Buone Feste CIMBA Family! 

This joyous holiday season is upon us and we at CIMBA would like to wish you and your family a happy holidays all the way from Paderno!

This time of year, as we return home to spend time with our families and loved ones, we like to take a moment and reflect on all the amazing adventures we have had and blessing we have received over the past years.  Here at CIMBA we have much to be thankful for. First and foremost, all of the amazing students we have had over the years who have made us the organization we are today!  This was made ever apparent by the more than 150 of you who joined us for our recent Alumni Christmas Event! A smashing success by all accounts, we look forward to holding more such alumni events in this coming year.

In this issue of the CIMBA Newsletter we invite you to meet Professor Ernest O'Boyle of the University of Iowa, learn more about the unique executive programming we have been involved in, check in on recent news from fellow alumni, and take a look at The Upside of Stress in this holiday season's ABC!

As always, we encourage you to connect with each other and share with us your good news. We look forward to hearing from you!

Buone Feste, 
The Art of Feedback
At CIMBA we engage in a diverse array of business education programs, from undergraduate study abroad experiences to MBA degrees, and beyond to specialty executive programs tailored for men and women working and leading in the business world today. As a facet of our executive programs, many companies come to us for business consulting and coaching to help bring out the best in their managers and the organizations they lead.  This past fall one of our alumni, Francesca Lavoriero class of ECIMS 2010 and LIFE 2009, VP of Human Resources Key Systems at Dorma+Kaba Group, invited us to hold an executive workshop at Lago Maggiore. The event was in honor of the recent merger of Kaba and Dorma.

Dorma+ Kaba Group, operating globally with over 16.000 employees and represented here in Italy by the renowned company Silca, requested the workshop be held for the management team of Key Systems. The focus of the workshop centered on feedback; its importance, proper application, and how it can be properly applied toward the greater concept of peer mentorship.  With managers attending the conference from across the globe, and the Dorma+Kaba Group's commitment to the development of their people as the primary asset for sustainable success, the company knows that the ability to give and receive timely, constructive feedback must be an essential part of their performance management culture.

Utilizing a series of group discussions and exercises, CIMBA's Executive Education Director, Katiuscia Baggio led the team through a full day of feedback,equipping them with the proper tools and approaches to provide meaningful and insightful feedback.  By the end of the day, many of the participants expressed an interest in expanding the training further into mentorship.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Lavoriero and Dorma+Kaba for the opportunity to join them at Lago Maggiore and we look forward to the future seminars to come.  If you are interested in learning more about our executive program, please feel welcome to contact Doctor Katiuscia Baggio at baggio@cimba.it.

Lessons in Economy: Professor Crawford Teaches for the Istituto Filippin!
Since its founding back '85, it has been CIMBA's core mission to offer unique international programs that open opportunities for both students and faculty. To this end, we actively encourage both to search for and find ways to interact with our greater Veneto community, whether through volunteering, joining local social clubs, or, in the case of our professors, teaching courses to high-school students who also call the Istituto Filippin home.

Throughout the months of October and November, Professor Robert Crawford was invited by our host institution, Istituto Filippin, to teach introductory courses in economics to local high school students.  As the course was taught in English it offered students a unique opportunity to improve their English comprehension while learning about a new and important topic not covered in their high school curriculum.

The class was an amazing success for all, with many students requesting that similar courses be organized with future professors.

Thank you Dr. Crawford!
Join the CIMBA Team!
Now Accepting Campus Life Coordinators

If you you know someone who is interested in earning an AACSB accredited MBA degree from the University of Iowa while working with an international education organization in Italy, this may be the opportunity they have been searching for!

Nina Pagon, CLC 2015, at graduation
CLC Nina Pagon, Class 2015
The Campus Life Coordinators (CLCs) work full-time on the CIMBA campus in Italy while earning their MBA. Their main responsibility is to assist in the operations for CIMBA while embracing CIMBA's basic beliefs, including the neuroscience of leadership and its applications to the student's CIMBA personal development experience.
Before an official consideration for the Campus Life Coordinator position can occur, applicants must be accepted into the MBA program. The deadline to submit applications for the MBA program and the CLC position is January 29, 2016.
For more information regarding the Campus Life Coordinator position or to apply, check out our full position description by getting in touch with us.

