CIMBA Newsletter
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                                    LEADER IN YOU!

April 2009
In This Issue
Undergrad Feature
Alumni Updates
MBA Feature
Executive Feature
Al's Book Club
Meet the Alumni

Luigi Negri

Luigi Negri, a part-time student who graduated from CIMBA in 2001, first worked for Baxter in the Europe division, and is now the general manager for Latin America and works out of Miami.

 What have you been up to since graduation? Give us an update.

I graduated in 2001 and after that, I have moved through a number of challenging international assignments from marketing to sales, from sales  to general management, from England, to Russia, to Poland and from there to Latin America.

How has CIMBA affected your life, professionally and personally?

Professionally, CIMBA affected significantly my life giving me the managerial skills that allowed my access to new, interesting jobs.

Even before finishing my MBA at CIMBA, I already had several professional opportunities: I started to work in Belgium at Baxter European Head Quarters convinced that this would have been a "moment" of my professional life and I did not know this was just the beginning of a longer and challenging international pathway.

Personally, CIMBA affected my life in two different ways: it gave me access to a truly international learning environment that dramatically challenged "my way" of looking at life. Moreover, studying at CIMBA gave me the opportunity to build a lot of personal relationships around the world: today, among these  relationships,  there are those that count as the few real friendships that one finds in life.

What was the most challenging aspect of your career so far?

I thinks that keeping the "learning gate" open is as challenging as fascinating: a busy professional life does not leave a lot of "free" time to focus on continuous learning.  On the other hand, my main take-away at CIMBA was the critical importance and the never-ending nature of learning.  Deep diving in certain business or managerial issues by reading or studying helps me stay up to date, but also the membership to management associations and the participation to their events and congresses helps me stay challenged.

Your work in ethics and compliance in Baxter is really interesting. What got you started in those areas?

We all get involved with the area of ethics from the time we are born, but we hardly realize how important this area is until we personally witness the catastrophic results of unethical behavior and the social impact of the lack of transparency in business.

Running a business in geographical areas where the corruption index is very high in the global ranking is a perfect observation point from where you can only choose between accepting wrong practices (actively or passively) or taking a strong position against them. I could choose this second way thanks to the strong position that Baxter has on compliance and thanks to my colleagues who always believed that compliance is a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage.

How do you keep a work/life balance? Any tips?

I actually wanted to ask you if you had have any tips for me!  The only straight, sincere answer I have is that the only way to minimize the impact of the structurally unbalanced international executive life is to make sure that our professional life can give us significant personal rewards such as intellectual and social satisfaction; in other words, only if there is a broad overlap between professional and personal goals can there be an acceptable balance between the professional and the personal worlds. Without broadening the classical and more rigid definitions of "work" and "life" there is hardly a sustainable balance.

What advice can you give current CIMBA students?

No advice, just an opinion based on what I have observed: your ability to temporarily compromise your work/life balance and your ability to deep dive into CIMBA's tough learning processes are strong predictors of your future personal and professional rewards.

Anything else?

Nothing else, really. I just would like to thank you for asking interesting questions and for your help in keeping me the CIMBA loop.  

Want to stay in our loop and share your story? Be our next featured alumnus/alumna! Send an e-mail to
CIMBA Undergraduate

CIMBA Travel Writers

Travel Writers' Blog!

Journalism students in KU Professor Ted Frederickson's travel writing class kept a written record of their experiences and life in general touring European cities by planes, trains, taxis and on foot, even by thumb, if that's what it took sometimes!

You can read all about their adventures, lessons and discoveries on the CIMBA Travel Writers blog at, where they put their "best of" writing. You'll be able to keep up with the next batch of writers next semester at the same address!

Here's an excerpt:

Never Ever: What Your Parents Told you Not to do
By Cole Butcher

On what was supposed to be a nice, relaxing walk on one of the first sunny days in Paderno del Grappa, I found myself frantically speed walking on the side of the road, sticking my thumb out at every car speeding by. Having eight kilometers to walk before my class started in 10 minutes, hitch-hiking was the only option I had left. Finally a white van with no windows pulled over to the side of the road, and I had to make the crucial decision of whether I should get in or keep walking.

I had always been told to never hitch-hike. From a very young age my mom, like most worried moms, told me never to talk to or take candy from a stranger, and never to accept rides from a person I didn't know, unless they knew the secret "password." As I was a kid at the time, my parents told me the secret password was hippopotamus so I would remember it. Once I got my drivers license, they told me to never pick up hitch hikers, as they may carry machetes in their back packs and they are all crazed lunatics and murderers ...

