CIMBA Newsletter
                                                WAKE UP THE
                                    LEADER IN YOU!

April 2008

Meet the Faculty

Professor Tom Volek

Professor Tom Volek is from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, where he has lectured since 1990. He is teaching mass communications ethics and the history of journalism this semester.

Experience at CIMBA (years):

Two semesters:  Fall 2005, Spring 2008.

What brought you back to CIMBA?

Love the experience; really enjoy the students.  The scenery and food is
to die for!! Typically have a great group of faculty and make some friendships among them and the students that last forever.

What's your best "CIMBA" moment?

So many. I think the one involving the students was the third formal dinner in 2005. A number of the students insisted I sit with them. We
had a really nice time talking about everything they experienced that

How has CIMBA affected you?

I'm really impressed how the students mature and develop self-confidence
through the program.  They essentially get "world-proofed" here.
Watching that happen - twice, now - is a really heady experience.

What's the best thing about CIMBA?

Frankly, that it's a rigorous program that still lets (forces, actually) students to travel and have fun.

What is your favorite thing about Italy?

Beautiful scenery, great food, pastoral setting around here.

What was your biggest challenge this semester?

Riding RyanAir and getting to Belfast, Northern Ireland and back.

Anything else?

Been a blast!!!

Quick Links...
Join Our Mailing List!
CIMBA Alumni Network
If you are a CIMBA Undergraduate, MBA or Executive Programs Alumnus, we want to keep in touch with you. The CIMBA Alumni Network gives you a way to connect with other graduates from the different areas of CIMBA.
Join the CIMBA Alumni Network by clicking on this link: CIMBA Alumni Network


We are in the recruiting process for international students. The deadline for the application submission is May 30. If you know of a bright, talented young man or woman eager to get an international MBA degree, with emphasis on leadership and consulting, please tell him/her to contact us for more information at


April is here with lovely spring weather, making all of us eager to go for day trips and picnics. It's a good time to enjoy the weather and shake off the last winter chills.

But for us at CIMBA, April also means saying goodbye to our spring undergraduate class as students leave Paderno del Grappa and head back home. We hope they accomplished all they wanted while here at CIMBA, and we reflect on that question as well. Are you accomplishing the goals you set for yourself this year? Where are you on that map?

Our MBA students are in the mid-phases of their consulting projects and Six Sigma projects, working steadily toward the goal of finishing in May.

It's a busy spring for all of our branches - catch up with all the news below!

As always, if there's something you'd like to see in this newsletter, sent us ideas at We welcome all tips, ideas and suggestions for articles and more!

The Neuroscience of Leadership with David Rock
This article is written by Marjorie Davis, a full-time MBA student from Seattle, Washington.

David RockThis month CIMBA MBAs and staff were again privileged to have Dr. David Rock present a seminar on the Neuroscience of Leadership.  Throughout the morning, Dr. Rock gave a brief refresher of elements presented during his first visit in September. In hearing this information again, I realized how much of it has been reiterated and hardwired over my past 6 months at CIMBA.
The idea of helping someone have their own "insight" when faced with a problem, as apposed to pushing one's own way of thinking onto them, has really been enforced through solutions-oriented coach questions. Furthermore, I realized how much coaching helps quiet the emotional limbic system, enabling those being coached to think through problems more calmly and rationally using the pre-frontal cortex of their brains.

The second aspect of Dr. Rock's presentation that resonated most with me was the Inverted U curve. Essentially, this is a graph of arousal or stress versus performance. An increase in stress level is beneficial and results in increased performance, but only to a point. Past a certain point of optimal performance, increases in stress become too much and start to negatively affect performance.

This year CIMBA introduced meditation into its already unique curriculum, furthering its gap above standard MBA programs. According to Dr. Rock, practicing meditation to control stress levels can help students control where they are on the Inverted U curve, thus optimizing their performance. In general, listening to Dr. Rock's presentation reaffirmed many things CIMBA embraces and gave them even more weight, explaining the scientific rationale behind them.

CIMBA Undergraduate
Company Tours
This article is written by Tanya Cottrell, an undergraduate student and intern at the Paderno del Grappa campus.

