Q&A: others

Thank you in advance if you are interested in taking a course with me. You'll find here a bit of information about my teaching, and Q&A for ESSEC students on the process to attend the courses.

What is your teaching approach to entrepreneurship?

I am a resolute modernist, informed by my practice. I cherish Lean Startup philosophy, therefore use for instance the Effectuation theory (Sarasvathy). I am not a fan of business plans. Even though most of us need to be business plan gurus, I consider that there is so much more to entrepreneurship than planning.

I prefer to focus on all those other aspects and usually leave the BP issues to other courses, either to full-fledged BP course, or to other Entrepreneurship instructors that teach more BP issue than I do.

And for OB?

Well, the OB course is a core course at ESSEC, the approach and content is pretty standardized, at least relative across the French sections (and across the English sections). As of this date, we explore the classical concepts of OB, which are individuals, groups, culture, leadership, etc. We cover theory, readings and discuss those usually around situations from films extracts.

When do you teach ? (in Master in Management / Grande Ecole / IMHI)

I teach Organizational Behavior in French, in the fall (T1), monday at 9AM.

I teach Entrepreneurship in the Fall (T1)

  • one section blocked week, in French

  • one section Monday at 16.30

The blocked week section is slightly easier to get. The other one is more tricky, but as are all entrepreneurship sections...

If you cannot get one of my sections, there are enough entrepreneurship sections with various instructors in all periods so that you can actually get a good entrepreneurship education...

Questions relative to your teaching in the ESSEC bidding process

I could not get your section even though I put points and am greatly motivated and have an actual entrepreneurship project. Can you allow me to attend the course nevertheless?

Sorry, but the bidding system is there to sort these issues of motivation and availability. And we have to fix a number of attendants, and stick to it. My recommendation is either to wait and bid whatever again (in my case, for the year after), or if you are too late in the process, other entrepreneurship sections are available to bid every period.

And what about attending as auditor?

I really appreciate that you are so motivated for the subject, but unfortunately, the limit are set not so much for the number of credits we entertain to issue, but really for the number of people in the class.

Even though auditors seem like quality, motivated, candidates for the class, they would use a slot that, if it were actually available, we would have a duty to reserve for the bidding system... Sorry to refuse auditing requests when the course is full (i.e., if a section is not full, I will consider auditor, but that happens rarely :-)

I'm not your student, but feel you could be of great help, can you advise me on my business plan / idea?

Well, sorry again (you'll soon think I'm a hard-salesman of my course):

  1. First, if you take my course, you'll know how ambivalent I am about "business plans" ;-) Even, for my students, my response to this question is "complicated" ;-)

  2. Second, I feel you should first attend an entrepreneurship course ... any entrepreneurship class (hey, we're a school, aren't we? ;-), then get advice from *your* instructor, whom you'll know better and will know you. And I feel instructors have somewhat such duty to their students (but it varies). By contrast, I don't feel we have such duty to any person that would love to have our advice ;-)

  3. Finally, consider that the current student body at ESSEC is large, and if you add up alumni and friends of ESSEC, or any other random person that feel an entrepreneurship professor should be able to help on business plan/idea, you'll soon understand it really make more sense to assume that entrepreneurship professors are bound to stick helping only *their* students.

I've an entrepreneurial idea or problem (like interviewing with a startup). Can you, entrepreneurship professor, help me quickly? Oh, by the way, I did not take any entrepreneurship course yet...

Well, my only answer is: would you go to a finance professor and state: I did not take a finance course, but I'd like you to tell me about finance quickly so that I can interview with a bank?

If your answer is YES, then you're an interesting fellow, but I'll not help you ;)

If the answer is NO, please ask yourself why you believe entrepreneurship is not something that needs to be taken more seriously. And by the way, please, take a good entrepreneurship course ASAP!