INSEAD Participant Interview

Interview with a Past Participant of AVIRA: Awareness, Vision, Imagination, Role, Vision

Jesper Lok

President and CEO of DSB (Danish State Railways)

Jesper Lok is President and CEO of DSB (Danish State Railways), the largest train operating company in Scandinavia. He attended the AVIRA: Awareness, Vision, Imagination, Role, Action programme at INSEAD in May 2014.

Why did you choose to do the AVIRA programme?

Having attended a number of other programmes at various business schools over the past 20 years, I was looking for a programme that over a week could provide a current update on a range of topics facing leadership. AVIRA has that focus, and INSEAD a great – and well deserved – reputation.

Did the experience live up to your high expectations?

Absolutely. It’s a great framework. And Professor Subi Rangan, the programme director, is a great inspiration. Subi has a fantastic ability to take you from a helicopter view through various tools and frameworks to the hands-on detail.

What impact has the programme had on you as a business leader?

It’s less about my day-to-day leadership challenges than the way I view my role as a leader. AVIRA provided me great tools on building decisions, processes, teams and crystallising strategy.

How would you sum up the benefits for the programme?

All businesses live in a broad context. So it’s essential to step out of your business from time to time in order to critically assess that context and the impact it will have.

What did you think of the other participants?

I was impressed by the diversity of the group. All seasoned business leaders with solid experience from all walks of life and truly global.

And what did you make of the faculty?

Subi and his team are all passionate about their topics. They’re on a mission to pass that on. At the same time, they keep an open mind. It’s a pleasure to spend time with people like that.

Do you recommend the programme to other executives?

I’d even recommend repeating it myself in five years’ time. It has a framework that would enable participants to check in at a later date to once again update their perspective in an increasingly dynamic world.

What do you tell other people about the programme?

I highly recommend it to any leader with a desire to manage holistically.

If you are a senior business leader keen to refresh your outlook and to see the bigger picture for your business, click here to find out more about the programme content and to download the brochure or application form.

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