Friends That Slogged Together, Stay Together

Kok How Lee

This post is definitely late in the coming and after reading it, you will probably understand why.

The readings are piling up, the assignments are never ending and the pressure is definitely mounting. Not trying to find excuses, but it is getting tougher and tougher to keep up the pace of posting on this blog. The intensity of the TIEMBA programme turned up a few notches right after module two.


We had the second module towards the end of July, this time at the INSEAD campus in Singapore. Module two covered Organisational Behaviour (by Professor Charles Galunic) and Financial Accounting (by Professor Daniel Bens). It was an intense week with lots of lessons, group discussions, sports as well as party and drinks! Some of us had their first taste of durians and BBQ stingray and otah!

Culture eats Strategy for breakfast - Peter Drucker

Organisational Behaviour (OB) covered lots of ground, from organisation design to looking at OB from the political and cultural lenses and even holacracy. Examples and case studies ranged from the Everest climbing team, IBM to Lincoln Electric, Ideos and Zappos. Towards the end, there was even a very interesting change management simulation competition among the groups. Despite all these, some of our classmates managed to squeeze in time for street soccer with Professor Galunic sportingly joining in.

The soft stuff is the hard stuff! - Roger Enrico

Financial Accounting was pretty fun, at least compared to the stuff I was doing back during CFA days. We used actual balance sheets, income statements from real-life cases such as BP Deep Horizon to Diamond foods to go through the entire alphabet soup (ROIC, ROE, EBITDA, NOPAT, FCF etc) of accounting concepts. Not forgetting the 24 questions-long after-module group assignment on Maersk Group and Walt Disney.

One of the more memorable moments was my classmate Fahim celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary with his wife and two adorable children. What makes this all the more precious was the fact that he had had his honeymoon in Singapore 10 years ago. And thanks to him spoiling the market, we all now have a pretty high bar to cross. 

Finally, the module ended with another two big stacks of readings and plenty of assignments, including the Financial Accounting one mentioned earlier as well as an OB term paper where my team chose Theranos, Yahoo and GE as case studies. If there are no objections from my teammates, we may even share the write-up on one of our case studies.

All I can say is everyone worked hard and played even harder and the constant pressure, work and challenges really bound all of us together!