GEMBA: Global EMBA Overseas Electives
GEMBA: Global EMBA Overseas Electives
We send our participants on a global journey, for example, to India.

To excel in the global arena, first-hand experience of the global business environment is imperative. That's why CEIBS has introduced the global elective modules. Participants in the Global Executive MBA program have the opportunity – and the obligation – to choose at least two from seven global elective modules across five continents.

Not only do the global electives give them the chance to experience the global business environment but some electives will also be combined with the Global EMBA program of Spain’s IESE Business School. Thus, they can further expand their networks by interacting with business leaders based all over the world.

Mr. Robert Hartmann is currently studying in the 20-month GEMBA program. He is the General Manager of the Business Unit “Technology” of DKSH Switzerland, a leading market expansion services group with a focus on Asia, and he has participated in several global overseas elective modules. Only recently did he return from a week in India.

Robert, why did you choose the India module?
I have lived for a decade in China which, by the way, is one reason why I have chosen the CEIBS Global Executive MBA Program. India was special to me because I had a China viewpoint and going to India meant going to the other side of the fence.

As for me, I own one part of an industrial zone called Innodel in Basel Area, Switzerland. One of the companies building a factory there is an Indian biotech company. As India is strong in pharmaceuticals, I wanted to know how they work and see whether I could attract additional investors. That's why I wanted to go there personally and understand the investors’ situation.  Looking back, I can say that it was helpful, and I would like to emphasize that it's good that CEIBS has these global programs because that's what it means to be global, and that's the way to do it.

CEIBS promises to provide insights into the economy, the country, and its culture. What's your experience?

All three were met. One can learn most of the economic indicators from computer-based training or from a school bench. But you have to mingle with the people to experience the culture. We went to the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, which is one of the top three business schools in all of India. There we met most knowledgeable professors and more than that, we had a panel with local Indian entrepreneurs. That's where I gained valuable insights into the local start-up scene and had an opportunity to directly interact with highly successful founders.

Besides that, company visits also provided a close link with the economy, I guess?

Indeed. We visited, amongst others, Infosys, IBM Labs, and Tata which, looking back, was my favorite visit.  Tata has become a global brand and gave us a lot of insights. It was interesting to see how Tata is a kind of an anti-model because the company produces and distributes almost anything you can imagine. In relation to the size of the company, the owner is a modest man, and more than that, the company has its own foundation, which owns one-third of Tata’s shares. Another interesting fact is their approach to central services. Central business functions need to sell their services to the group´s business units; that means that their internal services are run as a business.

The week was obviously packed with information. Can you pick your most valuable "take-away"?
I was reminded of the sheer scale of the country and impressed by how entrepreneurial and innovative the business ecosystem is. One of the participants of the panel was the founder of an impact-investing VC fund. He told us that if a product or service will not impact more than 10 million consumers, he is not interested.

It reminded me that the Indian investor who is building his factory in the Innodel high-tech park is preparing for volumes way beyond the 8 million-strong population of Switzerland. He is producing for India, which means he must be able to scale quickly and efficiently. A Swiss-made, precision-engineered and highly automated factory will allow him to do just that.

Finally, did you attend any other global elective so far?
I was also in Sao Paolo and I have been to Israel. Each location has its merits. Brazil has built an impressive melting pot of ethnicities and a strong agricultural sector. Israel has impressed me with its ability to innovate. The India elective has proved especially valuable, since I already have business touchpoints with India and anticipate having more in the future.
The Staff Development Zurich Session
The Staff Development Zurich Session
Our Staff Development Program 2018 consists of two modules, with one module on the CEIBS Zurich campus and one module on the Beijing campus.

To build pillars for service excellence, Management & Leadership were among the topics of the first module which took place from May 24th until May 28th.

The purposes of the program are to enhance excellent staff members’ capabilities in management and leadership, help them be more competent for challenging work and to take on great duties and make more contributions to the school.

Prof. Yuan Ding kicked off the program by giving the introduction to CEIBS Strategy. Next, he analyzed the Victorinox case embedded in the real situation learning method. He then brought the staff on a manufacturing tour of Victorinox. Mr. Carl Elsener, the CEO of Victorinox, personally welcomed the group

During the second day, the group visited Olympic museum in the morning and then had a great learning experience at EHL, which is also a CEIBS partner school for the Hospitality EMBA Program. Prof. Marc Stierand gave the presentation on the topic of pillars for service excellence.

For the last three days, CEIBS professor Jack Wood taught the group about management and leadership, how to make decisions, find each individual's leadership foundations, and how to manage differences using the MBTI. The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is indicating differing psychological preferences and based on the conceptual theory proposed by C.G Jung

In addition, professor Gordon Adler added a different angle about leadership, which was all about communicating effectively and efficiently.

Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility
“Origin – fundamentals for the future” – InnoPark Switzerland meets with local secondary schools

As part of our corporate social responsibility activities, the CEIBS Zurich Campus launched a new format. The idea was to bring young apprenticeship seekers together with older, qualified jobseekers. Our first four events were a complete success for all participants. In the near future, the format will also be open to any interested companies.

Millennials represent the future. This generation will shape future working environments to their own requirements. However, the current generation has important experiences and insights. How, then, can these two generations learn and benefit from each other?

That’s why experts from InnoPark Switzerland met with pupils from Zurich secondary schools on the CEIBS Zurich Campus for the fourth workshop "The Future Needs Origin".

Led by Anja Herd, young people entered into an exchange on equal footing with experienced professionals - and vice versa. What can we learn from each other? What can we expect from the working world of tomorrow? In the future, how can the three generations work in harmony?

Using interactive group work, the generations exchanged views on equal terms. Bridges were built, prejudices dismantled and together they developed a common vision for the future of the working world.

Not only do elders have prejudices against adolescents, as one might assume, young people, too, have prejudices against both the adult world and the professional world. The key insight of all those involved was that they have more in common than they have differences. The youngsters were impressed by the fact that the older people did not avoid any conversational taboos; this openness not only pleasantly surprised them, it also helped to deepen the exchange of information.

When discussing the working world of tomorrow, both generations were aware of something: it will be shaped, ultimately, by digitization. Nonetheless, there is a strong conviction among young people that the human factor is an essential component of a sustainable working environment and will therefore remain necessary.

Anja Herde, an expert on intersectoral cooperation, was the presenter of the workshop. Wrapping up the day, she agreed with all participants: "The generational exchange was a complete success and we all agree very positively. We are confident that we can tackle future challenges together and make the world of work a positive one."

Anja has carried out projects with schools and business leaders in cooperation with the Pedagogic High School Zurich and conducted workshops with young people and managers. In addition, she is a project employee at UPJ - Network for Corporate Citizenship and CSR.

InnoPark Switzerland is an organization that improves the employability of highly qualified individuals in an ever-changing professional environment. It offers a broad variety of educational and coaching programs to develop both professional and social skills.

CEIBS Zurich Campus Holds 1st CEO Panel on Chinese Economy
CEIBS Zurich Campus Holds 1st CEO Panel on Chinese Economy
Senior executives from PwC, Nestlé and Fischer AG joined CEIBS Vice President and Dean Prof. Ding Yuan for a panel discussion on the Chinese economy at the Zurich Campus this evening. Moderated by CNN Money Switzerland anchor Martina Fuchs, the event was titled "China after the 19th Party Congress: Intent & Reality - What to Expect" and it attracted more than 70 participants.  

Joining Prof. Ding Yuan on the panel was Felix Sutter, Partner and Head of Asia Business Group at PwC Switzerland, who is also President of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC); Joe Mueller, former head of Nestlé in the greater China region; and Yves Serra, President and CEO of Georg Fischer Ltd.

China's transformation from a manufacturing-based economy to one driven by consumption and services was noted by Prof. Ding Yuan. He also spoke about the growing importance of the emerging market consumers in Asia in driving economic growth around the world. He said he expects that by 2030 there will be around 3 billion middle class consumers in China, Southeast Asia and India. Mr. Mueller said he expected China will soon be one of the world's most sophisticated markets, and he expects that China's economy will remain stable over the next five years.

The differences between the Chinese and the US markets were also discussed. Prof. Ding Yuan said the obvious difference between the two is that the US has always been a free trade nation, but seems to be crawling back from that principle lately, while for China it is the opposite. Mr. Sutter noted that besides these differences, technology is also playing a role in how the two economies are evolving.

Following the panel discussion participants had the opportunity to network while celebrating the Chinese New Year with a buffet of special Chinese dishes.
CEIBS Alumni in Europe: Chapter Head Meeting
CEIBS Alumni in Europe: Chapter Head Meeting
We held our first Europe Chapter Head meeting in January with representation from UK, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, The GAA Club and CEIBS Alumni International Chapter via Skype.

Each chapter had an opportunity to share their status priorities for the coming year. The overall CEIBS strategy in Europe, including 1+1 events, European Forums, Excellence Exchange Programmes and faculty visits, all of which present opportunities for alumni gatherings and activities in Europe, were also discussed.

We are working on the outcomes which we will share with you in due course. Stay tuned for a new and exciting Europe-wide alumni event coming soon!
“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.
“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.”
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
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.
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