Here we are, three years into the global financial crisis, and we’re still flying blind. We don’t even know what we don’t know. What we do know is that we’re stuck in a huge contraction of private credit; no one is making enough loans and investments to expand or start businesses and get the economy growing. The remedies applied by U.S. and European governments tried to treat the symptoms — bad debts, shaky banks, floundering businesses, people losing their homes, rising unemployment, currency wars — and not the disease.
Had those symptoms been the real cause of the crisis, “vulture capitalists” should have swept in by now. They should have spotted the signals that send knowledge of who is in trouble and — following the laws of supply and demand — picked up on the cheap the potentially lucrative remains of the nonperforming assets and transactions, correcting the deficiencies that led to them. They would have bought a block of old houses and revamped it into a 20-story high-rise with two restaurants and ample parking.
They would have taken over an airline unable to fill its first-class section and rearranged it into a discount, no-frills option with twice the number of seats per plane. That hasn’t happened to any significant degree. Why?
A business professor in Spain wants to rock you. In a recent session for MBA alumni, Salvador López, marketing lecturer at ESADE Business School and author of the Spanish-language book ROCKvolución empresarial (Urano, June 2012), turned jam sessions into business lessons. He had students view film of live concerts and interviews with musicians (some of which he conducted for his radio show) to analyze, among other things, their use of technology, ability to form alliances with clients, whom they call fans, and outside- the-box thinking. With students, he discusses the history of Genesis and the finer points of the Beatles, U2, and Coldplay.
Now working on his first solo album, López wants aspiring executives to learn management techniques from rock ’n’ rollers. He’ll do anything to convey his passion for music and the lessons it teaches, even lead a crowd in Queen’s We Will Rock You. In fact, he is designing an entire executive education program on management and music. Recently, López waxed philosophical about the power music has to move people and shared some of the takeaways rock legends have offered on the world of business. Here are excerpts from the conversation:
While everybody is given potential in life, the issue of how to best maximize that potential and reach new levels of achievement is a problem that most people grapple with, and which few of us solve. Furthermore, having an innovative mindset is paramount to surviving and thriving in an ever-changing economic landscape, no less so for Chinese elites.
For some time now I’ve been convinced that education will go the same way as the music industry. The similarities are profound. They both charge more and more for a product of reducing quality by a means that’s out of touch with modern needs.
Tim Berners-Lee, the man attributed to the creation of the internet, gave a speech at an MIT symposium and shared his two decades worth of internet knowledge with the crowd. He spoke about a wide variety of issues, from net neutrality, which he is supportive of, to mobile web access.