Read the rest at!
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Alumni Updates
New job? New move? Getting married? Keep your fellow alums in the loop! Send your news items to and your item will appear here next month.

2001 - Beatrice Revoy married Sandro Cottu on April 18, 2009.

2004 - Anna and Marco Bordignon welcomed a baby girl, Caterina, to their family, following their children Pietro and Tobia.

2004 - Jorge Velez with his wife Dina visited Asolo for a vacation.

2008 - Andrea Peruch graduated from the University of Udine with his degree in industrial engineering.

2008 - Alberto Revolfato is working for the Milan branch of

Join the CIMBA team!

Luigi Negri

CIMBA looking for campus life coordinator applicants to find the perfect candidate to complete our staff for the fall. Campus life coordinators assist in the operations of the CIMBA undergraduate program in Paderno del Grappa while completing the CIMBA MBA program in Asolo.

Coordinators work directly with undergraduate students, professors, resident and senior student interns, Istituti Filippin staff and others to assist in managing and delivering the semester and summer programs. It is a dynamic, challenging job with a great degree of autonomy that requires excellent organizational and time management skills.

For more information, the application and a complete job description, visit

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
. Be sure to include your CIMBA program and semester/year on your profile for approval.
CIMBA Calendar - Looking ahead to May 2009
May 2-3 - New Venture Development. Prof. David Hensley, University of Iowa

May 5 - SIx Sigma project kick-off meeting

May 9-10 - Management Information Systems. Prof. Michael Grieves

May 17 - Summer BBQ/Summer Session Kick-off

May 13-17 - Summer faculty arrivals

May 18 - Summer student arrivals

May 19 - First day of classes

May 21 - Music festival concert, Asolo, Sala della Ragione

May 26 - Music festival concert, Paderno del Grappa, Istituto Filippin

May 30 - Music festival concert, Castelfranco, Villa Barbaro
May 8-9 - Executive Certificate Program in International Management and Strategy,
Business Plan and New Venture Development Module
May 15 - Coaching Skills for Managers and Entrepreneurs, One Day Workshop
May 22 - Executive Certificate Program in International Management and Strategy, Program Presentation
May 28 - Executive Certificate in Leadership Development, Program Presentation
Do you know someone who belongs here?
Luigi Negri

We're in the recruiting process for CIMBA MBA class of 2010 students! The deadline for application submission is May 30. If you know a bright, talented young man or woman eager to get an international MBA degree with emphasis on leadership and consulting, please encourage them to visit us at for more information or contact us at

It's been a wonderful (though wet) April here in Italy, but the month sure flew by! Our Spring 2009 class of undergraduates headed home, our MBAs finished an intense week of SAP training along with regular classes, and now we are looking forward to a busy May.

From the undergraduate campus, we have a new blog from the travel writing class to take you along with our wide-wandering undergrad students. From the MBAs, a special invitation to all of you and a touching letter in response to our library dedication last month that will warm your heart. Dr. Al Ringleb introduces book club readers to not one, but five excellent reads in this month's ABC column - don't miss it!

From all of us here at CIMBA, have a wonderful spring, and we'll see you next month!
That Special Moment: MBA Graduation '09

As every CIMBA alumnus knows, the MBA graduation is the highlight social event in the CIMBA year. Past MBA graduates, executive program participants, undergraduate program participants, graduate and undergraduate faculty, US and Italian-based CIMBA staff members, and dignitaries all join the graduating MBA students and their families to celebrate a rewarding year. For the current MBA students, it is the crowning moment of their CIMBA MBA experience and one last moment to share with people with whom they have spent a remarkable year together. A moment where all those who made that year possible will be in the same room one last time. A moment they all understand will not pass their way again.

Former MBA students are there to share in that moment with an expectation that it will elicit the emotions they felt when that day belonged to them. MBA professors are there to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to fully enjoy a learning experience into which their personal inputs have had a very special impact on the lives of their students. Undergraduate students and their professors are there to look for a moment together where they can relive what was for many of them "a life changing experience." The MBA graduation has truly become the culminating event in the "CIMBA learning experience."

This graduation is made special by the fact that it is the first at the University of Iowa. It is an opportunity for CIMBA graduates and alumni -- students, professors, staff members, friends of CIMBA, and anyone else involved in changing the lives of others through the CIMBA experience -- to bring their special energy to the Iowa campus to give them just a little sense of what "being CIMBA" is all about. In addition to the excitement of the reunions, alumni gatherings, and the graduation ceremony itself, we have the great pleasure of having President Sally Foster Mason as the keynote speaker for the graduation dinner on Friday evening, July 17th. Pres. Mason's first trip to the CIMBA campus was in 2003 when she was the Provost at Purdue University. We are both honored and pleased that she will be with us on this special occasion.

