Speech at a meeting of rectors of schools MBA

Dear Colleagues,
I am pleased to tell you about our company’s history, called “Business-Theater” and which was established with the support of Moscow Art Theatre School.
We have been training business people acting.
The idea was born to read.

I worked as commercial director of a Russian company. In the process, I already knew how to develop the company’s growth strategy, marketing strategy, adjust business processes, but … faced with the fact that I missed something else in order to implement our plans!
It’s one thing to know what to do and quite another to implement it with real people, so much so that they’ll believe to you, have gone for you and work with enthusiastically.   Let me explain a simple example. You made a strategy for development, but it is necessary that it took the company president, for whom “all the MBA is a stupid waste of time”. So you have to convince him by force of your personality.

All right. The strategy adopted by the president. But it will carry out staff. And that would do it successfully they have to work enthusiastically and productively. And for this they must understand it and, most importantly, trust you, respect you, love you. So, again, your personality is important.

And there are current work and permanent jobs involving all hands. After all, if for each all hands on deck pay a premium, no money is impossible to satiate. There are negotiations. Etc.

Question. How arise faith, respect and love of people?

I had been thinking about it. It turns out that such qualities as honesty, competence, and a sharp mind, etc. by themselves do not give the same respect that the head need. Need more charisma, which gives a good attitude of others to you personally. And oddly enough, the charisma is more important in many cases than anything else.

And then i had not this fascination!
One evening, I read the magazine “Art of management”, which tells about a clown who opened a school in England, where he taught the tricks of his profession to businessmen. I am very interested. And I felt that in a similar way it is possible to find personal charm, or, as now like to call, charisma. I wanted to find something like that here. I went to different studios acting. And I realized that I will not teach nothing standing there. A need has remained!

Began to pay attention that many people in leadership positions have a problem similar to mine. And at the same time, the highest position achieved usually people who, these difficulties just do not suffer.

It became clear that there is an urgent need and there is no proposal. Nowhere else does not really teach communication skills and managing people through his personality. Everyone study its own in the process of life, and only a few had mastered this science to perfection. And these are the people who have talent. But if parents are not awarded you a talent and you are head of company?

I just had this situation!

Thus been appeared the idea to create “Business Theater”, where businessmen, including myself, could learn the vital skills of communication.

After retiring from my job in January 2001, I started this business: To evaluate the potential of the market, has made a strategy for development, amounted a business plan. It is very useful knowledge that I gave teachers from Graduate School of Management School of Economics.

Long time i thought with anyone from the theatric professionals we could implement this idea. Intuitively chose the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre, where artistic director is Oleg Tabakov. Intuitive choice was correct. As I later learned, Moscow Art Theater School is the theatrical school N1 in the world.

In September 2001, together with the teachers of Moscow Art Theatre School began to creation the teaching methods.

I must say that when I first met with the teachers and explained to them the task of qualitatively train the businessmen for no more than 2 months during the regime of study in three times a week, evenings after work, the first thing I heard from them – “it is unrealistic “!

However, nine months of hard work together has led to what we  were able to create such a method by which we could teach businessmen at 2 months in the correct mode instead of daily activities for the year. And it is not a specially selected, talented young men and women, but the adults, for whose acting skills alone are not interested. And, above all, important to them the benefit from it in their business. Made the site. Released a brochure. Conducted several presentations. Started to work with potential customers. And in May 2002, scored the first group. Must say that, as often happens, “the first pancake is always lumpy was.” I made a serious error, incorrectly interpreted the principle of “customer is always right” will allow students to arbitrarily change the method of teaching. This led to what we do not have trained people properly. I remember this lesson very well and more disgruntled alumni we have not. Since then we have trained a lot of people. And, I must say that they are all owners and top managers of large and medium-sized companies and banks. As our graduates have occupied the highest positions in their companies, it is difficult to find many examples of their “happy promotions.” Although, I know a story when a person, being a top manager of Russia’s largest company, has decided to undergo training with us. And it helped him to become one of the owners of this company.

At first, all groups were corporate. And we have encountered an unexpected problem: Customers do not want to publicize their education and even asked confidentiality as a requirement. This is seriously complicated the development of “Business-Theater”. I was at a loss and did not understand why it is happening? Then I realized: the man armed and do not want to alert the others. It was necessary to solve this problem, and we had to make major efforts to form type-setting groups, the students who would have to agree for giving advice and feedback. It was a difficult task, but our calculation were correct, and the mechanism of ‘word of mouth’ has earned. By the way, we are currently preparing a new site and collect feedback from our graduates, among those who trained in composing groups. And I noticed one detail: the more time passes after learning, the better the man uses what he has received from us.

Also, we have been paying attention on writing in journals and made a couple of interviews on television. Our activities and our pr-campaign created interest from the business community to learning acting skills for businessmen, and we had a fairly large number of followers and competitors. And it pleased us, because they fueled the interest in our field of activity.

Now we are leaders in the Russian market in this area and are in the process of development. The immediate objective: to further develop in our country and access to foreign markets.

From the beginning, our goal – to become the world’s leader of learning businessmen for acting skills.

Our competitive advantage over potential foreign counterparts based on the strengths that historically have Russia: the world’s best acting school, the Stanislavsky system and the highest level of actor-teachers. In this case we do not use raw materials, but cultural and intellectual potential and their own know-how.

We have a desire to become one of cards of Russia, such as the Grand Theatre, the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater, the Hermitage, Gazprom, TNK, etc.

In conclusion, I would say that what we are doing is not just a business for the money, it is first and foremost very necessary and important education. Necessary for businessmen, as in our country so and abroad. Necessary for the development of the acting profession. Important for the development of civilization in general.

After all, look at the situation today in the light of globalization and complication communication and management tasks with communication skills like the situation with general education (ie, conventional literacy) times of the Middle Ages. Then people, who can read and write, could not worry about a piece of bread and held high positions in society. A similar situation now with the art of communication and people management. And the effect of the beginning of educational development in this area can be compared with the effect of the appearance of the first parochial school in the Middle Ages.