be good citizens on the plane. This temperament forces a dilemma on a long international flight when your seat neighbor is sleeping, you have a window seat, and your bladder is full. At what point is the social cost of waking your neighbor worth the personal benefit of restored biological comfort? I’ll let some Nobel Laureate figure that one out.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Jim Wahlen (my predecessor as MBA chair and member of the accounting faculty) and Pam Roberts will lead the charge in India while Sheri Fella (member of the management and entrepreneurship department) and Kate O’Malley will be our pioneers in Ghana.
And that leaves us two for Peru … the ever-so-graceful Analilia Silva and a hyperactive economist from Tennessee.
To the enterprise, Ana brings years of Fortune 500 corporate experience (both in the U.S. and Mexico), a Kelley MBA, Spanish fluency, and success in building the Kelley brand in Latin America as part of the MBA Office team. Ana and I had the pleasure to accompany Professor Roberto Garcia as he led the last GLOBASE trip to Peru this past March.
Ana and I are supported by a wonderful student leadership team – Rocio Ortiz, Sen Zhao, Caroline Storey, and Matt Hutchens – who have already mapped the two week schedule for next March, negotiated great hotel rates, and identified potential enterprises with which student teams could work.
Ana and I begin an interesting adventure in Peru on Saturday. We, along with Professor Garcia, will represent the Kelley School at a conference organized by American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America. Impressed by two years of success in Peru, the U.S. Department of Commerce invited us to attend and tell conference attendees about the GLOBASE educational model. The presidents of Colombia, Honduras, and Peru are scheduled to speak – so we will be among influential company.
Beyond the conference, Ana and I will touch base with our in-country partners – the American Chamber of Commerce in Peru and the Lima Chamber of Commerce – and visit businesses and nonprofits who might make great clients for our student consulting teams this coming March.
Join us for interesting updates and insights from Lima … we promise to keep you entertained.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
At 5:00 a.m. the next day we left the Grand Faraona Hotel and headed to the airport. After a short flight we made it to the picturesque city of Cusco.
Our guides showed us some amazing sites. While we were not able to visit Machu Picchu as we had originally planned (due to mudslides knocking out the railroad line), we enjoyed seeing the city of Cusco, Saqsaywaman, and the Sacred Valley.
Thank you to everyone who helped make GLOBASE a success this year! We look forward to seeing the results of our recommendations and GLOBASE projects in Peru, Ghana and India in 2011.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The following days were filled with client meetings, company tours and working lunches. We packed in a lot of work into that week. This is the time when adapting to culture and a foreign country came into play. Whether it was slow or non-existent internet connections, difficult translation, or the food playing havoc on our stomachs - we all learned first hand what it is like to work in a foreign country.
By the end of the week we came away with a lot of new knowledge. We forged greater relationships with our clients and dug down to the roots of their business problems. By the time we made our presentations, our recommendations were specific and actionable. While it was a long and sometimes difficult process - "Vale la pena", or it was totally worth it!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
We really packed a lot into Day 1...I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store. Ciao!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I promise that next time I will write in Portuguese to my fellow Brazilians, I miss this beautiful country. It will be also a challenge to my American friends to understand it. =)
My team of five has been assigned the client PeruVerde, a paprika producer looking to enter the US market. My initial reaction to the assignment was that it did not seem any different than the cases or projects we had done to date in school. We did some basic research and prepared for our first call with Mr. Fredy Perez, the owner of PeruVerde, and on that call was when it hit me…this is beyond anything I have done in school, this is the real deal. As a team we are to help an actual small business grow and improve the livelihood of its employees; never have I been on a project where I can have such a direct impact.
Over past 6 weeks we have built a strong relationship with Fredy over the phone as well as during his visit. However, it has been an interesting dynamic, as Fredy does not speak any English and only two members of the team speak Spanish. It is amazing the amount one can learn about paprika through quick translations while on the phone with Peru; our team has been really fortunate to have Jairo and John, our two Spanish speakers.
The highlight of the project to date, was taking Fredy to Farm Restaurant in Bloomington during his visit. Along with the fried chicken, Fredy truly enjoyed the conversation we were able to arrange with head chef Daniel Orr. Chef Orr was able to give all of us insight into the paprika market from the end user’s view, which was new to all of us. This only increased Fredy’s desire to enter the US market and gave us, as a team, a better idea for getting his product into the kitchens of America.
The PeruVerde team looks forward to getting to Peru and presenting Fredy with our thoughts and plans to help his company enter the US market. Hopefully we will be successful in expanding PeruVerde’s operations and we can ride into the sunset on Alpacas.
Though this is how we’ll be spending our free time, there is much work to be done before heading to South America. The organization that our team of five is working with is called the APOMIPE Artisans, with our wonderful APOMIPE contact, Hernan. The network of artisans that APOMIPE works with have decided that they would like to move their sale of handicraft fabric goods from the more rustic area of Cuzco to the more central area of Lima. Though at first our assignment was broad and seemed slightly overwhelming, we were able to scale it down to make it more manageable for us and useful to our client. This was possible through our conversations with Hernan, both over the phone and in person when he was able to make his inaugural visit to the US to be with us here in little Bloomington, Indiana.
Our job is to help them find ways to best sell their products in this new business environment. In order to best do this, our team has fully leveraged our network of knowledgeable professors and resident advisors here at Kelley, gleaning information from Professor Jeff McMullen’s presentation last week, Mr. John Becker’s international business experience, Professor Roberto Garcia’s complete knowledge of everything GLOBASE and Professor Tony Gerth’s consulting expertise.
