07/12/2017
“The reign of KPIs in performance management is over.”
“The reign of KPIs in performance management is over.”
Interview with CEIBS Prof. Katherine Xin

Prof. Xin, you will come to Zurich and teach a 4-day module in organizational behavior. Tell us about the core issues of your program.

Organizational behavior is systematic study of the behaviors and attitudes that people exhibit within groups and organizations. Basically, I will focus on how people interact with each other at individual, group and organizational level in the context of different cultural backgrounds.  

Talking about working together: a company wants to reach goals and isn’t it all - including organizational behavior - about reaching goals?
It is, and part of my teaching deals with the motivational theory. We will discuss how we motivate individuals in teams to achieve more together. From there we move on to discuss how teams behave, discussing group dynamics and group decision making processes. A key question we will focus on is: how do we build trust in teams of great diversity? How do we create commitment to teams and to organizations? The key answer to these questions is: we must leverage on our differences.

Teams are, as you say, very dynamic. That is positive but also a hard environment for decision making and sometimes even a source for conflicts?
There are two kinds of conflicts: relational and task. Relational conflicts stem from individual differences in terms of personality, values, and styles. Task conflicts result from different ways of thinking, from different experiences. Relational conflict is negative for performance, while task conflicts could be constructive to our performance if we can keep the level of conflicts at a manageable level.  If we do not have any task conflict, there is not enough creativity. If there is too much task conflict, it is damaging to performance results, as people may get emotional by having too high level of task conflict. Keep task conflict at a reasonable level is most constructive.

But organizational structures are sometimes very rigid. How can we adapt to these structures?
If you look at organizational structures, you will soon realize that it is about how we organize our work roles. Organizational structure is a formal means of control, while organizational culture is an informal way of control of people’s behavior. We will introduce pros and cons of different organizational structure during the module. We also will present competing frame works of organizational cultures. An effective organizational culture creates both cohesion inside the organization and adaptation to the external world. We need to balance long-term vs. short-term, stability vs. flexibility.

Do you know the class and the GEMBA students?
Yes, and this is important. I will read through their backgrounds. Moreover, we have pre-module assignment. Through their pre-module essay and statement, we know their expectations, and this is very valuable.

Your faculty colleague Jack Wood has taught courses in Zurich, including organizational leadership. What is the difference between his and your module?
He’s more on leadership. My course is broader, because we discuss issues of motivation, teamwork, organizational culture, organizational structure, and organizational change. We do not discuss so much leadership to avoid an overlap of the two modules.

Currently you are researching how effective performance management can shape people’s mind-set and behavior. Can you give a few insights on this research?

Performance management has undergone major changes. In the past, we set up KPI for performance management purposes. Many of the indicators were quantifiable like sales targets, market shares etc. Supervisors and subordinates would agree on the KPI, and performance is measured against the KPI. Development areas are identified after the performance appraisal.

How has this changed?
Today, with the emergence of new business models, we look at new trends in performance management. For example, Alibaba in China would measure employee performance based on organizational culture, not on financial KPI. If we look at the new economy, it provides various new forms of performance management. The so-called shared economy has a different organizational structure, which requires different forms of performance management. The same is true for self-managed teams.

And how will you bring the understanding of your research into your teaching?

I present new ways and new models of performance management based on my research in class. I ask participants in class to reflect on these new trends and their company practices in performance management as well.

Approximately 2 years ago the Zurich Institute of Business Education became CEIBS Zurich Campus. How important is Swiss campus for CEIBS today?
Extremely important. We have three campuses in China, one in Switzerland and one in Ghana. We have deep connections with Europe which goes back to the founding of CEIBS, the China EUROPE international Business School, in 1994. It is only natural that we are here. Moreover, we have a very broad alumni network in Europe. We also have very strong Chinese alumni who are very interested in doing business in Europe. We view Switzerland as a gateway to Europe as well. Currently we run about 10 Real Situation Learning study tours around 5 themes out of our Switzerland campus in addition to our other executive education activities.