The Upside of Stress
Why Stress Is Good For You and How To Get Good At It
by Kelly McGonigal, PH.D.
Stress. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of scientific and lay definitions for "stress" define it as a negative: If you live a stressful life, your productivity and well-being are at serious risk. Almost from the first day we enter the world we are told of the negative consequences of stress. Self-help articles regularly promote the "X" ways in which you can reduce your stress, and thus find happiness and personal fulfillment. The Harvard School of Public Health tells us that 85 percent of respondents to its survey agree that stress has a negative impact on their health, family life, and work. While past surveys of the American Psychological Association found that the majority of people perceived a moderate level of stress as ideal, now they see that same moderate level of stress as unhealthy. But realistically, is a stressless life a meaningful development goal? Let's consider some of the observations from our Lab that when measured against this way of thinking, leave us quite perplexed:

Physiological Observations. Our unique data capture system at CIMBA has provided us with a seemingly continuous stream of insights into the physiology of behavior. As many of you who have experienced the LIFE program know, heart rate and heart rate variability provide the foundational response measure as we move participants through a variety of specifically engineered emotional environments. Without knowledge of the specific context of the affect a particular environment was intended to create, however an analyst viewing the data would have a very difficult time determining whether a participant's physiological reaction was to a positive or to a negative event based solely on heart rate and heart rate variability data.

Problems vs. Goals. We have observed that an individual's receptivity to feedback is of particular importance to personal growth and development. Those individuals who see feedback as information toward the achievement of a goal (an opportunity to improve), as opposed to criticism highlighting a personal problem, are significantly more likely to achieve their developmental goal. Importantly, that likelihood increases further if the individual has a well-defined "bigger-than-self" goal (e.g., "How will you make a difference?" goal), to use the words of Prof. McGonigal.

More "Stress" to Overcome "Stress." Consistent with the dictates of cognitive behavioral therapy, we have found that individuals are much more likely to achieve their personal development goals and then sustain that new behavior by progressively taking on increasing dosages of those experiences they had previously found to be emotionally challenging. That is, it is important to take on stress to overcome stress -- to build resilience.

Social Connections. In a prior ABC we reviewed Prof. Matt Lieberman's book, Social, and learned of the underlying anthropological and neuro-biological evidence that as humans we are "wired to be social." In observing this in practice, we have become convinced that social connection is just as strong of a survival instinct as fighting or fleeing. In fact, this basic notion plays a central role in our "Social Brain Theory of Leadership" concept rationale that guides the CIMBA development process.

Social Connections in the Workplace. Our observations have drawn us to conclude that the most effective leaders best focus their team on cooperative efforts to overcome workplace challenges. The team typically finds this to be highly motivating -- not unlike athletes before an important game -- building trust, social ties, and causing people to come together to reach the common goal. Conversely, ineffective leaders inhibit trust and cause people to withdraw their cooperation, become selfish, and be more inclined to undermine the efforts of others.

Stress is Fundamental to Growth and Development. In sharing personal experiences and listening to the reflections of our participants, we have come to the realization that virtually every important growth opportunity involves an encounter with unwanted, negative emotions and experiences. Those experiences inevitably end up shaping some of the most memorable and inspiring experiences of our lives.

Against these observations, we have found it disconcerting to view stress as being solely a negative emotional reaction; it must have evolved to be of greater use beyond fending off "lions, tigers, and bears." Otherwise, it is arguably little more than evolutionary baggage in today's world. It is for this reason that we were particularly interested in three books that served to focus our attention on the positive/productive side of stress: Paul J. Zak, The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works, for motivating us to more fully investigate the positive side of stress from a brain chemical perspective (Oxytocin vs. Cortisol); Kashdsan and Biswas-Diener, The Upside of your Dark Side, for providing valuable insights into the essential growth and development opportunities provided by emotions that make us uncomfortable; and, the central focus of this ABC, McGonigal's The Upside of Stress, which brought together much of the relevant research from a remarkably broad perspective. 

Professor Ernest H. O'Boyle, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations from the University of Iowa
This past November CIMBA was pleased to welcome Professor Ernest O'Boyle, University of Iowa, to join us and share his knowledge of Organizational Management with the class of 2016.  As a new professor with CIMBA, he brought a fresh perspective on what it is like to traverse the globe while teaching.

So we caught up with him just before taking flight once again to ask him a few questions about himself, his experiences, and what advice he would have for future professors.
Please share with us a little bit about yourself: Where's home? What inspired you to teach abroad?

