Innovation in The Veneto 

Summer is just around the corner and April has been a good month for us here in Paderno del Grappa: life for the MBAs has been reaching it's busiest moment as the class of 2016 prepares for their last month here in Italy, we had a welcomed surprise visit from a couple of old friends we have not seen in many years, and we were invited to once again exhibit at this year's TedxPadova event!
As always, we encourage you to connect with each other and share with us your good news. We look forward to hearing from you!
Biofeedback, Innovation, and Leadership

For years CIMBA has focused on developing a means to collect physical, actionable data that can be used to aid business leaders in developing their skills as managers.  By utilizating tools, such as Zypher heart rate monitors, stress hormone tests, skin conductance, EEGs, and more, we look to construct biofeedback profiles to help managers identify and manage their behaviors under a diverse range of situations and circumstances.

Executive Director Cristina Turchet and Executive Education Director Katiuscia Baggio getting into the spirit of TedxPadova

The Habit Bike.
In recognition of our commitment to innovation in the field of leadership studies, we were recently invited to participate in this year's TedxPadova Innovation Hall taking place Saturday, April 30th. As part of the Innovation Hall we introduced visitors to our 6 columns model for personal development; encouraging everyone to take a  step beyond their System 1 responses to discover changes they wish to see within themselves.

Like last year, TedxPadova proved to be a very successful excursion for the CIMBA team as many visitors to the event stopped by to pick up a few of our 6 columns teaching cards and test their hand at the habit bike. 
Intercultural Business Interactions
- Brad Daniels, CIMBA Campus Life Coordinator

Communication and intercultural skills are frequently listed as among the most desired and least common skills of MBA graduates. At CIMBA, developing such leadership competencies in our MBA students is a primary focus, instilling in them that they require a lifelong commitment to their practice. We facilitate this practice during the MBA program through structured, reflective debriefing of leadership development seminars.

This year, our CIMBA full-time MBA student cohort includes a diverse mix of students. This multicultural diversity has provided many opportunities for such intercultural learning. Currently, the students are working in several small intercultural teams to complete consulting projects for local Italian companies.
They also just completed an intercultural activity where they discussed Italian versus American business/professional cultures. The activity was designed in particular to provide support in dealing with intercultural challenges students may encounter within their multicultural consulting project teams and with their clients.

For the activity, every student was given both a list of Italian business practices and a list of American business practices. These lists were based on those a businessperson might review as part of "cultural etiquette" preparation before traveling abroad for business. First, each student was asked to individually identify the practices on each list they agreed with, as well as ones they disagreed with.

The class was then divided into two cultural groups: Italians and non-Italians. The non-Italian group included American and Peruvian students, as well as a student from Hong Kong. Both groups were instructed to collectively decide on five items from each list they felt were the most accurate, as well as five they felt were the least accurate.

Without prompting, the approaches each group took were markedly different. The non-Italians immediately asked, "What is the most efficient way to do this?" and tallied a matrix using the individual number of votes for each option. They discussed particular items only when required to break ties. By contrast, the Italians engaged in thorough discussion of each item in order to reach consensus on group selections. Even the seating arrangements for discussion were noticeably different:
The non-Italian Team

The Italian Team

The results of the activity revealed some interesting findings. In general, there were more points of agreement regarding Italian business/professional culture than regarding American business/professional culture. Students postulated that this was perhaps because the non-Italians have been immersed in Italian culture for the past several months while the Italians have not yet reached the part of the MBA program that takes place in the United States.

Following the activity, students debriefed the results and discussed topics including: cultural theory models; high versus low context cultural communication styles; generalizations versus stereotypes; and expectations and responsibilities regarding being a guest versus being a host in an intercultural business environment. Students were encouraged to examine areas of agreement and disagreement from the activity and to consider how they may be affecting their consulting teams and/or interactions with clients. Even with their consulting projects drawing to a close as the class prepares to venture to Iowa, students will have additional opportunities to explore these issues and continue their development as leaders.
Discovering Salento
As we enter the final weeks of the 2016 MBA program here in Italy the class has really been feeling the pressure.  With their consulting projects about to wrap up, multiple course projects coming due, and exams taking place seemingly each week, everyone has been working their hardest to stay focused and make the most of these last couple weeks before they head out to finish up capstone classes at the University of Iowa. 

Amidst all of this work, however, it is still important to take some down time to recharge. So, in the spirit of adventure, a number of students took to the road heading south to explore the unique character of Puglia. MBA Candidate Carlo Napoli, who grew up in Galatina, invited everyone to visit his home to experience the subtle cultural differences between the Veneto and the Salento area of Puglia. Throughout the weekend he led the group in exploring the cities of Lecce, Gallipoli, and Otranto, while also introducing everyone to his family and the unique cuisine of Salento. Highlights from the trip included sitting down for meal with the Napoli family to eat Orecchiette and minchiareddi hand-made by Carlo's grandmother, and exploring the small island town of Gallipoli.

With the work and deadlines stacking up back at the campus, Salento's slower pace and fair weather was a welcome reprieve for the students as they prepare themselves for their last month in Italy.

Bryan Shutte, Undergraduate Class '06 
This week we had a surprise visit from Bryan Shutte, one of our Spring 2006 Undergraduate alumni, and his wife Jamie, who originally met and began their relationship while studying and working here at CIMBA!
They decided to drop by as a part of their greater Italian vacation celebrating their 10 year anniversary since first meeting in Italy. We took the opportunity to reconnect with them and see what they have been up to over the years.
Bryan and Jamie first met during an advisory meeting we held in 2006 at the TexMex restaurant in Asolo. At the time Bryan was studying and working for CIMBA as an undergraduate IT intern while Jamie had accompanied one of our professors (Professor Dan Deines) as a registered nurse.  They hit it off and spent the remainder of the semester exploring the Veneto together. After CIMBA they continued seeing each other until ultimately tying the knot in 2011.
Now, 10 years later, Bryan and Jamie are both doing well living in Minneapolis where they find daily joy in watching their son, Isaac (19 months), begin to explore the world. These days Bryan works for General Mills as an IT Analyst while Jamie is a Registered Nurse with the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
We asked Bryan what the greatest impact of the program was on his career and he told us, "the Leadership Breakthrough Program [an early name for our LIFE program] has been the most challenging program, but also the most transformational. I still notice today how my behavior is different because of that training."
When asked what advise he would give to future undergraduate students planning to study abroad with CIMBA; Bryan recommended to, "Go in with an open mind and experience all that Italy and Europe has to offer. Get to know Alberto (who works at the front gate). He will make your time in Italy more enjoyable."
In the future Jamie and Bryan hope to return to Italy again during a sabbatical/extended visit so that they can introduce Isaac to the Veneto and share in new memories as a family.
Thank you Bryan and Jamie for dropping by and reconnecting with us! 

Safe travels and we look forward to seeing you two again one day!

LIFE Program in Italy (English Version) May 26th 

LIFE Program in Iowa on July 8th 

Save the Date: MBA Graduation on July 15th and 16th in Iowa City

Congratulations to Jake Prieur, '07 Spring Undergraduate alumni, who just got married to Becca Grosskurth on April 10th!
This month Brandelle Unkrich, CIMBAItaly Iowa Office Director, gave birth to her new daughter Clarabella Sue Unkrich; born April 15th at 7:04am. Congratulations Brandelle, Brendon, and little Bennett! 
Congratulations to Manuel Velilla, MBA class of '15, on acquiring his new position with Energy Transfer Partners / Sunoco

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