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From Intuition to Institution

Insead by Jean-Louis Barsoux
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Insead and the Salamander

A salamander adorns the front cover of the book. This creature was immediately adopted as the emblem of the Insead alumni association. Embossed on the walls of the palace of Fontainebleau, the salamander was originally the insignia of the French king François I, and subsequently of the town which has hosted Insead from its inception in 1959.
Initially set up on the basis of little more than the vision and commitment of a handful of individuals, Insead has come a long way in four decades. It started out with no buildings or land. It had virtually no permanent faculty and no prospect of soon affording one. It was unknown to prospective students or prospective employers and it lacked the resources to establish a distinctive image quickly with either group. The fact that it now ranks as the foremost international business school is a tribute to the imagination and energy of all those associated with its development, from the founders onwards.
In Renaissance legend the salamander represented the quality of perseverance. It was said to be capable of withstanding the flames of change. Insead's remarkable development suggests that the symbol was well chosen.
Palgrave Macmillan; April 2000
262 pages; ISBN 9780333981849
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Title: Insead
Author: Jean-Louis Barsoux
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