Now back in Zaragoza after 6 years, working at ZLC, what is your vision for Executive Education in the future?
Supply chains need great leaders. And great leaders never stop learning. Day to day activities can be time consuming, so Supply chain executives need high standards, experimental learning and efficient programs both for them and their support groups.
Executive education used to be merely a process, an obligation. Companies now see that employee’s education is not only a must, but is also a vital ingredient for motivation. And that is the main challenge. We need to inspire leaders with the right kind of knowledge, that achieves a fine balance between theory and practice and can be implemented in real life, helping executives to think and solve their day a day and strategic problems better and faster.
As Ann Voskamp said “Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation”. That´s what ZLC does with our custom and open programs, ensuring success by addressing companies’ supply chain challenges through innovative frameworks and advanced learning methodologies, without killing them with power point: We use simulations, industry case studies, discussion panels, lectures, and applied projects that are used to help bring academic learning into real life, providing the missing link. Future executive education programs have to fit with real companies and market needs, challenges and possibilities, and deliver immediate performance results.
Is there any particular aspect of the ZLOG program which influenced you and which has helped you develop professionally and personally?
Actually many. But let´s focus on just two.
Professionally speaking, ZLOG challenged me to lose limitations. At first I felt it was too difficult but in the end I couldn´t believe the result. The program made me feel very proud of myself and of what I could achieve, considering that I did it 10 years after graduating from engineering.
Personally speaking the program gave me the opportunity to get to know this center, a place where I feel at home, including many brilliant, fantastic people, classmates, staff and faculties, of whom many remain still close friends.
Having completed your ZLOG degree, where did you go from there before returning to Zaragoza?
I worked at another MIT global SCALE network center in Colombia, and I came here with a work permit. So, when I finished my master’s degree I went back to my previous company, with promotion as Supply chain senior consultant. After 3 years, I joined Accenture, getting the opportunity to learn how the big players do it.
Then I took an important decision. I wanted to create my own consultancy company and I was offered work in a startup focused on becoming the largest B2B e-Commerce company in Colombia and in Latin America.
I dedicated myself to both projects, while also teaching Supply chain at the main universities in Colombia.
What prompted you to create your own Consultancy? Did you identify a hole in the market and has it been a success?
Companies are changing, and they are not willing to accept lengthy, expensive consulting processes, where outside consultants tell them what they already know and then propose slow and costly solutions. Companies want to improve quickly and sustainably. We identify two holes in the market: knowledge sharing and resource allocation.
Consulting firms use knowledge to generate solutions, but they share the solution, not the process to get it. And it is by sharing the process, where you help your client to really understand all the variables that affect that solution and you achieve stakeholder buying from the beginning.
You stop forcing companies to call you to a second phase because they need you, they call you because you help them do it better and faster and because they trust you.
If you don´t have fixed assets, you act as a consultancy 4PL, so that you should not assign your “free consultant” but one “suitable consultant” for each challenge. We have built a great knowledge network with experts in different topics and industry sectors.
We worked with them from the definition of the project hoping to minimize the differences between the result expected by the client and the one delivered by the executing group.
I really think it has been a success. Despite not having so many customers, those who have worked with us have always returned. We take pride in having a good reputation.