пятница, 29 апреля 2011 г.

SKOLKOVO open lecture: Richard Kivel

At the beginning of April SKOLKOVO hosted an open lecture with Richard Kivel, frequent lecturer at MIT, serial entrepreneur who has helped build and run multiple companies in the fields of software, IT and life sciences. Topic of the lecture: ‘Innovation and Commercialization of Intellectual Property and Creation of New Companies’. Here is a brief video with advices on how to launch successful start-ups.

You can find Richard's presentation here

понедельник, 25 апреля 2011 г.

An article by Pierre Casse: How can corruption become less harmful?

This article was written by the SKOLKOVO Professor Pierre Casse for the Russian portal Slon.ru (the original text can be read here).

Every one has a liability for curruption. Sensational studies by the Stanford Professor Philip G. Zimbardo show that everybody can act as a bribetaker or an oppressor even being aware of the fact that their behavior is unethical. These conclusions were confirmed by the recently discovered horrors of the Abu Ghraib and Guatanamo prisons where all the norms and standards of the international law were voluntarily violated by the officials of USA and UK – the two nations claiming to be the major corruption fighters in the civilized world.

It is obvious that what is considered to be corruption in one country can be counted as a rule in the other. For example, some countries have a standard practice of ‘execution facilitating fees’ being charged for some of the state officials’ services, while in Russia, for instance, those fees would be counted as corruption cases. Here is another illustration: leaving tips means praising for a well done job in most of the Western countries, but in some cultures such actions would be counted as a bribe (they think, why you should give extra money to people who receive their salary for their service).

Anyway, we must admit that power inevitably causes corruption as a side product – and this happens in any society, not only in the Third World, as it is usually considered in the West. Here is a simple example: a top rank politician is persuaded by a third party to push the law that can contradict his electorate’s interests. He does so because he hopes to be well cared of by that third party when he is going to leave the state service. He may possibly receive a top managerial post in a large corporation or he may sign a million dollar contract with a large consulting firm. Obviously this deal’s details would not be opened to the electorate. Such practice is becoming regular in most of the “Western Democracies” who stand in a forefront of the struggle against corruption.

понедельник, 18 апреля 2011 г.

An article by Pierre Casse: May the leader lie in order to increase the motivation?

Here is the translation of the article by Pierre Casse, the SKOLKOVO professor, published last week in his personal blog on the Vedomosti Newspaper. The original text in Russian is available here
It is one of the main tasks of a good leader to create and support the right motivation in his employees. If they don’t have the motivavtion – they don’t have a working spirit, and consequently one shouldn’t expect to see decent results of their work. There are numerous models for rising people’s motivation. Unfortunately the authors of those models tend not to take into consideration the two extremely important factors which are the basis for creating the right mood in the people.

First of all, we should always remember that we are trying to create the motivation in people, and people are motivating themselves. That is why when working on the right mood in your staff you should always know an answer to the question ‘What is it for them personally in what I am offering?’ There is a simple formula: Motivation = Expected pleasure from the regarded process + Expected value of the final result that is estimated taking into consideration the involved energy, effort and time and the unused alternative possibilities. And the less are the summonds the less is the sum.

четверг, 14 апреля 2011 г.

Law Project: Overview of the SKOLKOVO Students’ Project on Introducing Changes to the 94th Federal Law

Our fair readers, with this publication we finish the series of the overviews of SKOLKOVO students’ public projects. Today we are telling you about their sixth project - on introducing changes to the 94th federal law “On Placement of Orders to Supply Goods, Carry out Works and Render Services for Meeting State and Municipal Needs.”

Last year the students from the fist MBA intake had already worked on introducing changes to this law and the they managed to prepare the detailed analysis of the law text and present their expert opinion on possible ways how it can be improved. This was only the beginning of the work, so second MBA intake continued the project that had been started by their predecessors.

The project team was formed of six students: Mark Zotkin (team leader), Irina Ambartsumyan, Arevik Sahakyan, Fedor Sarokvasha, Boris Agababov, and Robert Bowen.

вторник, 12 апреля 2011 г.

Andrei Sidorin: "Brazilians name their country a tropical Russia".

