Roy Richards has over 40 years’ experience leading and serving on boards of listed companies, family companies, non-governmental organizations and industry associations. He was the CEO of his family’s manufacturing company, Southwire, for 17 years and still chairs it today. He cares deeply about climate change and the preservation of the natural world, and is the founder and board chair of three early-stage environmental organizations.
Roy teaches both mature company and early-stage corporate governance at IE Business School, and also teaches at Wake Forest University in the US. He graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1994 and received an honorary doctorate of humanities from the State University of West Georgia in 1996.
I was a retired big-company CEO living in Madrid at the time, thinking about moving my family back to the US, but looking for a long-lasting way to stay connected to Spain and the new generation of business leaders there. A friend of a friend connected me to someone at IE Business School. One thing led to another, and I gave one lecture to students, then three lectures, then a five-lecture course. And before I knew it, I was teaching twice a year in the International MBA program.
Two things really motivate me to teach at IE Business School. One is that it is truly international, and I enjoy working with young professionals from around the globe. The other is the practical, student-centered style of teaching. The faculty and administration are extremely responsive to the needs of the students, and there is no doubt that at IE Business School, the student comes first.
When I come to IE Business School, I spend two full weeks teaching, and then I return to my home in the US. I enjoy both the academic intensity and the cultural intensity of Madrid during my time there, and then make way for the next visiting professor. IE Business School seems to be highly talented at finding both academics and practitioners from around the world to deliver great learning experiences for its students.
IE Business School was delivering online content before online was “cool.” I sometimes teach conventionally, using lecture and discussion, but I also use a full range of audiovisual and other aids. This takes the conventional lecture to a higher level of effectiveness, and challenges both me and the students.
My advice to MBA students is to engage with your professors and take full advantage of their experience and wisdom. IE Business School has an impressive range of professors with leadership experience in many industries and applications. They are there for you, and they want to show new-generation business leaders the path to success, so make the most of this.