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August 17, 2009

Winding Down at Thunderbird

by mikediliberto

It is really hard to believe that 19 months have gone by so fast, yet at the same time, I know that it is time to be done.  I am back on campus for the last week of class, and all things going well, my MBA will be conferred this coming Friday.IMG_0241

My classmates and I are participating on our capstone courses, receiving debriefings on a lot of the projects that we have been exposed to over the past few years.  It’s been hard work, and this has been a long time coming.  At the same time, I am sad to see it come to an end, and I will miss the classes and classmates that have come to occupy all of my formerly free time.

They asked us to stand up and say what our most important take-away from this program has been, and it was very hard to narrow it down to one single thing that stands above all others. For me, my greatest take away has been understanding that the most important responsibility that I have as a manager is not having all of the answers, but rather, knowing how to ask the right questions.  One of the litmus tests that I revisit frequently is to look at past situations and ask myself if I would act differently in that same situation;  in many cases, the answer is yes.  Of course, I don’t know whether the outcome would have been different, but at the very least, I know that my increased knowledge helped me have a deeper breadth of understanding of all of the factors in play.

In other news, my session at South By Southwest has made it into the panelpicker, and is up for vote this week.  I will be talking about the emergence of “Commercial Open Source” as a business model.  Although at first, I had aimed this session at firms in the software space, my research in this topic over the past few weeks has led me to the realization that it is not just software but many industries that can drive innovation from the bottom up.

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