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Tuesday, August 08, 2006 School News August 2006

Aug 7th 2006

Garvin’s intelligence guru

DURING his two decades as a CIA analyst, Paul Kinsinger assessed the capabilities, weaknesses and intentions of America’s enemies. Nowadays Mr Kinsinger does his intelligence work for the Garvin School of International Management (better-known as Thunderbird), where he is a professor of business intelligence and the managing consultant for the school’s Learning Consulting Network. Despite the change of employer, the CIA veteran says the art and practice of intelligence gathering are largely the same whether you’re scouting hostile territory or a competitor’s business operation.

Mr Kinsinger’s “Business Intelligence and Competitive Assessment” course teaches Thunderbird’s MBA students how to perform “robust external analysis”. This disciplined study of the competition, he says, is the “high thread count” version of courses that teach analytical skills. It is more systematic in nature and focuses closer on external data, as opposed to internal opinions. Intelligence-gathering techniques taught range from crunching numbers and interviewing sources, to direct observation of a competitor’s worksite.

Mr Kinsinger says most companies need to bolster the rigour and discipline of their intelligence activities. Misunderstanding the competition costs firms time and money. Some firms are making the effort, but recruitment on campus for competitive intelligence positions is lagging. Mr Kinsinger says many of his students end up in the field accidentally—they mention his class in interviews for more mundane positions, but are hired as competitive intelligence analysts instead.

Knight school

Just build it. That is the message from Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Mr Knight will donate $105m to his alma mater, with $100m going towards the projected $275m cost of building a new campus, to be named the Knight Management Centre. The gift is believed to be the largest-ever donation to a business school. The munificent Mr Knight is already the eponymous backer of the Philip H. Knight professorship held by the business school’s dean, Robert Joss.

The new 340,000-square-foot campus is designed to accommodate a major restructuring of Standford GSB’s curriculum, announced in June. It will comprise eight buildings and include classroom space designed for the small seminars that are to feature prominently in the new programme. The business school hopes its new campus, to be concentrated around three quads within the university’s main campus, will also help to foster greater co-operation between the GSB and Stanford’s other schools. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2008.

Inroads in India

France long ago abandoned its quest for an empire in India, but the Grenoble École de Management, one of France’s grandes écoles, may be setting up the educational equivalent. In July the school signed a partnership agreement with the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), located in Ghaziabad, India. The agreement is the third in as many months between institutions in Grenoble and India, with a fourth collaboration said to be in the works.

To handle the expansion, the university has set up an office in New Delhi, where it has received considerable support from the French embassy. On top of the agreement with IMT, the university has also signed partnerships with the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) and the International Management Institute (IMI), both located in India’s capital. All the agreements allow students from Grenoble to study at the Indian schools, while their Indian counterparts are welcomed to study in the French alpine city. The schools will also work together to develop executive education programmes in India.

Paulson plays Columbia

Henry Paulson gave his first public speech as America’s treasury secretary to an audience at Columbia Business School on August 1st. Mr Paulson, who graduated from Harvard Business School in 1970, touted the strength of America’s economy and made a pitch for Social Security reform. He also pledged to revive stalled global trade talks. On a lighter note, Mr Paulson took time before his speech to watch a student-produced send-up of Glenn Hubbard, the business school’s dean, over his perceived disappointment at not having been chosen to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Mr Paulson, amused by the video, claimed he was tempted to lead his speech with it.


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