Case Study:
Andre Piazza

Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing
Dell

Tell us what you do and what your work typically entails.

I am a Marketing Director for a Software company. At work, I am typically overseeing programs and initiatives that directly impact the way in which we develop, position, promote and sell our products to global markets. That entails a variety of planning, coordination and execution activities with a very diverse group of people, frequently in different geographies and time zones.

We review the performance results from product lines and the status of marketing campaigns. We understand what's happening and decide which actions to take next. A lot of what I do is build and empower teams to make change happen with the Sales, Marketing, Finance and Development teams. We rely on crisp communication to be effective.

Marketing as a function is primarily centered on others and requires a culture that processes a healthy amount of external data to make sense of the internal facts. To create an outside-in culture, I am adept at relating to customers, exploring how they think and act by talking directly to them. In trying to discern the best ways to exploit opportunities in the very dynamic tech industry. Analysts and media are great sources to capture trends and possibilities.

For inspiration, I like to listen to records in vinyl format and to review and back crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

How has the altMBA helped you level up?

altMBA taught me the nature of true work: the emotional labor and courage required to set on a journey to transform reality. It starts with creating several sparks of ideas, from which we select the essentials; then we plan the work that needs to be done, pushing through the obstacles of execution, progressively conquering the fears and resistances that are inherent to our human nature... and ship generously those packages of what is now "change matter", one that ultimately inspire others to be or to do better in their own environments.

What’s the #1 thing you liked about being part of the altMBA?

The bonds created within a community of very insightful, diligent and creative people is one of the things that surpassed any of my preconceptions or expectations.

Networking is frequently the keyword for an artificial or superficial way to contact other professionals; that is not what we experience at altMBA. We developed community in a very natural and human way. We found ourselves immersed in tasks that required us to be fully present: bring our brightest ideas knowing that they are only a starting point; being vulnerable while sharing the full extent of our experience; being generous and gentle when providing feedback to others as they build their own projects and unique paths during the program; accepting the insights that are offered to us to round our projects; teaching our most refined skills and then learning to let go of them to take on new abilities as required to get the job done.

The best thing about altMBA is the community of game changers that accept this process and are willing to invest themselves hard into the projects of that community. I cherish very much the bonds that we created during altMBA!

What's something you approached differently recently because of what you learned during the altMBA?

During altMBA, I committed to showing up integrally at every given moment. I learned to aim to inspire others rather than simply informing or educating.

To achieve that goal, I am experimenting with a fresh approach that requires me to live in the moment by bringing one hundred percent of my human abilities. I am learning to effectively balance a set of forces that are continuously at play: reason, emotion, intuition, choice. At the same time that I develop a greater sense of empathy for others, their perception and emotions, I listen to my own intuition, and the inspiration it provides me instantly. As I harness the power of reason and knowledge, I am aware of my emotions, and I choose to use it to the benefit of everyone involved.

Even though I have a lot to exercise and refine these skills, I glimpsed enough to realize that if done loosely or undisciplined this could be the cause of strain or higher levels of stress in the best of us. Untapped, this represents a tremendous loss of human potential and connection. This has derailed my ability to lead in the past. My post altMBA pledge is to exercise these skills. As an apprentice, I see a growing fortitude that helps me resist the urge to settle with the superficial, the easy, the immediate. And because of that, I make better decisions, became more productive, communicate more effectively and feel prone to inspire others. Ultimately, this is a path that makes me a better leader and a more capable change maker.

Any other comments or recommendations about the altMBA?

altMBA is the gym for game changers. Come work out with us!

altMBA is a lab environment where change makers congregate and choose to make things happen.


Apply for the altMBA

The program dates:

altMBA16/17 Winter: January 15 – February 13, 2018

The application takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Application