Notes from EMBA Series 4 Classes

By vijay on April 5, 2016 — 3 mins read

Notes from EMBA Series 4 Classes

On 11 March and 12 March we had the fourth series of Executive MBA classes with 2 sessions of Business Analytics and  Organisational Behaviour each.

Business Analytics

First session of BA focused on statistics and analysis of data in Series 3.

We had our second, third sessions during the week – where we primarily focused on strategy for the big data analytics and identifying the types of data.

We explored SMART Model – Strategy, Measure, Analyse, Report, Transform – starting with the definitions of Mission, Vision, Goals, and Strategy.

Vision – Vision describes optimal desired future state. Vision statement provides inspiration for what an organisation wants to achieve in five, ten or more years. For example, Nissan states its vision as: Enriching people’s lives

Mission – Mission answers the following questions: How will you get there?, What an organisation does, who it does for and how it does. Mission focuses on shorter time frame, e.g., 1 to 3 years. Staying with the same example, Nissan’s expresses its mission as “Nissan provides unique and innovative automotive products and services that deliver superiour, maeaurable values to all stakeholders in allliance with Renault”

Goal – A goal smaller than the mission, executed in short term.

Strategy – Strategy describes how to achieve a goal. Strategy comes from thoughtfully constructed plan or method.

Role of Analytics Consultant

According to a survey of the data analysts, almost all the analysts (99%) “Inform” their clients by answering “what happened?” question using the data. 30% of the consultants diagnise and give answers to “Why did something happen?”. Around 13% of them provide predictive analysis that indicates what will happen. Only 3% can give prescriptive suggestions on what shall a company do based on the data.

Types of Data & Privacy

The data in a company falls into different categories:

  • Based on the format : Structured or Unstructured
  • Based on location of the data: Internal to the company or external data source.
  • Fast or Slow depending on generation or accumulation speed.

When dealing with the data, Data privacy one of the primary concerns European Union has strict laws related to data privacy, website has some relevant information :

Organisational Behaviour

The main topic for this session centred around Employee Engagement. The topics discussed included how to keep employees motivated, and why should a company focus on employee engagement. Prof. Patrick shared some surveys on employee engagement details across the globe: Japan has the lowest engagement across the globe (UWES). We also discussed burn-out in the employees and how to handle it.

Guest Lectures by Doug Baillie

Doug Baillie from Unilever, gave two guest lectures as part of the Organisational Behaviour sessions. He recently retired from Unilever where he served as Chief HR officer during the last 5 years. He worked at Unilever for 38 years, practically his entire career. During that time he worked in South Africa, India, UK, Australia and the Netherlands.

He gave two sessions – first one about the leadership challenges in the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world explaining how the role of leadership at a company impacts the outside world. In his second session he explained his own personal leadership journey, highlighting the lessons and suggestions he has for us.

Personal Leadership Journey:

  1. Always be the best one
  2. Discipline, Trust, Teamwork – It is better to give away trust.
  3. Always do what you say you will
  4. Leadership is about serving other people
  5. Be aware of the culture
  6. Have a ‘can do’ attitude
  7. It is never too late to learn something new

Leadership Advice:

  • The buck stops with you.
  • Check your body language, not just your words.
  • Recruit and Keep the best in the team.
  • Look out for oxygen thieves.
  • Never bad mouth the past.
  • Listening and Visibility are very important.
  • Top position can get quite lonely.
  • Relax up (the hierarchy) and stop stressing down (the reports).
  • Empowerment serves as a great signal.
  • As a line manager, you won the talent agenda, not the HR.
  • You can never communicate enough.
  • Look out for external risks.
  • Always, Always, Always win with integrity.
  • Don’t forget to have fun.

Team Representative Meetings

I joined the meeting from my team. Karim Jazzar, our Director of Executive MBA program, chaired the meeting to get the feedback from the students. The teams expressed some concerns about how course deadlines and interesting discussions about different professors’ teaching methodology. From our team, we had fairly positive feedback so far. We appreciated the effort by the management to get our ongoing feedback.


We finished and submitted our team assignment for Organisational Behaviour. We analysed the effectiveness of new Disney Animation System’s restructure worked after Pixar’s acquisition, exploring the cultural differences, team structure etc.

In the next post, I’ll add the notes from Series 5 classes, so keep reading!

Posted in: MBA

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