Toledo: a city of three cultures

Operations and finance professor Alber Sabanoglu Segura comes from Turkey, and he is also a Sephardic Jew. Hence we decided that there was no better place to shoot this video than the ancient Jewish quarter in Toledo. When the Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, they headed for many different countries, and his family ended up in Turkey.
What this basically means is that Prof. Sabanoglu Segura is a true world citizen. He was born in Turkey, lived in the States for a while, and now lives in Madrid. He is fluent in many languages, including Ladino, the old Spanish spoken by Sephardic Jews.
Moreover, he is a critic and writer of short stories, not to mention the fact that he also sings in a group. I hope you enjoy his video, if only because he was such good company while we were shooting it!!!

Beijing Opera

Although this video runs for just three minutes, it actually took six months to shoot from the moment Operations Management professor Cui Zhijian and I first talked about it. It wasn’t because I thought it was necessary for Prof. Cui Zhijian to go to Beijing to do it, or that we needed support of other actors or an orchestra…It was because I knew that he was going to need the right make-up artist. As you know, the masks they use in Chinese opera add a great deal of drama and meaning to the proceedings, but finding a make-up artist that could do the job properly was no easy task. He asked among his connections in the Chinese community in Madrid, and I did the same with my Chinese professor and friends, but to no avail.

It was only by chance that I met make-up artist Eli Serrano García, who appears briefly in the video. A colleague of hers came to IE to do the make-up for another video, and when asked if she would be able to do it she replied that she couldn’t but that she knew someone that might. Mission accomplished!!!

On another note, the images of Beijing you’ll see were shot when I went to Beijing this April with IE Dean, Santiago Iñiguez. Unfortunately there was no way Prof. Cui Zhijian could join us. You can’t have it all.

P.S. Prof. Cui Zhijian is a Beijinger who has also lived in Paris and Canada. Ich bin auch ein Beijinger!!! It’s a real pleasure to listen to him talk about operations and the Beijing Opera. By the way, the second opera he sings is Ba Wang Bie Ji, which was turned into the film “Farewell My Concubine”. The film won the Cannes Palme d´Or. Excellent!!!

Just in Time

Prof.of Management, Daniel Corsten explains operations systems while singing Just in Time.

Just as Just in Time could be either a very popular song or a production strategy designed to maximize business return on investment, Prof. Daniel Corsten could be either the most knowledgeable management professor around or the most enthusiastic person on earth doing what he loves to do, which happens to be singing for you. Knowledge and enthusiasm is certainly a powerful combination.

Don’t miss what he has to say about how we make decisions when we’re shopping, why supermarket shelves are organized the way they are, and why just in time is so important both in business and in life.
View Project

You just gotta ride it!!!

Entrepreneurship Prof.Peter Bryant in a roller coaster talks about the ups & downs of entrepreneurship.

As Entrepreneurship Prof. Peter Bryant puts it “Change and I have a relationship”. Years ago he studied philosophy and history at Harvard and Cambridge Universities. Then he shifted gear to a number of management roles in different industries, including Qantas Airways, Deloitte and A&B Venture Capital, plus being responsible for the creation of a number of spin-off companies. Two of these spin-offs were successfully launched on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), and another attracted early stage venture capital investment. But his relationship with Change was far from over, and in late 2006 he transformed into a professor. Allow me to quote now a young poet, Charles Olsen, from New Zealand, not very far from Prof. Bryant´s homeland, Australia:

It´s the way things go
that somehow changes all I know
of the world I see, that bring us
closer than I never thought we could be.

That´s what it is. Once you start a conversation with Peter, you´ll be impressed by his knowledge, his great advice, and the kind of person he is. You just gotta try it!!!
After the shooting of this video on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we had lunch together. It looked though that I had not had enough of his company because I asked him to join me in the evening to go to a nice live music club.
It´s the way things go…the way things go.

Whistling

In a conversation before the making of this video, Quantitative Methods Professor, Tang wenjie (汤文捷), told me about the trip she made, on her own, to Russia and Kyrgyzstan, among others… And how, after graduating in Physics, she ended up at Insead, France, for a Ph.D in Decision Sciences. She also happened to mention that she often whistles. Coming from the Canaries, I am very familiar with el silbo gomero, a traditional whistled language from La Gomera, the island which got awfully burnt this past summer. And so, I had the privilege of listening to Wenjie whistle in Elizondo, the village of José, that famous bullfighter who fell madly in love with Carmen.

Prof. Tang wenjie says in the video that quantitative methods is like weight-lifting. Well, it’s for you to believe her or not.

On the topic of whistling… some say it is the music of the soul. It’s interesting to consider that even before there were any instruments, there was whistling.