Wednesday, March 12, 2008

France, Fontainebleau, INSEAD

I am aiming to visit at least 30 universities or business schools this year, that are part of The Future Leadership Program of The Wall Street Journal Europe. Today I visited INSEAD.

The values of INSEAD:
- Diversity as a source of learning and enrichment
- Independence as a governance principle
- Rigor and relevance in teaching and research
- Closeness to the international business community
- Entrepreneurial spirit

I like companies or institutions which communicate their values or mission in their entrance hall (as INSEAD does). I actually doesn't happen that much. Most companies will put their mission and values on their website, which is a good start, but it misses out on impact when visiting their premises. When I visit companies with a written mission statement in the entrance hall, and I haven't met physically with my counterpart of that company before, I always play a mindgame imagining the person who I am goin to meet based on the written mission statement on the wall.

INSEAD inside.

When wandering around the INSEAD campus we saw a funny "The Path to Cubicle Heaven" sign.

I googled Insead's correct address and stumbled upon a blog from an Insead MBA student, that upset my evening. The blog starts in 2003, the year the student started her MBA at INSEAD ( and sadly turns into a blog about the student getting cancer ( Reading her blog is a terrible exercise in putting life into perspective.

The first post on her INSEAD MBA BLOG -she calls herself "Finance Monkey"- , dated November 24, 2003, was actually a joke:
A survey company decided to do a world survey on a very important issue. The question was the following: ”What is your opinion on lack of food in the rest of the world?”
The survey was a total disaster as the question was not properly formulated. Too many words were ambiguous:
- In Africa, people did not know what food was.
- In Western Europe, people did not know what lacking something meant.
- In Eastern Europe, people did not know what an opinion was.
- In the United States, people did not know what the rest of the world was.

One of her last posts in 2007 describes how she founded a non-profit to help beat her disease ( She also refers to her INSEAD alumni network to help her translate her blogs in different languages.
Hi everyone -Sorry for the delay in posting an update. I am actually maintaining a private blog and it took up a lot of my time. I am still in treatment and still chatting with a bunch of doctors, fighting off the nasty Alien but I have some news. I also founded a non-profit to help with sarcoma research since it currently gets less than 1% of funds available for cancer research. Still very early stages but it looks promising!