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!!!

Wings

Professors talk about all kinds of issues. Issues are not, however, remarkable in themselves, no matter how hot the topic might be. What makes them remarkable is the way you talk about them.

Operations professor Luis Solis is one of those people who truly believes not only in what he teaches but in whatever he is saying to you. Finding someone who still genuinely believes in what they are talking about makes you feel good, because you instinctively know when you are at the center of some seriously valuable attention. And isn’t being at the receiving end of attention the ultimate feel good factor?

I love it when he comes round in December with a bottle of tequila to share a shot with you to welcome the new year and bring you a piece of his beloved Mexico.

Don’t miss what he has to say about operations and how he became a pilot.

P.S. The title of the video comes from Wings, a silent film made in 1927 about fighter pilot friends in World War I . It was the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the only truly silent film to do so given that The Artist was not totally silent.

 

Photo Professor Luis Solis in theotherphoto.blogs.ie.edu

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.
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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.

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