Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Service Guarantee" Lecture to MBA Students at HEC-Ulg, Liege, Belgium

For my last day of "work" before returning to the U.S., I gave a lecture to about 200 MBA students at the HEC School of Management in Liege, Belgium.  The focus was on service guarantees and how they might be used as a strategic marketing tool by firms.
Preparing for my lecture at HEC-ULg
What a great looking set of students!
Student teams were asked to propose a service guarantee for one of the firms in the case studies they had previously examined this semester.  Four teams were selected to give a brief presentation of their proposed service guarantee in class, including teams E12 (for Shoes Plazza), C6 (for Starbucks), D6 (also for Starbucks), and the overall winner D2 (for Flexpoint).

The Top Four Service Guarantee Teams

Monday, December 14, 2015

HEC-ULg Marketing Faculty Team Building Exercise, Chaudfontaine, Belgium

After a morning of discussing how to best position the HEC-ULg marketing faculty and their research interests, we spent the afternoon at a team-building event in at Fort Adventure (an old World War I bunker at Fort de Chaudfontaine) high above the village of Chaudfontaine, about a 25-minute drive to the east of the HEC building.
It was dark and dirty in this old bunker!
The faculty (red hats) were pitted against the PhD students (white hats) in a series of mental and physical challenges.  (The faculty had planned, from the start, to let the PhD students win most of the contests in order to boost their egos!)  We also had to overcome a series of climbs, ropes, and a zip line above a 30' ravine.  I would love to see the Marketing Department in Bowling Green do this!
Hanging on for dear life!
The seven-person group included (starting from the bottom left) Dr. Zelal Ates, Simon Hazee, Marta Lara-Quintanilla, Anais Grety, Fanny Deliege, Dr. Cecile Delcourt, and Dr. Dwayne Gremler.
The HEC-ULg Marketing Dream Team

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Delivering Christmas Presents at the Cercle de Wallonie, Namur, Belgium

Wafa Hammedi, one of the organizers of the Let's Talk About Service Workshop, asked Parsu Parasuraman and I to take on the role of "The Christmas Man" (Sinterklass) and deliver gifts to all of the PhD students and other attendees at the dinner (at Cercle de Wallonie) after Parsu's discussion of Service Research Priorities in the morning and my CIT seminar in the afternoon.  (Sinterclass is "an elderly, stately, and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard."  Other than being elderly, I am not sure I was well qualified for the job. But, no one complained about the gifts they received.)
Dwayne, Wafa, and Parsu
Attendees of the 2015 Let's Talk About Service Workshop

Conducting "Critical Incident Technique" Seminar at the "Let's Talk About Service" Workshop in Namur, Belgium

I was asked by the organizing committee of the 4th Annual "Let's Talk About Service" Workshop to conduct a seminar on a qualitative research method to a little over 30 PhD students.  The focus was on "The Critical Incident Technique in Service Research" and was based upon an article I published on the method about a decade ago.
The seminar was in the "Arsenal" at the University of Namur
One of several "hands on" activities I had the attendees doing.
After a long day of discussing Service Research Priorities and then working at the CIT seminar, the entire group  went to a wine tasting at Grafe Lecocq.
Sampling the wine with Bart Larivière, one of the organizers of the LTAS workshop.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Belgian Waffles for Lunch in Liege, Belgium

We decide to go out to lunch once we returned from our trip to Ottignies, so we picked a very nutritious choice...waffles!  :o)

I had a banana split waffle!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Visiting My Cousin Veronica, near Ottignies, Belgium

After 25 emails to make arrangements, we were finally able to select a time to visit my cousin Veronica Gremler.  She prepared a nice dinner at her country house (near Ferriere).
Dinner at Veronica Gremler's

As we talked, we discussed the May 2012 Gremler meeting (organized by Detlef Gremler) in Heiligenstadt, Germany, and how we are related.  Veronica brought out family tree documents from both sides of her family.  Both of her parents were born in Chile.
Veronica and Dwayne examining her family tree documents!
As it turns out, Veronica spent a few years of her childhood in the U.S., including a couple of years living in Ohio...about the time I was born...but, our paths would not cross until more than 50 years later! 
Distant Gremler Cousins!