The spark for business alchemy

The spark for business alchemy

Imagination is a powerful tool; it serves as the foundation for limitless possibilities for companies and individuals.

At the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore, Academic Dean Kevyn Yong believes in guiding EMBA Asia-Pacific participants to unleash their prowess for creativity for the benefit of society, the business world and their own personal growth.

Prof Yong facilitates the Entrepreneurship Project - a unique component of the EMBA Asia-Pacific programme. He says: "Creativity is the key to problem-solving. And innovation - turning your ideas into actual products and solutions - is the manifestation of that skill.

"To be creative is fundamentally important. Innovation is not just doing things differently - it's about solving problems in better ways, improving situations and making lives better.

"For businesses and individuals, successes are short-lived without innovation. It will be hard to sustain your advantage in the long run if you do not anticipate changes and respond to them."

Cultivating creativity

The fundamental goal of the Entrepreneurship Project is for EMBA participants to gain the ethos and dexterity to be entrepreneurial.

"We equip our participants with the concrete skillset and mindset to venture into new markets, to create new things. Being entrepreneurial is part of the ESSEC 'Pioneering Spirit'. Because in some cases, the opportunity is there - it's just that nobody saw it."

He adds: "To be a pioneer is to be at the cutting edge, you are moving into something new, you do not know if it's going to succeed or fail, but usually, if you have the right skillset and mindset, you will well prepared to adapt and respond to the ever-changing challenges of a new venture."

The project cuts across all 15 months of the EMBA programme. It starts off with Prof Yong providing participants with insights into models that work compared to those that don't. Participants then do an in-depth study of a self-selected industry before being equipped with the knowledge of "how to identify insightful new opportunities" and to generate a better solution than what is currently out in the market.

Global advantage

"We use a 'design thinking' framework, a practical framework for creative thinking that is systematic yet flexible. Rather than being dogmatic, the structured framework is applicable anywhere in the world, including Asia," says Prof. Yong, who received the Pedagogy Innovation Prize from the HEC Foundation in 2011.

"No matter how creative or innovative you are - especially those who have been very successful - there's always the risk that you like one idea so much that you put on blinkers and become blind to other ideas that are potentially better.

"One of the best skills an innovative person can have is the wisdom to disagree with themselves. This doesn't mean rejecting your original favourites or others' ideas completely - innovators take the best of both worlds and combine them into a completely new idea that is better than any out there."

A current participant in the EMBA Asia-Pacific programme, Dr Goh Mong Song says: "The Entrepreneurship Project provides a capstone project experience whereby students are encouraged to integrate concepts learnt over the duration of the EMBA. Equally valuable is the opportunity to practise teamwork by working together in small groups and bringing our diverse opinions to bear."

Fellow EMBA participant Mr Javier Cedillo-Espin also highly recommends the Entrepreneurship Project experience. He says: "In every business, markets are changing more rapidly than ever, and customers are becoming more demanding than ever - being able to think about different ways to approach a problem is key to successful management."

In the course of developing and presenting their new business model, participants of the ESSEC EMBA Asia-Pacific programme will have been empowered to navigate the global business challenges of tomorrow.

Learn more about the ESSEC Executive MBA Asia-Pacific at this page.
For more information, call +65 6884-9780 or e-mail emba-asia@essec.edu
ESSEC | CPE Registration number 200511927D | Period of registration: 30 June 2011 - 29 June 2017

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