An incredibly exciting week is drawing to an end. I’m on the ferry, heading back home, reflecting on the past five days and the number of engaged and passionate people I’ve met – people that all desire to drive change, create innovation and build a better future. What an awesome week.
Monday saw me teach “Facebook IPO” to our third year Bachelor students. The morning session started off with “understanding Facebook’s Business Model”. Using the Business Model Canvas, the students attempted to map out the key drivers of Facebook’s revenue structure and overall business model. Challenging exercise, but thanks to the recent IPO filings, more light is shed on this extremely successful company. Imagine, started eight years ago, and today it has one of the highest profits per employee of any company in the world.
Our afternoon session took us through “understanding Facebook’s IPO communication process”. Using recent press clippings, news reports and YouTube-videos, we were able to build a picture of the ongoing battle between Facebook stakeholders with massive incentives to drive a success story, while a critical press and skeptical analysts attempted to balance the picture. My personal favorite was WSJ’s “Five Concerns about Facebook IPO”, concluding that the company would require an “adult CEO” to grow as a public company. Hahaha. That’s Apple and John Sculley all over again. Zuck; stay CEO, stay true to the Hacker’s Way.
Tuesday brought a full class of first year students in Organization and leadership. There truly are the leaders of tomorrow, and our Business School owes them the best it can give. We started off with a slideset concluding “This Course is About You and Your Leadership Development”. Divided into teams of five, the students will work on various learning and development challenges throughout the semester.
Wednesday morning brought kick-off for a ten day, nine months, leadership development program of a global oil and gas company. Opening day focused on bringing innovation thinking into the leadership role. Using extensive material from strategic innovation and The Management Innovation Exchange, the 23 executive students got a solid mental challenge to stretch their existing mental models of their own leadership roles.
Wednesday afternoon (some would say evening) I had the pleasure of teaching our course on ‘’Innovation and Entrepreneurship’’ for 25 Bachelor students. After an initial set of student presentations (major room for improvement), we set off trying to understand how Norwegian firms can learn from Apple’s innovation processes. Using the movie “Pirates of Sillicon Valley”, the student got a good grasp of the founding days of both Apple and Microsoft. Great movie and highly inspirational for tomorrow’s innovators.
Thursday morning it was back to the oil & gas executives, this time together with a BI teaching colleague. Our second day focused on personal reflection, communication styles and coaching training. It was a great start to our year-long program, and I am truly looking forward to working with these executives for our ten day leadership training program.
Thursday afternoon was an event I had been looking forward to for some time; the Innovation seminar at Young in Statoil. These guys are the next generation leadership at Statoil, and getting invited to give a keynote presentation on innovation is a great honor. My two hour talk covered “Dream Bigger”, “The Dinosaur and the Pirate” and how you can create management innovation in your own team or department. Read more about the Innovation Seminar here.
Friday morning I was on the ferry to Haugesund for Haugesund Næringforening ‘s lunch seminar. I was invited to give a keynote on Apple and what Norwegian firms can learn from Apple’s innovation success. You can read more about the keynote here.
Now, sitting on the ferry back home, allows for reflection on great learning, great conversations and truly inspiring encounters with people of all ages and all backgrounds trying to change their business models, and their organizations for the better.
My best advice, “Dream Bigger” and “Just do it”.
To quote Walt Disney, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. Remember, it all started with a dream”.