Meet your MBA lecturers: Jordi del Bas


Wondering who your MBA lecturers are going to be? What their teaching style is? How you can apply what you learned in your job? This and much more will be addressed in an upcoming series of blogs in which your MBA lecturers will introduce themselves and their classes. This time we introduce you to Jordi del Bas.

Let me introduce myself…
My name is Jordi del Bas, from Barcelona (Spain) and I am adjunct faculty for the Global Corporate Strategy course at MSM. I have taught this course as part of the MSM MBA program in Maastricht and the International Executive MBA (IMBA) of the Nanjing University Business School, one of MSM’s global partners in China. In addition, I teach at the EADA Business School in Barcelona and at the Complutense University in Madrid. Furthermore, I am a research fellow at the EU-Asia Global Business Research Centre of the EADA Business School.

I am an economist by training, specialized in private sector development. Over the last twenty years, I have worked as a consultant in nearly 60 countries worldwide throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. I also lived and worked in China for five years.

At present, I combine my three main passions: executive consultancy, teaching, and research. In addition to my teaching and research activities as mentioned before, I conducted specialized courses on policy and program evaluation for civil servants at the European Commission. Furthermore, I work as an executive consultant on strategy, organizational development, and evaluation for the private and public sectors.

I have always been interested in the nexus between practical and academic knowledge…
After years of working in evaluation and strategy worldwide, I realized I had something of value to share with new generations. That is when I decided to start teaching. Today, two things drive me and inspire me the most while teaching: the exchange of views and ideas in class (your thoughts and opinions) and the fact that I am in a position where I can offer you state-of-the-art curated knowledge and experiences from the real world. Moreover, I have always been interested in the nexus between practical and academic knowledge: where practical experience meets academic insights and the fusion between the two. Teaching at MSM is a way for me to see that happening.

What students can expect from my course
My Global Strategy Course at MSM is filled with many real cases about successful and less successful business strategies and reflections on the reasons behind them. However, what I think characterizes this course the most is that it features plenty of lively critical discussions, group work, and team interaction. In addition, you can expect a good dose of analytical work and strategic thinking, and leave your seat to come up front to conduct executive presentations and work on the quality of your argumentations. There will also be a strong focus on fostering your critical thinking, analytical mindset, and tapping on your talents as a business strategist. Experience tells me that many of you are already talented business strategists, but you may not know it yet. This course seeks to create an environment that helps to bring forward that part of you. By the way, critical thinking is of essence. It ranks among the most in-demand skills for job candidates.

Last but not least, expect tons of questions. Yes, questions, rather than answers. Strategy is about asking the right questions more than it is about finding the correct answers. In today’s world, asking the right questions brings in more value than getting answers, which tend to change overnight due to an increasingly rapidly evolving context. Critical questions, though, remain and guide strategy.

A first insight into my class…
My Global Strategy course is designed as a learning journey, short and intense. Topics, examples, debates, case studies, and presentations build upon one another to create a critical mass of knowledge. By the end of the course, the goal is that you can apply that knowledge to your individual assignment and to your professional life. I will put all of my enthusiasm and energy into making this course a stimulating, profound, and insightful learning experience for you.

This course is not a cycle of conferences where you can lean back, relax, and leave full of insights…
I assume that you are making a significant effort and investment, devoting a valuable year of your life to this MBA. That is why we want to offer you a complete, intense and high-quality academic experience. For that to happen, you will have to do your part as well. This course is not a cycle of conferences where you can lean back, relax, and leave full of insights. It does not work that way. You will have to put your enthusiasm and energy into it, reading the materials, preparing case studies, and actively participating in class. This is how it works in real-world business strategy: you have to do your readings and prepare your meetings and your quality presentations in a context where, usually, everything was due yesterday.

I will be there by your side and you can count on my unconditional attention and support. I hope to rely on your focused attention, motivation, and eagerness to learn.

The main take-aways…
Strategy is not exclusive for CEOs and high-level executives. Strategy, as you will see, permeates companies, and it is all around you. This course will, first of all, give you the language. There is a specific terminology around strategy and its analytical frameworks. By the end of the course, you will be familiar with terms and concepts to the point you will be ready to engage in real strategic management conversations and processes in a company, understanding and following discussions, and hopefully, making meaningful and substantial contributions. 

There is a lot to learn about strategy. It is a long journey. This four-day course seeks to equip you well and strengthen your confidence to embark on strategic management conversations and processes. The course wants to be a door-opener. At the end, you will know the sources, the thinking, the principal authors, frameworks, and approaches. But most importantly, you will be familiar with new perspectives and paradigms. Strategy is transforming. The traditional model and frameworks still work, but not for all companies and in all sectors.

Today, businesses develop in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (so-called VUCA) context, which requires new ways of approaching strategy - the COVID-19 pandemic is a clear example of this. The course will also look at this new paradigm and offer you start-of-the-art thinking, approaches, and methods. 

Last but not least, you will be able to apply lots of what we will learn in class to your MBA thesis, which is an aspect that students from past years have valued a great deal.

To my future students I would like to say…
I cannot wait to meet you and start working together on this! If you are ready to give the best of yourself and eager to share and learn, this can be an excellent week for us all!