SKOLKOVO Executive MBA second class's international module in Brazil is over but we still have many interesting details about it we are willing to share with you. Andrei Sidorin, SKOLKOVO EMBA Programme Operations Director, is speaking today about the trip, details of its preparation, peculiarities of Brazilian people and many other things.

Andrei, please tell us what does the SKOLKOVO Executive MBA programme International module involve? And why was Brazil chosen to be the assignment country this year?

It is not a secret that SKOLKOVO education is very much focused on the emerging markets and BRIC countries in particular. The programme is rather young and we constantly try to improve it, to make it more interesting and useful by changing and adding new things. And by all means the deep dive into the real environment is one of the most important elements of the programme. Last year our Executive MBA students went to China and this year we decided to try Brazil. Having good partnership between SKOLKOVO and the Brazilian school FDC made it easy to firmly decide on this choice.

How did you prepare for the trip? Did it take a long time?

That was a whole process. Actually we started preparations a year in advance – right upon our return from China. Our Chinese trip was organized for us by the contractor – a business tourism company, whereas with the Brazilian module we decided to do everything ourselves.

In general the concept remained the same: to show the students the real business linked to the cultural and market features of the country and local mindset habits; to see the social specifics and lifestyle of diferent social stratas. And we received great support from the FDC business school.

In addition to the last year’s curriculum (when half of the time was spent in corporate visits and another half – in studying the cultural aspects) we introduced several practical workshops. Though still the main emphasis was given to corpoate visits – to large and small companies, locals and multinationals, of various business spheres – in order to give the students an opportunity to compare the business specifics, as multinationals face one type of problemas and locals having grown into large monsters – another one, and so on.

I know that you have carried out the Emerging Markets module in advance – could you please tell us more about it… 

Yes, that’s right. Nearly a month before the trip we had a preparation module devoted to the business specifics at the emerging markets. Dr. Wilfried Vanhonacker, SKOLKOVO Dean, has told the students about China, Professor Reuben Abraham from the Indian School of Business – about India, and Professor Aldemir Drummond from FDC – about Brazil, which was extremely useful ahead of our trip (note: an interview with Professor Drummond you can find here

понедельник, 11 апреля 2011 г.

The hero was justly awarded!

The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO’s Campus, the project of the British architect David Adjaye, was awarded the first prize of the IX International Architecture Award in the category “Public building” regarding the Professional jury’s vote.

The awarding ceremony took place on April 8, 2011, at the gala reception hall of the Ukraine Hotel, where the best architects of the entire world were present, namely – the nominees and the jury of the Award. The Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO was represented by Emil Pirumov, Managing Director of the School, the man, who has led the process of putting David Adjaye’s wonderful idea into action.
During the race for the desired prize the School’s Campus left behind five strong rivals. They are: Cesar Chavez’s Library and School of Journalism and Mass Communication n. a. Walter Cronkite in the US, the Parventa Medialibrary in Latvia, Ritual Ceremonies House in Mexico and the “Igora” Ice Complex of sport-sanatory resort in Leningrad region.

The Architecture Award is a prestigious international contest in the sphere of architecture and city construction. The Award was introduced by the “Salon-Press” publishing house with the general information support of the “Domus” magazine and the “RBK” group of companies’ general media support in 2002. This year the Architecture Award’s statuettes were sought by the participants from 15 countries of Europe, USA, South America and Australia.

The IX International Architecture Award’s competitive projects will be exposed as a part of the MosBuild-2011 construction and design exhibition at the “Crosus-Expo” International Show Centre.

пятница, 8 апреля 2011 г.

Categorizing the Emerging Market Economies - is a new research of SKOLKOVO

While the term “emerging markets” has existed for roughly three decades, it has only been in the past decade that the term has become an almost household name. By some counts the emerging market economies now number at over one hundred, spanning four continents.

The emerging lexicon was first widely referenced to the Newly Industrialized Economies of East Asia during the 1980s but then went on to include China and India as they progressively opened up their economies. After the fall of Communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the “transition” economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union were thrown into the fold. In reality, the term did not become a commonly used name until last decade, when economic growth throughout much of the developing world accelerated, particularly among the large BRIC economies. Equity market returns during this period were also quite spectacular among many of the developing economies, heightening investors’ attention there. Today, many analysts believe there are scores of new Emerging Market Economies (EMEs) in Asia, South America and Africa. With a disproportionate share of the world’s mineral wealth at a time when mineral prices are soaring and a disproportionate share of the world’s young people (by 2040 it will be home to one in four of them), some analysts believe Africa is currently home to the youngest members of the emerging markets club.