Talking about the internationality: many business school send their students to overseas locations, saying that they are „international “. In what way is the CEIBS International strategy different?
First: our faculty members are internationals from so many different countries and all of us have worked overseas, in different continents. Second, many of our students are coming from their home countries to a third country for their studies and enter a real learning situation with local businesses, whether in Ghana, in Shanghai or in Zurich. We discuss real business cases on sites with company executives offering insights right on the spot. Third: We bring key note speakers from local companies to the classroom and discuss their practices and have interactive dialogues with our participants. All in all, we go much deeper than our counterparts into international business arena.

For the first time, you will be teaching in Zurich. What are your expectations?
I fully expect our global participants to be ready for dialogues on issues related to organizational behavior that are of great relevance to them. I hope issues and cases we discuss in class will have practical implications for businesses of our participants. I am expecting four fruitful and enriching days ahead.
07/12/2017
“Europe is discussing while China is innovating.”
“Europe is discussing while China is innovating.”
2. Sino-Swiss Healthcare Forum 2017

Your mobile phone is being transformed into a hospital thanks to innovations in technology and big data, according to Peter Ohnemus, Founder and CEO of Dacadoo. Mr. Ohnemus was one of a group of healthcare industry entrepreneurs from China and Europe who spoke at the 2nd Sino-Swiss Healthcare Forum 2017, which was held on October 18 at UBS headquarters in Zurich, entitled “Innovation: Path to the New World of Healthcare Management.”

The forum was co-organized by CEIBS and UBS and brought together entrepreneurs and investors from around the world for a day of networking and discussions on the latest industry innovations, challenges, and opportunities for collaboration between Chinese and Swiss companies.

Among the participants were 50 Chinese healthcare entrepreneurs who were in Europe for the CEIBS Smart Healthcare Study Tour that combines company visits and case studies utilising the CEIBS Real Situation Learning Method™. CEIBS Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship Vincent Chang led the Study Tour.

H.E. Yanping Gao, Consul General for the People’s Republic of China in Zurich and the Principality of Liechtenstein noted the rapid increase in China’s ageing population is one area that, according to her, provides both challenges and opportunities for the global healthcare industry. Though this population has the highest healthcare costs, innovations such as AI, big data, and new technologies can help lower costs and improve patient outcomes.

Lowering costs and improving patient outcomes is the driving factor behind many of the innovations that were discussed today. “There is a very strong interest in better digital healthcare that can navigate people to a healthier lifestyle,” said Peter Ohnemus, Founder and CEO of Dacadoo.
“25% to 35% of all costs in the healthcare industry can be reduced through digital healthcare” by focusing on preventive measures rather than treatment.

However, applying technology to solve bottlenecks in the healthcare system is not as easy in developing markets such as China. Mr. Peng Liu, Co-founder of Senyint International Digital Healthcare System, explained that there is a resource gap between China’s urban and rural populations. He added that although China is working to develop a system that can provide digital medical records for patients, in rural areas providing basic services is still the primary goal. “The ultimate goal is to have a system that is not focused on treatment, but on prevention,” he said.

Ms. Jingping Mei, Fosun Pharma Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Planning, explained that new government policies have been announced which will help speed up the process for approval and introduction of new treatments in China, by allowing Chinese companies to use trial data collected from other countries.

Younger Chinese are eager to embrace new technologies, and are less concerned about data privacy. Hence, Mr. Zhen Xiao, CEO of Swiss Centers China said that on the one hand, China “has a bigger job [to catch up], but on the other hand, it can leapfrog in some areas, as consumer openness is bigger in China and there are less privacy issues.” Noting the strict regulations in Europe around data privacy, Ohnemus remarked that “China is becoming the world’s leading force in Big Data while Europe is spending a lot of time discussing data privacy issues,” he said. “Europe is discussing while China is innovating.”

