- IMD Business School
IMD Impact Stories · Economics - Strategy

Portuguese business leaders get energized at OWP

Special OWP in partnership with Porto Business School gives refreshing look at global and regional business challenges
July 2016

IMD recently concluded a partnership with Porto Business School to deliver IMD’s Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP) program, adapted to address the realities of Portuguese companies.

OWP is a custom 5-day program for individuals and teams at all career stages. The edition organized with Porto Business School comprises an additional 2 days to target Portuguese business issues. OWP addresses the latest management trends while building specific capabilities chosen by participants – providing the confidence to direct and lead in today’s ever-changing world. In addition, participants build a global network of leading business executives.

Latest business trends

Carlos Palhares, founder and CEO of MecWide, a wide-ranging energy and industrial group, participated in the OWP sessions that recently wrapped up at IMD’s campus in Lausanne, Switzerland. He said he chose to go OWP to update his view of the world. Carlos described how every few years he does an executive development program to stay fresh and on top of the latest business trends and methodologies. He was pleased that Porto Business School proposed OWP in partnership with IMD so he could have a global as well as Portugal-specific overview.

“The quality of the networking that I was able to do at OWP went well beyond my expectations,” said Carlos. “I was able to take away a number of things that I will implement in my company right away,” he added.

Felipe Santos, CEO of Vesam, a steel and construction group, was also at OWP this season. He appreciated how the OWP faculty were able to provide a fresh take on business topics that were crucial for him. He also mentioned that the “activities for the complete executive” part of the program, which looks at how overall mental, physical and emotional health impact work, opened his eyes to something new.


“The week was amazing. It has the potential to really change my world,” Felipe said.

One of Felipe’s other favorite parts of the program was the weeklong stream with IMD professors Bill Fischer and Howard Yu on using a design thinking approach to strategy.

“I already knew that my company had to set itself apart from the competition by being different, but now I know how I can do that even better,” Felipe said.

Carlos Palhares was impressed how OWP in Lausanne included sessions with IMD’s MBAs giving presentations on future global challenges like changing demography and big data. He said he has not experienced a similar component at any of the other business school programs he has attended and that it added something unique.

“I was also surprised that with the Brexit vote happening just a couple of days before the program, how quickly the faculty were able to assimilate that event into their teaching and focus on its implications for business,” said Carlos.

Now that the program is over, both Felipe and Carlos will have to find the best way they can take the OWP learning and opportunities to heart.

Global business network

Carlos has already lined up some potential business in the Nordic countries thanks to his networking at OWP, and he will soon be making a trip to explore some deals in Denmark and Sweden. He also thinks he will send some of his colleagues to OWP to integrate its takeaways even further into his company’s DNA.

“I think I will also go to OWP in Singapore,” says Carlos.

For Felipe, the most important next step is taking what he learned during the sessions and implementing it to improve how his company operates.

“The small investment to come to OWP will easily pay off,” ends Felipe.

Find out more about the next session of OWP in Singapore from November 28th to December 2nd.