The EMEs, moreover, are increasingly being differentiated by more than just per capita income. They are becoming much more diverse in many other respects. Some, for example, are exploiting their mineral resources or large populations while others have been relying on foreign capital and technology to ignite growth. Some have recently liberalized their capital markets while others have kept a tight reign. Some allow enormous economic freedom but stifle basic political rights; for others it is the reverse. In the past few years, some of the poorest nations have “leap-frogged” and become quickly well connected through wireless technology. Of the two fastest growing big emerging markets, one has first-world transportation infrastructure throughout all of its large cities while the other relies on dirt roads for much of its vehicle transportation. In short, the attributes that make these developing economies “emerging” are multidimensional and a sizeable number of variables will be needed to differentiate them and track how each country is progressing or regressing relative to its peer group over time.

среда, 6 апреля 2011 г.

An interview with SKOLKOVO graduate Kane Cuenant

Here we present you the interview with SKOLKOVO graduate Kane Cuenant prepared by MBAconsult.ru
Their interview with Yuri Kovalev is available here

Kane Cuenant lives and works in Canada and yet for his MBA degree he has chosen a Russian business school. Now Kane is happy to share his impressions on SKOLKOVO studies.

Kane Cuenant
Education: BPh, Queen’s University, and MBA, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO
Work experience: self-employed
Age: 28
Residence: Vancouver, Canada

MBA Consult: What brought you to the decision of acquiring the MBA degree?
Kane: Prevoius to my SKOLKOVO studies I already had some decent experience of work at both developed and developing markets. I needed an MBA degree in order to organize my knowledge in a more systematic way so that to implement it effectively in practice and become a real professional. This is what actually brought me to the decision of business education necessity.

MBA Consult: How did you choose the school? You didn’t even look at your home country business schools as well as at any prestigious American ones… How did it happen that you have chosen the Russian school?
Kane: That’s a good question. I am asked the same quite often but it isn’t still an easy thing to answer it. I had good chances to enter a few top MBA programmes and I have chosen the most practice-oriented one at that time (ant it is still the same now). If you look at the programmes in the developing countries such as India and China you would see that they are nothing but a copy of the American, European or Canadian ones. I was not going to receive an American or European MBA in a developing country, you know. I was looking for an original programme based on the genuine experience of working at developing markets.

MBA Consult: Weren’t you concerned with the fact that SKOLKOVO is a very young school – it had its first enrollment in 2009? Wasn’t it scary?
Kane: Probably such thoughts came to my mind in the beginning. But when you join a project you usually pay the highest attention to the people you’d be working with and to the resources you’d have an opportunity to use. In these terms SKOLKOVO is an excellent option. Lots of funds are invested in the school and many leading Russian businessmen and government officials of the highest level support this project. I had an honor to have Ruben Vardanian as my personal mentor (Ruben Vardanian is the President of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and the Chairman of Board of Directors of “Troika Dialog” company – author’s note.) Each student had his personal mentor – one of the most successful businessmen in Russia or India, for example. I’m absolutely positive about this project having the most prosperous future.

MBA Consult: Do you remember your first impressions from coming to Russia for the first time?
Kane: When I arrived our school was still under construction and at first we have been accommodated in a luxury hotel. I don’t think this can be the way to get any comprehensive and true-to-life impression of the country. But what I can say with no doubt is that Russia is some absolutely different world compared to all the other countries I had been to. During the first six monthes I gained the really unique experience and opened so many new things for myself! Then I went to Kaliningrad to work on a project in the public and social sphere there – this was exciting! And what I appreciated most here is that everybody is so much eager to give you all possible opportunities for work, studying and personal growth – even the school administrative stuff, to say nothing of the faculty memebers and founding partners.

понедельник, 4 апреля 2011 г.