But CEIBS President and Chengwei Ventures Chair Professor of Entrepreneurship Pedro Nueno is optimistic that other countries will catch up. “China is a big opportunity but there are more coming. Everything we do in China can be applied in other markets,” he stated.

Frank Niedermann, Head of Wealth Management APAC Switzerland at UBS, noted that events like the forum provide important collaboration opportunities for developing the industry: “We are proud that together with our partner CEIBS, we could make this conference a success.”

Professor Nueno echoed this sentiment in his closing remarks: “This forum was a tremendous learning opportunity,” he announced. “The networking was excellent. It is a good opportunity for everyone to evaluate themselves and a way for disruptive theories to be explored.”
19/10/2017
New Global EMBA Class 2017
New Global EMBA Class 2017
The GEMBA class 2017 with students from Africa, Europe and Asia got off to a great start.  They started with the same module as last year, which is the Leadership program with Jack Denfeld Wood, Professor of Management Practice and Organizational Behavior at CEIBS in Shanghai.

This very first course is central to the program for one reason: it is both intellectually and emotionally challenging. The Leadership sessions have not been designed as an intellectual exercise - they have been designed for individual leadership development.

The new GEMBA students can seize the chance to build upon and integrate their past life experience, their current situation, and their future aspirations, and to apply these to deepening their capacity to exercise leadership responsibly.

The leadership sessions invite the students to engage actively in the developmental process - the creative enterprise of discovering, articulating, and shaping their individual identity and leadership skills-to help them to recognize and exercise their capacity to lead-responsibly-during both their personal and professional life.  

Throughout the sessions together the participants will have the opportunity to deepen their awareness of their motivations and of their unique exercise of leadership; to practice their leadership skills; to develop their capacity to reflect on their experiences in groups and organizations; to explore 'thinking psychologically', that is, to deepen their understanding of overt, conscious as well as covert, unconscious dynamics occurring in groups and organizations.

Read more: interview with Jack D. Wood
19/10/2017
Doing Business in China
Doing Business in China
When Zurich Meets Shanghai: CEIBS Shanghai campus welcomed the Global EMBA

Zurich cohort this month for their two-week China module. The 29 students are from very different cultures and industries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. They began their study journey in September 2016, at the same time as the CEIBS Global EMBA Shanghai cohort. The two cohorts use the same course structure and teaching resources, and will merge for the electives during the second half of the programme. They not only benefit from a wide range of teaching resources, but also the global alumni network.

Read on to hear what a few of the GEMBA Zurich students have to say about their experience with the programme thus far.

“This is a cohort with cultures from three different continents. After a year of studies, we can feel a transformation from quantitative to long-term qualitative changes happening among us. That we are different ages and have different educational backgrounds actually helps us to learn from each other,” said Dayong Liu, Managing Director of TFC International Logistics. Besides the Leadership and the Operations Management modules run by Adjunct Professor of Management Jack Denfeld Wood and Associate Dean and Professor of Operations Management Nikos Tsikriktsis respectively, Liu was also impressed by the Africa module. “During our time there, we realized the historical reasons behind West Africa’s current economic situation. We learn not only across different regions, but also through history records. This is a valuable addition to our skillset.”

Uju Uzo-Ojinnaka, a mother of four, is the Class President of the 2016 Zurich track. When she applied to the Global EMBA Programme she was the Managing Director of an African importer of Chinese construction materials. But this April, inspired by a contact acquired through the programme, she opened her own company – Traders of Africa, a pan-African e-commerce marketplace featuring products made in Africa. “Traders of Africa was born during the entrepreneurship module I took in April. It was used as the project for my group, and it later became a real-life project. The company hired its first employee in June, and our platform launched in September.” Uju said that the Global EMBA has a constant impact on her business. During her studies, she often comes up with inspiring new ideas, which she immediately emails to her team back in Africa to try to put them into practice.

