Philippe Gabilliet, who has a always been a militant for creative, positive and optimistic management, now infuses these values into ESCP Europe MEB (Master in European Business) students.
The MEB has always been defined and designed as a genuine « life-changing » programme. That point seems to be quite relevant nowadays, especially when we think about the turbulent times we are navigating.
“Crisis” is still a key word for managers and executives. Nothing really surprising if we consider “crisis” – following the Oxford Dictionary – as a “time of intense difficulty or danger”… But for the ancient Greeks, krisis was also a key part of their lives. But when they were talking about it, they were thinking about two things: on one hand, “decision and judgment”; but in the other hand the “ability to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong”, etc. Later in Ancient History, Romans too used crisis as an important concept. But the Latin meaning was at that time a little bit different, considering crisis mostly as “the turning point of a disease”, when it becomes clear whether the patient will recover and be saved… or not. The patient?... Could also be the Company, the Business or the Economy…
These points are important mainly because they help us to keep in mind the issue at hand for all managers, and especially the young ones: being ready for facing and handling unexpected changes. But how to react in front of the unexpected? We can agree, probably, on the fact that denial, “issue-avoiding” attitude is definitely not the right one. Most of us sincerely believe that adaptation is the key. But is it so obvious? The manager who is only adapting himself/herself is actually accepting, submitting one’s future to environment constraints. So, let us explore an alternative way, the one founded on innovation, disruption, thinking out-of-the-box, new opportunities, contingent crossroads… Let’s open our mind and talk about creativity, considered as an ability to improve anything, but in an inventive way that nobody at that time has ever thought about! Yes, being creative is like being in love with the new!
Thomas Edison once wrote: “If we did all things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves”. So let’s do it. And the MEB is the right place to get prepared. In fact, creativity is not always a natural way for analyzing or making decisions. Very often, we have to choose the creative way against the average and standardized way. But where does creativity comes from? It comes from intersections and edges. Creativity happen when a problem is addressed in multiple perspective, cross-cultural, cross-professional, cross-generation, cross-backgrounds, etc. By providing this “cross-approach”, the MEB programme represent a sort of international “creative factory” for students. By travelling along various countries and management fields, they learn as quickly as possible – in an innovative way - how to use differently the management concepts and tools they are taught.
As Albert Einstein used to say: “Creativity is intelligence having fun”!