The APOMIPE Artisans are looking forward to our travels to Peru!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
For the second half of class we split into teams to get some work done. Finding time to work on our projects has been tough, with so many activities competing for our attention. For team Inkasign, it was an eye opening moment to think that we have only 2 WEEKS LEFT until we arrive in Peru. We are in for a busy two weeks.
Sometimes projects seem so easy. That is, until you get into the thick of it. It's times like this when I have found a lot strength from my team. I can see that they are committed to the mission of GLOBASE and they are willing to stay up late and work hard to do this project the right way.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
During our most recent class, Jeff McMullen, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, took our class on a deep dive to help us answer these questions.
One of the best models for idea generation and innovation is currently being used by a Silicon Valley firm called IDEO, a global design consultancy. This company has worked on improving the design of various products, from toothbrushes to shopping carts.
Some of the key takeaways that I learned from their model are:
- IDEO employs a diverse staff, from various nationalities and backgrounds. These differing viewpoints allow their teams to view problems from all angles, reducing group-think.
- Design teams get a feel for the product they are trying to re-design. They touch it, feel it, and do some preliminary research. Once they have a good idea of the main functions, users, likes and dis-likes, they split into teams and perform more focused research.
- Teams bring their research together and perform a "Deep Dive". There is no holding back in an IDEO brainstorming session. If someone starts judging an idea, the manager rings a bell and puts a stop to it immediately. Putting others down for their ideas reduces everyone's willingness to share, which stifles creativity.
- After plenty of free-flowing brainstorming, management has to put some structure around the ideas and propel the group forward. You'll never get anywhere if you don't start moving forward. Winning ideas come from the group, they are not imposed by those with bigger titles.
OK, so what's your point? How does this relate to GLOBASE? In many ways, we are performing the function of IDEO for our Peruvian clients. We are by no means experts on the Peruvian jewelry market or any of the other markets our clients serve. Our GLOBASE teams parachute in, survey the landscape and provide valuable advice that will help these companies achieve their goals...all within 7 weeks of class and 2 weeks in country. Blending the talents of our diverse set of students, we can combine our experience and expertise to provide innovative and game-changing ideas that will help our clients' businesses become more sustainable.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
As I approach the end of my MBA career, one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned at Kelley is the value of relationships. Even before we begin classes, we have opportunities to network with various companies that come to campus to recruit. It is often impossible to get an interview without some type of professional relationship with the recruiter. During my internship at Mead Johnson, I realized quickly that to obtain the information I needed to complete my summer project, I needed to form relationships with my co-workers quickly. This network was invaluable as I sought advice and mentoring over the summer and made my project successful.
During last year's GLOBASE program, we learned that relationships are even more valuable when doing business in Latin America. After teams met their company representatives face to face and were able to sit down at a relaxed three hour lunch, the information people needed to complete their projects flowed much more freely.
Over the past two weeks we have been fortunate to welcome eight Peruvian guests to Bloomington. The objective of this effort was to strengthen relationships. We not only had some great meals and productive meetings with our Peruvian company representatives, but we learned a great deal about Peru and how business is performed there. Additionally, the GLOBASE Leadership Team arranged for our guests to meet with various professors, local businesses and even the Mayor of Bloomington in order to increase their professional network. We are grateful for the time each of our friends took out of their lives to come to Indiana and look forward to building upon the relationships we have created.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Ever have those times when the questions just seem to keep mounting and the answers become more elusive? I’m having one of those moments right now as part of the GLOBASE team called, “Metalic.” Team Metalic is excited to be working with a Peruvian metal working company to help them diversify their customer base and improve their sales. The project may be exciting but it’s not easy. We are in the research phase of the project and the team is tackling questions like: where are we going to get all the relevant information on customer buying habits, competitor positioning and industry outlook? More than that, how are we going to find all that information, translate it to English, put it together in cohesive way and extract insights from it in just a couple weeks? How will we balance the Globase project with the equally intensive academy project, preparations for interviews, homework for classes, club responsibilities and keeping up with the most amazing TV show, Lost? I’m honestly not sure how we will do it but I have no doubt that we will.
Time to get back to work!
Friday, January 29, 2010
During our third class, we were honored by the presence of the Director of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, Carlos Torres Rivarola, who traveled nearly 4,000 miles to help our class learn more about Peru, its economy (both formal and informal), and the industries where our partner companies operate.
The Lima Chamber of Commerce provides many resources to its member companies and we are pleased that they also help support GLOBASE. In the coming weeks, GLOBASE groups will be able to ask detailed questions to Peruvian business experts in their respective industries. Another step toward successful consulting projects.
We were also joined via teleconference by David Zegarra Huamanchumo, an Associate of the Lima Chamber, and experienced economist from Peru. He recounted the success stories of some Peruvian upstarts that have gained market share from MNC's. Grupo Gloria and Kola Real were experts at marketing to their target customers. They also diversified their product offerings and their geographic locations, which has driven their overwhelming success. Following his presentation, GLOBASE participants asked detailed questions regarding their specific partner companies and the industries in which they operate.
GLOBASE participants Jairo Ochoa and Felipe Rodriguez translated as our guests presented and answered students' questions. This was a real-life international experience in only week three of the program. A big thanks goes out to all who helped make this week a success.