Robert Hartmann lived in China for 10 years. In his last China position he led healthcare business development for the China unit of DKSH, a Swiss market expansion services company. Now he is responsible for the company’s Swiss technology business unit. Having moved back to his native Switzerland, Robert still wants to stay connected with the Chinese market. “Through the Global EMBA Zurich track, I am able to access a network of people who have been active in China, as well as people who are still in China, and people who want to be active in China,” he said. This network is valuable inside and outside the classroom. Hartmann still recalls last year’s opening module, and said it pushed every participant to critically evaluate themselves and be challenged by coaches as well as peers.

Kwesi Okyere is the Business Development Manager of Comptran Engineering & Planning Associates, a Ghanian consulting company. He has always wanted to earn an MBA, to build both his knowledge and skills as well as broadening his business network. Okyere said the Global EMBA Programme has greatly improved his analytical and problem-solving skills. “It is one thing to say, ‘analyze the market’, but what does that actually mean? The Global EMBA has provided me with the framework to do the analysis properly. I was impressed with Professor of Economics Bala Ramasamy’s Economic Analysis module, Professor of Management Practice in Accounting Mathew Tsamenyi’s Financial Reporting module, and Prof. Nikos Tsikriktsis’ Operations Management module, which effectively broke down the content and applied it to a real-world context.” Okyere has been looking forward to the China module. In his opinion, though China is still a developing country, it has made astonishing progress. He sees China’s growth and development as a good inspiration for Africa.

This year’s China module also saw the 2016 Zurich cohort join with the Shanghai cohort for the Strategic Simulation course with Associate Professor of Management Daniel Han Ming Chng and Professor of Management Tae-Yeol Kim. There were also courses on Marketing Management and Organizational Behavior, as well as days devoted to the study of the Chinese economy. Three renowned CEIBS faculty members, Professor of Economics and Finance Xu Bin, Professor of Economics Zhu Tian, and Professor of Economics Wu Ho-Mo analyzed the Chinese economy from different perspectives, adding China Depth to this global programme.

Besides the intensive studies, the cohort also enjoyed a colorful social life. There have been events with guest speakers, a fabric market visit, and social events. The Zurich and Shanghai cohorts also jointly celebrated their one-year study anniversary with an event where they commemorated their achievements and shared their future plans. The two cohorts will have the opportunity to meet up again during the programme’s later elective modules, which will surely create more inspiring moments.
19/10/2017
CEIBS & Swiss Leadership Forum
CEIBS & Swiss Leadership Forum
A strategic partnership

The Zurich Institute of Business Education – CEIBS Zurich Campus has recently begun working together with the Swiss Leadership Forum. We are looking forward to cooperative events and workshops in this new strategical partnership.

"Expect the Unexpected" on 29 November. This year's Swiss Leadership Forum takes place in the luxury hotel The Dolder Grand in Zurich, where the instructors will be joined by moderator and cabaret artist Dr. Fabian Unteregger. The workshops and seminars will support you in gaining insight into the future of business. The central topic is how to deal with the unexpected. Instructors and podium guests will illuminate various aspects of future possibilities and supposed impossibilities. What that means is:

The world is changing rapidly - geopolitically, technologically, and also societally. But how seriously are we taking this process of change? How relevant is it to us and our businesses? Are we capable of looking forward and anticipating the future for us and our organizations, or do we believe that the "soup" is going to cool down before we have to eat it?

You can look forward to engaging discussions with the instructors and interesting predictions about the future of business and society.

We hope to see you on 29 November 2017 in The Dolder Grand in Zurich!

Instructor Program: Swiss Leadership Forum
18/09/2017
Staff Development Programm
Staff Development Programm
One of the most important topics for any company is to recognize and develop high potentials within their organization. For this purpose, CEIBS has established its Staff Development Program, which takes place in Switzerland and China and was set up for selected High Potentials from CEIBS Shanghai, CEIBS Beijing, CEIBS Shenzhen, CEIBS Ghana & CEIBS Zurich, in order to have a recognized pool of high potentials within CEIBS.

