“If You Don’t Fail It Means You’re No Longer Learning"

MBA reunion includes 1,300 graduates


MBA Five-Year Reunion 2013

More than 1,300 MBA graduates attended the reunion held on the Barcelona campus on Saturday where they participated in sessions given by Wan Gang, China’s minister of science and technology, the celebrated chef Ferran Adrià and the Japanese architect Makoto Tanijiri.

During the day IESE professors also led numerous sessions whose topics ranged over market orientation, building companies in the digital age, how to enhance portfolio return, the outlook for the global economy and the rise of multichannel retailing, among many others.

In a meeting moderated by Prof. Pedro Nueno, Gang encouraged Spanish companies to collaborate with China in exchange programs for mutual scientific and technological development. He said that international companies need to compete to invest in sectors such as the auto industry, infrastructures and biomedicine. He said that China expects to have 170,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2015, four times the current fleet.

Prof. Mike Rosenberg moderated the session in which Ferran Adrià and Makoto Tanijiri talked about innovation and creativity. Adrià said that few people manage to remain creative for more than 10 years and set out an organizational framework to encourage innovation.

"We are studying and carrying out a scientific analysis of what is the DNA of creativity and how we can be both creative and more efficient. You need to create an organization and a model that encourages and facilitates creativity," he said, adding that you need to keep an open mind. "I don’t know anything about cooking, I have to learn every day. You need to be open to new ideas but at the same time you have to believe in yourself."

Tanijiri then presented an imaginative slide show that illustrated ways of thinking and looking at things from a different angle. "Simple ideas can have dramatic impact, but you have to be creative," he said. In his work as an architect he says he likes to blur the distinction between exterior and interior spaces. Asked about how he deals with failure, Tanijiri said: "If you don’t fail it means you’re no longer learning."

"You need to remain a child," he said. "Knowledge and experience can get in the way of creativity." Adrià added that when faced with tradition your first impulse must be to ask why? "You mustn’t let yourself be manipulated by tradition," he said.