Strategy Execution

Strategy Execution (Michel de Jong)

On December 6th we had the chance to attend a very interesting guest lecture by Michel de Jong, Chief Operations Officer at GE Artesia Bank and Executive MBA at Nyenrode (2009-10). The topic was “Strategy Execution”, implying how to ensure the successful implementation of strategic decisions at different levels of the organization by facing the challenges of the market.

The main pillars in Strategy Execution, according to Michel de Jong, are:

  • Strategy development: finding the balance between the internal capabilities of the company and looking externally, while having a mindset that ensures urgency and learning from mistakes from the past
  • Communication: provide a simple and direct approach to the different stakeholders, tailored to the audience; repeat the main key themes
  • Structure: set goals that are linked to strategy; make sure that achievement of goals is important for the employees, with a stable operating cycle
  • People: understand motivations of people in the team; share concerns and engage them in the objectives of the organization

The talk gave us an absorbing overview of the main issues to be addressed in Strategy Execution, and provided us with a practical approach to strategy that complemented the knowledge gained in the courses. We’re looking forward to the next one!


End of Block II!

Our second study block has finished! We covered courses so diverse as Business Process Management, Foundations of Finance, Introduction to Experiential Learning (research methods), Management Accounting and Control, and Management Communication Skills.

Now it’s time to get some fresh air and recover our energy because the next block is starting with BIG challenges! We’re looking forward to learning about Entrepreneurship, Microeconomics of Competitiveness, Corporate Finance… And most especially, start working on the Meet the CEO and Information&Innovation projects.

Let’s make the most out of it!

Jorgito's Birthday in progress

End of Block I!

It looked like far away when we started. It also seemed impossible but cover all the material from these demanding courses. But the first block is over! The exams were demanding and it is time to celebrate. Charge batteries, get some sleep and of course, have a great time.

Some people went to Amsterdam and enjoyed a nice evening together, having dinner at Bazaar ( and went for some drinks. Some others preferred staying in and relaxing. But most of us gathered together to celebrate Jorge’s birthday. It was a great night with a lot of fun, music, some drinks and dancing! We finished the evening at one of the two student-run bars on campus (

And get ready for the second block! New challenges coming ahead!ImageImage

Tony's Chocolonely

Sinterklaas arrived at Nyenrode!

On December 5th, Sinterklaas arrived at Nyenrode and we, IMBA students enjoyed this great tradition at the school! In this festivity, celebrated in some European countries, Saint Nicholaas arrives in the Netherlands from Spain in a steamboat and gives away presents to children.

During the morning, some chocolate bars appeared in front of our rooms. What a nice and sweet surprise!

And in the evening, we enjoyed a dinner together at Mensa, the student cafeteria, with the company of some of the members from Program Management. We are specially thankful to the previous IMBA class, who gave us as a present a printer that we can share and use as a group for our study purposes.

Without any doubt, it was a great way to relief our stress and loosen up after a very intense day packed with lectures!



Block 1 IMBA

IMBA 2013 – 2014 Block One – What were the subjects ?

We just finished  our first Block at IMBA 2013 – 2014. It has been a wonderful experience so far. While full of long hours of work and minimal sleep , the excitement and the laughs which we shared as a batch made each day an amazing experience.

As the exams are over ( wow ! ) and the results are not out yet ( even better :P ) , it can be a good time to see which all subjects were covered in the first block.

Thought extremely simplistic, the below diagram tries to highlight and connect together all the subjects we covered in the first block -


Business Policy Clinic ( A ) – How business are organized , run and influenced by senior management , board members , culture and stake holders.
Maths and statistics ( B ) – Tools to look and analyze the data generated in all parts of an organization
Marketing Strategy ( C ) – How to decide what products to make, where and how to sell them to customers
Accounting for managers ( D )  – How a business is using  cash ( and other capital)  to keep running and how healthy it is.
Managerial Economics  ( E ) – How the organization is related to the market and society. How limiting constraints and human behaviour can be measured and controlled for effective resource allocation.
Business Strategy ( F ) – How and what next steps a business should take to keep competing , evolving and existing.
Career and personal Development ( G ) – How to move into and into higher roles in such an organization
Leadership Development ( H ) – How to be a leader in such organization in order to guide it to new and sustainable success.

Well … studies was just one aspect of the block.  There was so much fun along the way. But we save all that for the next blog……..

IMBA first day

Start of the IMBA academic year 2013-14!

And this is the beginning of our journey!

We are the International MBA class of 2013-14 and the academic year at Nyenrode has just started. We expect a lot of new experiences, hard work but also a great deal of fun! We can gladly say that we are 30 students in our class, representing 16 different nationalities and with a remarkably diverse background. Indeed looking forward to working together!

Our journey started with an introduction day, comprising a speech by our new Program Director, Christo Nel, followed by a class introduction, program practicalities, and an introduction to the Nyenrode portal, which is the virtual interaction point between the university and their students. We could also get to know about different departments and associations within Nyenrode, like the NCV (the student association) and the VCV (the alumni network). Finally, we shared our impressions and received some tips from last year’s IMBA students.

The day ended with a fantatic dinner at Lakei that put an end to a day with a lot of emotions.

We are sure it is going to be a wonderful year!

IMBA class of 2013-14


Djordje Spernjak

Life is like a marathon

Our Djordje from Serbia got his job offer on his defense day from his company supervisor, who flew from London just for the thesis defense.


We are all very happy for him and proud of him.

I think he is the most hard-working person in our group. Though most Europeans have excellent command over English, he is not one among them. In addition, he has his special habit of “hugging”. He hugged me the very first time we met. Because of this strange habit, I took a little time to realize how wonderful he was. (Now his habit is evolved from hugging into kissing!!)

He shared his story with me once. The average monthly salary in Serbia is about 300 EUR. So it was not easy for him to afford this study. He said “I cannot fail exams. I need to graduate whatever it takes.” He had never been to the bar for first 4 months and studied every day after classes. He voluntary signed up for several presentation of “Meet the CEO” sessions to overcome his weak points. He also and helped several colleagues’ with their studies. He was very open to accept professors’ and friends’ advice in order to improve. Finally, he wrote up the thesis alone.

He experienced wars in Seriba when he was a kid. They were bombed every day. They can only use power for 4 hours a day even though it was minus 10 Celsius degrees outside. “American or people in other countries might start playing basketball from buying new shoes. But in such condition, people practice basketball. So we are mentally strong and good at sports even though our country is small.” he said.

Although my first impression with him started from suspicion (sorry), as his smile and sincere attitude without vainglorious made me trust and respect him. I guess, it is not only me, but also other classmates. Therefore, he was somehow eventually granted his privilege to kiss and hug girls in our group, and he enjoys it.

You cannot fake yourself or look yourself good artificially throughout such a stressful one year program. It might be possible to act as a good person, but it won’t last so long. And when it comes to real life, this is even truer.

Life is like a marathon. Neither a simple fast sprinter will win the race nor will a racial individual difference impact the race like other sports. You have to practice and you need to have good luck to meet a great coach to bring out the best from you and your supporters. Depending on one’s effort, everyone has a chance to win.

So now, I want to try, what I can do in this race, out of my comfort zone.


IMBA experience at Nyenrode Business University


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