In keeping with CIMBA tradition, the speaker at the graduation ceremony has always been a successful CIMBA graduate or a "Special Friend" of CIMBA, a person of stature who, while not an alumnus of CIMBA, understands the contributions CIMBA is making to the lives of others and has made it a personal contribution to assisting CIMBA in those efforts. This year, the MBA Graduating Class of 2009 has the pleasure of being addressed by Mr. Luigi Negri. Luigi was graduated from CIMBA in 2001. To learn more about Luigi and the success that he has enjoyed since graduating, we encourage you to read his interview featured in this newsletter. It would be difficult to find a CIMBA graduate who is more "CIMBA" then Luigi.

We encourage you to contact members of your class or program and make your way to Iowa City and the beautiful University of Iowa campus for this special event. The graduation awards dinner will be held Friday evening, July 17th, and the graduation ceremony will be the morning of the 18th. For more information, times, details and reservations, we encourage you to contact Kate Gerken at

We look forward to seeing you there!

A Heartfelt Thanks

Last month, the library at CIMBA Asolo was dedicated in the Luigi Negrimemory of Stefano Andreello, a beloved mentor of CIMBA students and a wonderful colleague of the CIMBA faculty. His father wrote a lovely letter of thanks to Dr. Al and the CIMBA family. Here is an excerpt of that letter:

How can I describe now the moment we walked into the library? What a beautiful surprise to see the books, just unloaded from the car, already on display on the shelves in the space reserved for them; to see the writing for the plate which will be there in his memory with the picture. What a beautiful and delicate gesture! It conveys all the gentleness of your souls and of your feelings: thank you so much Al, Cristina, thank you to all of you. ... I have to tell you, though, it was not easy to come to the decision to donate Stefano's books to CIMBA. For me and the family, from the point of view of the feelings involved, every time we part with something which belonged to Stefano, I and his mother are torn in pain. But driving home I could tell Luigi (Stefano's brother-in-law), and over the phone with Maria Emma, the joy my heart was filled with. I felt like I had given the books back to Stefano, put them in the right place, where they could be used and browsed by the students just like he used to; his students! It's so true that when you donate something, you get a lot more than you're giving. ... I could have closed the letter here, but then I read what I was about to send you to Luigi, and he fully agrees with all I've written above and he urged me to tell what the most beautiful aspect of the CIMBA environment is, according to him: the shared understanding of the importance of human feelings as a fundamental value. In other words, good-heartedness as a basic trait of leaders! That's the best description of the CIMBA environment, in our words.

Congratulations, Al!

With the most heartfelt gratitude, on behalf of my whole family,

Renzo Andreello

There will be a memorial plaque placed in the library where Andreello spent so much time helping students achieve their dreams. It is a fitting dedication and a reminder of the power every individual has to make a difference in the lives of so many. Our thanks to his family for continuing his legacy and involvement in the CIMBA family - we treasure his memory.
CIMBA Executive Programs
CIMBA offered LIFE (Leadership Initiative For Excellence) training for executives in early March, drawing participants from Austria, Germany, Slovenia, the UK, Turkey, Italy and the USA.

Piero Serena, European Production Director for Technica, completed the training with that group. Here are his thoughts on the experience:

What is your overall impression of the LIFE program?
It has been an unexpected, exciting and definitely useful experience. I was skeptical on Friday evening, and then I was really enthusiastic only two days later. Good results for a weekend job!

What did you get from your LIFE experience?
I am strong, I am confident, I am a leader! The theme of the "circles" is still carved in my mind; now I know that I have so many hidden resources. I can do it - it is up to me. I have to
Piero Serenalook deeply for my own barriers and work to pull them down. It will be a hard job, but I will do it.
Team support - I did not understand the incredible power of support before this program. I will support my colleagues, and I will ask for their support.
Vision - I will build my personal vision and my p
ersonal concrete project.

How has LIFE affected your everyday life?

I started to take an inventory of what I have done and what I could have done.  It is a very useful practice.
I will be absolutely honest with myself; no fear in describing my barriers, and putting all my effort in breaking them down.
Enthusiasm, projection, and passion are contagious. A loud GOOD MORNING transmits positivity and energy.

