The 7th Afterwork Event of the APD, Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección (Association for Management Progress), brought together around 3,000 people at the Forum Auditorium in Barcelona on 29th October. This well-established event welcomed top-class speakers and the participation of some of the country’s most prestigious organizations and institutions, such as EAE Business School, Deloitte, Cesce, Gaes, Suministros Hospitalarios, Hays, Aon and Turisme de Barcelona, among other partner companies.
Under the slogan “How to lead people to enhance their talent”, this event attracted executives, economists and speakers from various fields, ranging from music to sport and psychology to business. The APD’s Afterwork is a networking event with a strong fun and social nature which, each year, presents a business topic that is approached from different points of view. The event was inaugurated by Pedro Fontana, chairman of the APD for the Mediterranean region APD, who highlighted the growth of the Afterwork year after year and the importance of enhancing talent and leadership in all fields.
Afterwards, the master of ceremonies, the comedian Luis Piedrahita, gave a fun monologue to lead into the speeches and the speakers making them. Raimon Ripoll, a Partner at Deloitte, introduced the speaker Francesc Xavier Mena, the former Minister of Business and Employment in the Catalan Government. Mena underlined the financial crisis and the TTIP agreement between the USA and Europe, commenting that the recovery has now started in Spain, as well as stating that “the best way of predicting the future is to be its protagonist”.
The host Joaquim Montsant, Regional Director of Cesce for this area, presented the lecturer, Luis María Huete, senior management trainer and consultant, who talked about the illness of power and how to avoid it in companies. In Huete’s opinion, power is a necessity but it must be used well. He underlined that, although power corrupts, there are good practices available to prevent this from happening: discretion, communication attractive ideas, self-control, creating a diverse management team, permeating the company culture, limited the terms of office of executives, and many more.
Next, Josep Maria Segón, Director of Aon Financial Solution, presented the Symphonic Orchestra Director, Inma Shara, who was interviewed by Juan Carlos Cubeiro, expert in leadership and executive coaching. Highlighting the unstoppable rise of her career, Inma mentioned that “leading is changing attitudes, being an act of generosity from which we all benefit”. She went on to highlight that leadership enables people to be transformed, “a leader is a well-rounded generalist”.
Afterwards, José Luis Fernández, General Director of EAE Business School, came to the stage and expressed his “appreciation that events of this type are held, where networking is fostered”, before going in to present the next speaker: Patricia Ramírez, a high-performance sports psychologist, who focused on accessing capacities to live in the present at all times. “We have to enjoy it, just in the same way that it is important to focus our strengths”. Ramírez believes that leadership originates from within ourselves and, as such, success and failure depends on us, whether it be in the personal or professional sphere. This is something that can be applied to the case of business every day.
Meanwhile, the comedian Luis Piedrahita continued with his monologues and introduced the presentation given by Sister Lucía Caram, named as the Catalan of the year in 2014. Her speech focused on the leadership figure of Pope Francis, a unique character within the Church, “who gets close to people, who adds and integrates, talking of a society of understanding”. Lucía Caram mentioned the pressure that she was under from the Church, but, when she met the Pope in Rome, he told her to continue her work.
To finish off, Antoni Gassó, CEO of Gaes, introduced Pedro García Aguado, a gold medal winner at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games in water polo. Aguado gave us some insight into his own personal case, a life of successes and failures, his problems and recovery from drug addiction, and the group effort in his years as a sportsman, in which he won several different titles. Aguado spoke about how to address success in business and in family life: “We have to instil bravery in our children, enabling them to overcome fear”.
Once the speakers’ presentations had come to an end, the attendees at the 7th APD Afterwork in Barcelona had the chance to enjoy a series of Networking Corners: a tasting session of olive oils, beers, gin and tonics, appetizers and nutritional products, among others.