Born in 1967 in Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain), I came from a family of carpenters on my mother’s side (learning carpentry skills from my grandfather) and florists, gardeners and plant breeders on my father’s side (from whom I learned about gardening and ornamental horticulture).
So, I grew up in an environment highly oriented to execution which has had an impact on the way I teach, always emphasizing the importance of implementation.
Set to be an agronomist, continuing the family saga, a last minute insight changed the course of things and I studied business instead
(got my BBA+MBA from ESADE Business School and also graduated from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya with a degree in Business Administration). I started out my career at BBVA bank working in Marketing of new products. Then I changed job and began working for HP, first in Operations as the production planner (an incredible opportunity and unpaid learning experience for a non‐engineer) and later in Finance as a financial analyst supporting New Product Development teams and controller.
A few years later, I left HP to take the reins of the family‐owned business (a small “greenhouse” nursery of ornamental and bedding plants) to turn the company around and make it grow.
and how to apply the knowledge of the way the mind
operates to generate novel solutions
Great years those, dealing with the reality of managing a small business, doing everything ranging from very hands‐on tasks, such as digging, planting, pruning and harvesting, up to defining a new positioning, deploying a novel strategy to devising and launching new products while doing everything one could to make ends meet!
At the same time, and in parallel with taking over the family business, in the autumn of 1996 I began as a part‐time lecturer in ESADE’s department of Operations Management and Innovation where I taught for over 16 years and served as academic director of a number of training programs. Among them the so called “Leadership Development Programs” which allowed me to get exposure to a myriad of leading‐edge companies around the globe.
After ten years leading the family‐owned business and anticipating the coming of the economic crisis, in 2005 I proposed selling the business, which is what we did in 2007. Approaching 40 at that time, and while still teaching at ESADE, I decided not to embark immediately on another venture and took time off to begin playing the violin from scratch (despite knowing it would be a lifelong struggle but what a better challenge than this for a restless person like me!) and to start investigating what had become of one of my main centers of interest and research; the neuroscience of creativity and how to apply the knowledge of the way the mind operates to generate novel solutions to the most puzzling problems in business.
As a way of achieving that knowledge and becoming more proficient in the use of my own creative abilities, I flew first to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA (USA), where I (as a visiting professor in-residence) had the opportunity to be exposed to the philosophy and practice of Design Thinking and ascertain its appropriateness for business (and on the way, also learn how all those who we consider creative genius were trained!). And later to the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school) at Stanford University to be accredited in the user-driven prototype-based innovation methodology which completed the training journey (as a lecturer) I had begun a few years before when I got certified as participant-centred learning facilitator by the Harvard Business School.
As a result of this experience in the US, I began to develop a full range of lectures (modules) and to write management articles on Strategy, Creativity and Innovation (including the venture of self‐publishing my first book), aimed at helping companies
become more proficient in the use of their creative skills to boost every possible type of innovation (product, service, process and business models) and tap into new market opportunities.
In the fall of 2012, after years teaching at ESADE, I thought it was time for me to work for myself. Since then, and with a
(1) the neuroscience of creativity and how to maximize our brain potential,
(2) design thinking as a process to disseminate innovation through the whole organization and beyond,
(3) how to spread the innovation meme within organizations and
(4) exploring the intersection between Arts and Business through decoding the artist’s way of working.