Posts con el tag ‘reflection’

Nine Proposals for the Democratic Regeneration of Public Life

unijesfinal 255x300 Nine Proposals for the Democratic Regeneration of Public Life
In June, the Spanish Centre for Sociological Research published a troubling statistic: only 27% of Spaniards trust the current political system. This marks the first time in several decades that this figure has fallen below 30%, and shows just how far Spanish trust in politicians has plummeted over the past few months.

Last week, ESADE and the other members of UNIJES, the federation of Jesuit universities in Spain, unveiled the “Declaration for Democratic Regeneration in Spanish Public Life”. This declaration sets out our concerns regarding the current social and political situation. Read the rest of this entry »

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The meaningfulness of self-knowledge

filella web 142x150 The meaningfulness of self knowledgeWho am I? How do I express myself? How do I communicate? Being able to answer these three questions with confidence is at the core of a meaningful life. This reflection comes from a book we recently presented at ESADE, which collects the thoughts of and pays tribute to Jaume Filella, former Director General of ESADE from 1986-1992.

Jaume Filella is what I call a visionary; as the book title suggests, a thinker who makes you think. Anyone interested in self-knowledge and understanding the complexity of human beings should read this book. It teaches valuable life lessons.

The central theme of the book is the exploration of the three levels of consciousness that we, as human beings, should master if we are to live life – rather than life living us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leadership values through the classics

puges web 300x200 Leadership values through the classicsModern leaders can learn great lessons from the Latin and Greek classics. But, how can their teachings influence our daily professional lives? Last week we held a very meaningful event at ESADE that provided answers to this question, and beyond. It was the presentation of The Odyssey of Management, a book written by our Honorary Professor, Lluís Pugès, who was for many years Dean and Director General of ESADE. Professor Pugès’ contribution to ESADE was invaluable, and marked a turning point in the history of the institution. His role in teaching students the importance of humanistic management was crucial, and so were his visionary thoughts on education, which led him to become one of the driving forces behind ESADE’s efforts to promote international education. He was also a visionary in that he was one of the founders of The Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS).

The title of his new book, The Odyssey of Management, was inspired by Ulysses’ long trip home after the Trojan War. Ulysses, like many people today, had to face lots of difficult situations before succeeding in his mission. Through memorable quotes and experiences from the classics, Professor Pugès’ new book outlines the qualities a good leader must have and should never forget, especially when times get tough. Knowing yourself, listening to others, being perseverant, being aware of your own limits, finding internal peace, learning from failure, appreciating what you have and being faithful to yourself are some of the traits outlined in the book that ancient scholars considered to be key virtues for a more fulfilling life. Professor Pugès promoted these virtues within ESADE for many decades, and we will continue to do our best to promote them for many years to come. Values and ethics should always be an integral part of leadership. The classics are, and will surely continue to be, an unconditional fount of wisdom.

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Lessons from the euro crisis

barber 300x199 Lessons from the euro crisisLionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, came to ESADE this week to deliver an address on the euro crisis on a very special day for us: the opening ceremony for the 2012-2013 academic year.

We start this new academic year at ESADE in a context that is extremely difficult and uncertain. The economic and social crisis has reached its fifth year, and its negative impact on individuals, families and institutions continues to spiral. These are hard times for Spain.

Lionel’s speech about the euro crisis was very powerful, full of strong, well-argued messages that invited global reflection and kept its distance from the blaming game that dominates the political debate in Europe. If we want to get out of this crisis before it’s too late, we need to start taking serious action. Procrastination will only exacerbate the damage, and the consequences of inaction may be devastating. We cannot afford for this to happen.

Today, what we need more than ever, as Lionel said, is political courage and decisive action. We should not forget what John F. Kennedy once said: In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognise the opportunity. Europe can get back on track. We just need to remember that if we work together towards the same goals, we’ll achieve them much faster.

See the full text of Lionel Barber’s speech at the Financial Times

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The Future Is Diversity

gaes 300x199 The Future Is DiversityI  recently had the pleasure of attending a panel discussion on equality as a safe bet for pioneering companies. Held as part of the 3rd GAES Equality Conference, the roundtable brought together several prominent experts from business and academia.

At the session, the speakers expressed several different points of view on the topic of gender equality in the business world. According to Conchita Gassó, president of the GAES Equality Committee, 70% of GAES employees are women. Ms. Gassó shared specific examples that show how equality in the workplace improves productivity and efficiency. Francina Vila, Councillor for Women and Civil Rights for the City of Barcelona, argued in favour of promoting co-responsibility, enabling companies to implement their own equality plans. The designer Rosa Clará noted that, although 80% of her employees are women, she still has a long way to go in terms of increasing the presence of women in her company’s upper management (33% women). Clinical psychologist and ESADE Lecturer Imma Puig, remarking that performance and equality should go hand-in-hand, proposed replacing the concept of “equality” with “equivalence among people”, which, she said, is more respectful of each individual’s uniqueness.

The panel also included Manel Giménez, Organisation and Personnel Director at GAES. Mr. Giménez discussed the equality and compatibility policies that GAES is applying in order to boost job satisfaction. He explained that the company has adopted policies such as flexible scheduling, telecommuting two days per week, and an anti-gender-discrimination plan featuring specific objectives such as increasing the number of women in executive posts.

The audience members had the chance to reflect on an interesting fact: that the promotion of diversity is, for companies, an investment and a commitment to the future. But why? Because innovation occurs in teams that are diverse. In other words, diversity is clearly a key driver of creativity and innovation in companies. To achieve diversity, however, companies must implement specific policies. Numerous pioneering companies – Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many others – have done just that. The future is diversity.

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