The program was developed under the guidance of Mrs Xuejun Dong, Head of HR CEIBS, who has strongly pushed both the idea and the program. The first part of the program was held only recently at the Zurich Institute of Business Education - CEIBS Campus Zurich, from 3rd-8th August 2017. 

The main topic of the Zurich session was ‘Leadership & Management’, including lectures by Dean Ding Yuan and a three-day leadership program by Prof. Jack Wood, including topics such as group dynamics and self-awareness for leaders, accompanied by various workshops. Part of the program were visits to the ETH Zurich and Swiss pocket knife producer Victorinox.

The objective of the program is to provide the middle level managers in CEIBS with professional knowledge, including several objectives. Dr. Thelma Opara, Head Business Development, Sales & Marketing in Accra is a participant in the program and emphasizes that beyond the development of high potentials, the program allows the fostering of ‘collaborations between staff from different campuses and to find solutions to some of the challenges brought about by the impressive growth of the school as an international institution.’

Another aspect was highlighted by GEMBA assistant Program Manager Rachel Wu, who said that business schools provide business education to business leaders, and so as staff they should also constantly be improving their business knowledge in order to deliver the best quality business education. Or, as Dr. Opara said: ‘We became participants and wore the shoes of participants. Experiencing things from a different perspective gave some of us new perspectives to doing our jobs.’ 

Besides these aspects both, Mrs. Wu and Dr. Opara agreed that all participants profited from the opportunity to get to know each other better and establish personal relationships, which will translate into better working relationships: ‘The program further fostered better understanding of cultural and racial differences and well as respect for same.’

The program will continue in December with a final module on the Shenzhen Campus from 19th-22nd December 2017.
30/08/2017
The HEMBA: New EMBA in Hospitality Management
The HEMBA: New EMBA in Hospitality Management
École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) are delighted to announce their official academic collaboration, aiming to deliver a unique hospitality management program.

The newly signed framework agreement lays the groundwork for program collaboration, drawing on the expertise and strengths of both institutions. The development of graduate-level Hospitality Management programs in China comes at a particularly timely phase of the Asian hospitality industry, which is set to grow well above the global average for the coming decade. The program will be the first of its kind within mainland China.

The newly created EMBA in Hospitality allows us “to leverage each institution’s strengths and creates a new benchmark for excellence in hospitality management.” says Achim Schmitt, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at EHL.

The HEMBA will be available as of May 2018, with courses jointly delivered by the CEIBS and EHL faculty in Lausanne, Zurich, Shanghai, and other cities in the Asia Pacific Region.

About École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) 

École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893. It has created and inspired a unique professional community of over 25,000 hospitality managers, united by the values and the legacy of EHL.

EHL is a leading university that provides learning solutions for enthusiastic, talented and ambitious students from 114 different countries. With undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, EHL offers its students a range of on-campus and online education opportunities at different stages of their professional journey. 
30/08/2017
Campus Refurbishment: Fresh. Modern. Innovative.
Campus Refurbishment: Fresh. Modern. Innovative.
We have grown - in every respect: our team has grown, we have expanded the range of what we can offer, and the number of managers we train is continuously increasing. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before we started a large-scale campus renovation.

After having renovated both auditoriums last year, this summer we modernized the lobby as well as all the group study rooms. We created supplementary office space next to the entrance by redesigning the reception, and the newly designed front desk allows us to serve our customers even better. In the empty space behind the front desk, we have made room for an additional work station.

A glass office box with three new offices is the hallmark of the lobby. True to our philosophy based around exchange and communication, the lobby has plenty of space for the participants during coffee breaks.

Our institute has changed considerably in the past two years and we wanted to reflect this change in its appearance - everything is fresh, modern and innovative.

