A very hands-on attitude towards business and industry is what distinguishes the philosophy of Ángel Díaz Matalobos, whether that’s applied to his teaching, writing or research. “I believe that in the business we have to be practical,” he says. “You need a conceptual framework, but this framework has to work in the real world.”
Time spent working in industry and the private sector — including experience as a maintenance manager for a water supply system, consulting in the oil, steel and aluminum industries as well as a stint with the Venezuelan metro system — gave Professor Díaz many of his insights into the implementation of operations, logistics, and information technology.
His views on operations management, logistics, and information technology systems, have been aired in more than 40 publications among them the International Journal of Logistics and the European Journal of Operations Research as well as in his three books.
I usually teach executive programs and volunteered for the IE Brown faculty when the program was launched. I knew of Brown as one of my uncles, José “Pepe” Amor y Vázquez, was a professor there for many years.
The IE Brown Executive MBA is certainly my favorite program, largely due to the attitude of students, the joint delivery by two major schools, and the unusual scope of the program. When I retired, I asked to continue teaching purely because I wanted to continue my involvement with this program! I’m an Emeritus Professor now.
The students. Not everyone will take on a program like this, due to the challenging mix of business and humanities—but that’s precisely what makes them the most interesting students I’ve ever had.
Firstly, the mix of face-to-face and online forums, which allows us to go into depth without making the learning too overwhelming. Another unusual aspect is the mix of business and humanities, where the same applies for the mix of nationalities. Finally, The Key Reflection Projects (KRP) have a uniquely social focus.
Quite simply, the powerful combination of strengths from both schools. The alliance between IE Business School and Brown University allows us to deliver unparalleled industry expertise and a truly global offering.
Future professionals have to balance the purely business aspects of organizations with the broader needs of society, in terms of sustainability and justice. The program perfectly prepares students to become these kinds of professionals, ready to innovate and make a lasting impact on the world.
The challenge is avoiding the temptation to make it too broad. As it is, there is an excellent level of personalization and customization which allows participants to leverage the program to realize their individual goals. That could easily be lost in a larger-scale program.
It will have a medium- to long-term impact. We’ll feel the effects as graduates deploy their uniquely balanced views and skills as they begin to manage organizations.
What matters is applying knowledge and skills to gain a competitive edge—for yourself, for your organization, and for society.
There is a good piece of advice at the back of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Don’t panic!”
As applied to the program—it may seem overwhelming at first, but it is designed to be manageable and balanced with work and family. You will miss it when it’s over!