All I can say from the tour to Pedavena Brewery was it was a lot of fun. We walked through the various stages of the fermentation process, which was neat. UG group at a local breweryDuring the process of creating beer, several by-products are created, which are sold to other companies. The oils from fermentation are used in makeup and pharmaceuticals for vitamins. The solid grains from fermentation are sold to local farms to feed livestock. It was really neat to learn that in the beginning stages of fermentation the water has so many nutrients, including vitamin E.

The history of Pedavena also is interesting. Heineken owned Pedavena until 2005 and was going to close it down, but the factory workers created a website and collected more than 20,000 signatures from people all over the world to keep it open. It re-opened in 2006 after a year of being closed down. Pedavena is very important to the region. Every family in the area has one family member who works for or used to work for Pedavena. Interestingly, the village has a volunteer fire department that was established because several small fires broke out in the factory.

The factory makes a variety of beers under its own label and also for other brands and has won numerous awards for its beers. The company treated us to a nice spread of breads, cheeses and meats and, of course, beer sampling.

CIMBA Executive Programs
Executive Certificate in Leadership participants continue developing the leadership skills necessary for success in today's challenging global business environment this month with ongoing coaching and the upcoming teambuilding workshop and low-ropes course.

Low-ropes course in Paderno del Grappa
The team-building sessions combined with coaching help build on the foundation provided by LBI to build key leadership strengths based not only on individual contribution but also on getting the work done with and through others.

The low-ropes course will take participants through a series of physical and mental challenges that require individuals to step up into leadership positions, make group decisions, work together to build consensus, problem solve and, most importantly, have fun while developing skills! If the weather permits, the low-ropes course is held outdoors at CIMBA's undergraduate campus in Paderno del Grappa - a great spring activity!
CIMBA Calendar - April 2008
CIMBA Undergrad
April 7-8 - ECS: Wine Appreciation
April 9 - Final Gourmet Dinner
April 18-20 - Final Exams
April 20 - Student Checkout
April 7-11 - SAP Certificate: Business Process and Integrated Systems Analysis
April 19-20 - New Venture Development: Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, Prof. George Siedel
April 18 & 21-22 - ISA Finance: Applied Portfolio Management
April 23-24 & 26-27 - MBA Managerial Economics: Microeconomics, Prof. Dan Benjamin
CIMBA Executive Programs
April 11 - 12 - Certificate Program in International Management
6th Edition: "IT and Process Reengineering"
April 15 - "Certificate in Business Communication" Presentation
April 18 - "Low Rope Course" - Team Building
April 19 - Executive Certificate in Leadership Development, 3rd Edition: "Leading Team Dynamics"
April 28 - "Certificate in International Management" Presentation
A-B-C: Al's Book Club
books"Why Choose This Book? How We Make Decisions" by Read Montague

As most of you more recent alumni know, CIMBA has placed considerable importance on decision making and problem solving skills. But not in the way in which an individual manager or leader actually makes decisions or solves problems; rather, in the way in which the individual communicates his or her thinking process to others and then involves them in the thinking process. Conversely, much of cognitive neuroscience has focused on the process by which an individual uses his or her brain to make decisions and solve problems. 

In "Why Choose This Book? How We Make Decisions," Professor Read Montague (Professor of Neuroscience, Director of Human Neuroimaging Lab, Baylor College of Medicine) explores this issue by considering the biological roots of decision making and the impact those roots have had on brain function and efficiency. Importantly, he discovers how intensely our decisions are intertwined with and affected by our deep-seated, hardwired, and largely unconscious values and goals.  

In this sense, the book provides a good jumping off point - from how "I" make decisions to how (and perhaps, why) I communicate that thinking process so that "we" can make decisions. The values and goals bases for decisions as explained by Prof. Montague are very consistent with CIMBA's basic beliefs development and its underlying philosophy. Having a clear and conscious understanding of one's basic beliefs or values is so fundamental to a leader/manager. Such an understanding allows the leader/manager to more effectively build the "shared-mind-map" of values that define the overall nature and direction of organizations and other social groups in which he or she leads, manages, or participates - and forms the foundation upon which those organizations and groups make decisions going forward.  

I think you will find Prof. Montague's book to be a good addition to your thinking as it relates to the importance of taking our basic beliefs from our deep subconscious and making them more readably accessible, more visible, to ourselves. In "brain language," we will make a new mind map of both our decision making and problem solving thinking processes and our basic beliefs in our prefrontal cortex, where we can more readily access them in forming our leadership thoughts and communicating/sharing our decision making and problems solving thinking processes to/with others.