This includes the freshly renovated group study rooms. The old floors have been restored and the rooms were re-equipped under the guidance of a specialized furnishing consultant - from the floors right up to the lighting concept. We finished off the renovation with an upgrade and enhanced our audio-visual equipment.

28/08/2017
3rd CEIBS Europe Forum in Munich, 13th September 2017
3rd CEIBS Europe Forum in Munich, 13th September 2017
Belt and Road Initiative: How Germany Benefits from China’s Economic Growth 

During the last years, it has become the order of the day to step up regional cooperation to drive economic growth.

More than three years ago, in response to economic globalization, China brought forward the Belt and Road Initiative, which was aimed at boosting the common prosperity of China and countries along the Belt and Road. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, cross-border direct investment is at center stage in economic cooperation.

Germany has long been a Mecca for Chinese investors by its favorable investment climate and the complementary advantages in economy between the two countries. Chinese companies have a slew of success stories when it comes to investment in Germany.

In terms of industrial equipment and mechanical manufacturing, cooperation between Chinese and German companies can produce a synergy effect, thanks to Germany’s state-of-the-art industrial technology, remarkable ability for innovation, and huge talent pool, and China’s vast market, abundant capital, and extraordinary capability for commercialization.

Since the end of 2016, a series of black swan events have fueled anti-globalization sentiment, deterring Chinese companies’ investment in Germany. Nevertheless, Chinese enterprises remain bullish about the German market and long-term cooperation with their German counterparts.

Given a solid foundation for cooperation, how will China and Germany push forward investment for industrial integration and complementarity? And how will the two countries leverage complementary strengths in making inroads into the third-party market?

The forum will combine the discussions that center on investment with case studies at thematic sessions to provide you with not only insights into new models and prospects for China-Germany cooperation, but also opportunities for interaction with enterprises from the two sides.

  • Date: 13 September, 13.00 – 17.50
  • Venue: Alte Bayerische Staatsbank, Cardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse 1, Munich, Germany
  • Organizers: China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Germany
  • Registration: online form
10/07/2017
Excellent content and a huge learning effect: the European Food and Agribusiness Forum
Excellent content and a huge learning effect: the European Food and Agribusiness Forum
How can the agricultural and food industry implement more effective business models? Which solutions are the right ones for demanding customers? How will brands and images be strengthened in future? The European Food and Agribusiness Forum, which took place in Zurich from 18-20 June, was exactly the right place to be for anyone looking for answers to any of these questions. High-level executives from successful food companies talked about their own experiences and presented valuable case studies which were specially designed for the international forum and its visitors.

The presentation by the multi-billion group Danone was particularly well received. The company is committed to providing people all over the world with healthy food, and features strong brands such as Actimel, Evian and Milupa in its portfolio. Danone would like to strengthen these brands and how they are perceived internationally. In her case study, Nadine Küster, General Secretary of Danone DACH, therefore gave a presentation about how the company wishes to improve its image in future, in order to convey this and its values on an even greater global scale.

Forward-looking case studies of large corporations

The company Migrolino was also represented by its CEO Markus Länzlinger. The company is part of the Migros Group which is one of the most successful food companies in Switzerland, with sales of 27 billion Swiss francs and more than 100,000 employees. Migrolino has recently opened a logistics center which is implementing new business models and supplying customers in accordance with the latest standards. The company is therefore able to identify customer needs even before they arise, and meet the highest standards of quality. CEO Länzlinger talked about his experiences at the European Food and Agribusiness Forum, and discussed new value chains and partnerships with participating CEOs.

Sten Estrup, Executive Vice President of Christian Hansen, enthused about the event: "I have never before attended a seminar which dealt with the challenges facing the food industry in such depth." Gerald Wilfingseder, General Manager of the Gold Coin Group also voiced his satisfaction with the event: "It is absolutely incredible how much I have learnt from this event." For us, and for everyone involved, the European Food and Agribusiness Forum was a huge success. Further forums in Asia and Africa are planned with Wageningen University and Research.
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