What were the biggest take-aways from the program?
Taking action. Leaders must act, leaders must create the events - do not follow them! Leaders do not have to wait for someone or something else. Leaders do things better and better and better and do not take the "shorter way."
Reappraisal. I realize that it is not too late to change my mind, to see the things from another point of view, to listen carefully, to understand others and to find the best in others.
A-B-C: Al's Book Club 

Know What You Do Not Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems before They Happen By Michael A.Roberto
In our last several ABCs I have been suggesting books and related research materials to assist alumni in better understanding what we are thinking with regard to our overall leadership development process.  As many of you are aware, we have made significant advances, particularly as it relates Book coverto the impact of our new LIFE program, and the number of companies and universities expressing interest grows every day. Additional consequential developments with our strategic partners -- Kepner-Tregoe and Results Coaching -- are encouraging us to go back and revisit all elements of the leadership development process (including their contributions) to more fully encourage and support the beneficial personal growth and development incentives stimulated by LIFE.
To this end, the CIMBA team will be focusing on decision-making and problem-solving, particularly as those topics relate to group decision-making and problem solving, throughout the coming summer months. It just so happens that in the past several months the popular press has delivered several interesting books to consider -- but I encourage you to look at them from a particular point of view. With specific regard to decision-making, you might want to take a look at Jonah Lehrer's How We Decide, Robert Burton's How We DecideOn Being Certain: Believing You're Right Even When You Are Not, Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, and Richard H. Thaler's Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness among others.  (Although negotiations are currently ongoing, we are hopeful that Jonah Lehrer will be a keynote speaker at our NeuroLeadership Summit at UCLA in late October.)  In a group or team setting, recall that we would refer to the basic thinking process examined in these books as a Decision Analysis (DA). With specific regard to a "problem-finding" thinking process, I would suggest Michael A. Roberto's Know What You Do Not Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems before They Happen.  Recall that in a group or team setting, we would On Being Certainrefer to this thinking process as "problem-avoidance" or Potential Problem Analysis (PPA) (Alumni will want to take a moment and recall the "exploding whale video" used in our KT classes featuring longtime CIMBA supporter, Mr. Paul Linnman).  It is in the notion of decision-making and problem solving within a group setting - where effective leadership is an indispensible ingredient -- that we feel the current literature is coming up short in their thinking. It is from this mindful prospective that I encourage you to read these works.
As you have heard me assert before, effective leadership is not about how any one individual makes decisions or solves problems; it is about how that leader motivates and inspires his or her team to make decisions, to take effective action. It is a core component of CIMBA's leadership development process that the concerns raised in each of the above books can be very effectively addressed by implementing necessary and appropriate process tools into your organization.  After considerable research, CIMBA adopted the Kepner Tregoe rational process tools for that specific purpose. We strongly believe that through such tools and the common language, Predictably Irrationalguidelines, and behaviors they provide to team members that a leader gets the most from all of the brains in the room. Effective leaders are masters of process, not content.
Our principal research interest this coming summer is verifying the connection between neuroscience's notion of social pain (which in the case of decision-making and problem-solving in teams or groups is brought about by a lack of a commonly understood process) and the deficiencies in individual leader decision-making and problem solving to which the above books so artfully refer. Although decision-making in social settings has only just begun to receive attention amongst neuroscientists, a number of important questions with potential to significantly impact leadership and leadership development are emerging. There is a tendency in the leadership and management literature (and in the real world) to view decision-making and problem-solving as identical activities, with the terms often used interchangeably. If we view decision-making as a managerial response to the question "What are my choices?" and problem-solving as a manager response to the question "What has gone wrong?," can neuroscience tell us whether the brain uses the Nudgesame algorithm in bringing  about a solution (We hypothesize that the brain uses different  algorithms)? Can knowing the answer assist leaders in getting the most from team member mental resources (We hypothesize that better focusing team mental resources will enhance performance)? Does "making thinking visible" through the use of an explicit process serve to overcome the processing limits of the prefrontal cortex and increase team member performance within those limits (We hypothesize that by eliminating process ambiguity, the associated limbic response will be dampened down thereby increasing productive thinking)? With leadership and management theorist showing that an overwhelming majority of top managers consider it a sign of immaturity to express sentiments during decision-making meetings, what does social cognitive neuroscience have to say about the use of such suppression mechanisms to inhibit personal feelings in regulating emotion, particularly in those situations where personal values and organizational objectives conflict (We hypothesize that the current research on emotional regulation will show clear productivity - and health -- gains from relabeling and reappraisal)? We hope to let you know by the end of the summer.