I am originally from the state of Virginia, but home is Iowa. My family and I moved there about 4 years ago when I joined the University of Iowa. Before becoming an academic, I worked a variety of jobs (sales, manufacturing, etc.), but once I began my doctoral program, my private sector work was limited to consulting (most recently for a large casino chain in Las Vegas).
Regarding teaching abroad, CIMBA was a great opportunity on a number of fronts. First, CIMBA is widely regarded as a transformational program at UI, but I wanted to experience it for myself. Second, the majority of my teaching is to doctoral students and undergrads, and I wanted an opportunity to work more closely with MBAs since they are the group that can directly incorporate the latest research into the workplace. Rather than dealing with hypothetical situations or potentialities as I do with undergraduates, MBAs offer both the chance to immediately impact business and give me the opportunity to incorporate their experiences into my own research. Thus, there is a symbiosis when teaching MBAs that is not always available with other students. Third, I had always wanted to visit Italy and every professor that has taught at CIMBA raves about the experience.
Prior to joining CIMBA have you ever taught or traveled abroad? If so how was your experience at CIMBA compared to other institutions you have taught?

I had traveled abroad to England and Ireland where I have friends. 
But I have never taught abroad before beyond 1 and day workshops (usually teaching statistics). I can only speculate that relative to most other institutions, CIMBA is more efficient and inclusive and this helps to maximize both my time and the time of the students.
What were your expectations prior to arriving in Paderno? Had you conducted much research about the area before arriving or spoken with any past CIMBA professors?
I had few expectations beyond the secondhand experiences of Amy Kristof-Brown and Greg Stewart. I was coming off a series of international trips, so I had to rely almost exclusively on their accounts. Thankfully, CIMBA is incredibly organized and all the logistics were taken care of by them. Paderno was a lovely surprise and words do not justice to the setting. It is a truly remarkable place.
Could you please share with us what your first impressions were of Paderno and the campus upon first arriving?  What did you think of your accommodations and the support you received from the CIMBA Staff?
As I said in the previous comment, Paderno is beyond words: the mountains, the architecture, and the people--all fantastic. I would love to return. As for the CIMBA staff, they were an amazing bunch of people. Every interaction was a positive one and the support was there every step of the way.
In your classes, what did you think of the students and facilities? How did it compare to the courses you have taught back home?
The students were great! Fully engaged and ready to work. Despite the distractions of being in such a beautiful and fun place, they were highly conscientiousness and possessed a strong desire to understand and apply the material. The facilities were excellent and despite the rural setting, the internet was more than acceptable for our needs. I would put the engagement of the MBAs in CIMBA right there alongside the engagement I see in my doctoral students that I teach at home;wonderful bunch.
Did you have opportunities to get out and explore the surrounding area outside of class?  If so where did you go? What did you do?
I ate at 5 of the best restaurants I have ever been to. I went to the undergraduate formal dinner. Gordon Quietmeyer, another CIMBA professor, took me to the top of Mount Grappa where we saw para-gliders take off. I also got to hike around on several trails while I was there.
What was your favorite part of teaching at CIMBA?
The students, of course!
What advice might you have for future faculty who are planning to come and teach with us?
Be ready for an intense 10 days! Be ready for every class; the students sure will be. Be ready to enjoy a wonderful culture that prizes friendliness and hospitality. Be open to the new pedagogy that Dr. Al and Cristina have pioneered.
Given the opportunity would you like to return to CIMBA again?

In a heartbeat.
And finally where are you off to now? As we understand it you are off to further adventures. Would you mind sharing them with us?
Sure. I am headed to Singapore to teach a class to doctoral students and professors on a statistical technique called meta-analysis. It is one of the principal tools we use in organizational behavior to determine if a relationship, intervention, etc. demonstrates evidence-based value. After that, I am back in Iowa for about a month, then I will be back in Europe (Zurich) as part of a task force to deal with questionable research practices and publication bias.

Thank you Professor O'Boyle! We hope to see you back soon!

Bikash Verma wedding
On December 2, 2015, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Bikash Verma MBA Class of 2012  met and married Noori Kumari Lal. Congratulations to both of you!
Jaqueline Pratt, UG of '08, just got married to Tim Cleary! Congratulations Jaqueline! We wish you two the best in your future life together.

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