Overview of SKOLKOVO students' project work on the reconstruction of Federal Highway

The next public project conducted by our MBA students that we would like to tell you about is the Project on the Reconstruction of M-3 “Ukraine” Federal Highway. Six students were involved in the project: Alexey Nazarov (team leader), Elena Zotkina, Viacheslav Golubev, Grant Alaverdian, Igor Korotkiy, and Alexander Kosenko. They had to treat one of the two Russian disasters and not to become the second – as they are joking themselves. (Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol once said his country has two problems: roads and fools.)

The project has two clients: Igor Levitin, Russia Transport Minister, and State company “Russian Roads”. The goal of the project was to offer some recommendations on the M3 highway reconstruction scenarios taking into consideration the engineering specification, possible saving of the state funds, and basing on the world’s best practice and Russian reality.

The work was split into several steps. First of all, the team had to evaluate the track quality as it is now and study the intensity of freight and car traffic in order to figure out how many lanes are needed at different road shares. The traffic intensity analysis was carried out till 2014, and basing on this the students proposed to build the 6 lane road (with a possibility to enlarge it to 8 lanes) up to the 172 km and then to narrow it down first to 4 and than to 2 lanes. All possible issues regarding the traffic safety were considered for that.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

Here comes Helen Edwards with her new business literature recommendations. We wish you an exciting reading experience!

1. Beyond the familiar: long term growth through customer focus and innovation
Patrick Barwise and Sean Meehan
Jossey-Bass, 2011.
x, 174 pages; ISBN: 9780470976319

The starting point for long-term, market-leading organic profit growth is to deliver the main current category benefits to customers better than the competition. Chapters cover communicating a clear brand strategy (the promise to the customer); creating and developing customer trust by dealing with dissatisfaction, and the importance of a drive for continual improvement. But to innovate beyond the familiar, the authors recommend looking for opportunities to move to "adjacent" areas, relating to and building on the company's existing business, rather than necessarily attempting "heroic" innovation with its high risk of failure. The book ends with a challenge to business leaders to open up to uncomfortable news and really listen to their frontline staff.

2. Fully charged: how great leaders boost their organization's energy and ignite high performance
Heike Bruch and Bernd Vogel
Harvard Business Review Press, 2011.
x, 272 pages, ISBN: 9781422129036

Organizational energy is the extent to which an organization has mobilized its emotional, cognitive and behavioral potential to pursue its goals. Unlike corporate culture, which reflects stable values and internalized values and assumptions, organizational energy refers to the present activation of the human forces and can readily change as a result of outside factors or leadership activities. The book presents a matrix of four states of energy; productive: high involvement and high activity; comfortable: commitment but low activity levels, relying on past success formulas; resigned inertia: frustration and little collective engagement and worst of all corrosive: destructive behavior, infighting, resistance to change and personal agendas. The authors advise on how to diagnose the company energy state and how to improve it.

пятница, 1 апреля 2011 г.

Advanced Negotiation Thinking – a new open Executive Education programme at SKOLKOVO

Welcome to the new SKOLKOVO Executive Education programme on Advanced Negotiation Thinking – a two-day course which will enable you to:

  • Develop negotiation skills applicable to a wide range of situations
  • Define effective strategies in order to build up long-term relations while negotiating
  • Learn how to make ‘tough and firm’ decisions without facing confrontation
  • Construct analytical approach to the problem so as to accelerate economic profitability

The programme is devoted to the negotiation process analysis and developing negotiation strategy and tactics as well as aggressive negotiation challenges. Strong negotiation theory and practice base of the programme will help you improve the outcome of deals in every aspect of your business.

The programme is designed for executives who have at least five years of managerial experience and are involved in conduction and supervision of business negotiations.

The programme will be held on April 27-28 from 9:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. at SKOLKOVO Campus. Please find all the details and fill in the application for the programme here

Leading professor of the programme is Moty Cristal – Founder and CEO of Nest Consulting Negotiation Strategies who is teaching Negotiation techniques at our Executive MBA programme. He aquiered a really unique experience on negotiation work when served in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Defense in various official positions on the Israeli negotiation teams with Jordan and the Palestinians. Mr Cristal is working in consulting and education since 2001 and gives lectures worldwide on crisis negotiation and complex crisis management. Mr. Cristal teaches international negotiations and crisis management to graduate students, senior executives and officials in USA, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He says, “I want my students to understand that negotiation is a process which can and should be managable.”