The cultural conservatism of contemporary business schools

Dear Reader

this time I share with you a paper, which might look a little bit old fashioned and abstract, as it consists of merely text.

Executive MBA in a modern Business SchoolClick and download the article

The purpose, however, ist quite interesting, as the piece is to examine and question aspects of the culture of the modern business school, and to investigate the possibilities for a more student oriented, more responsive, more flexible and performance-driven culture.

Business School “Old School”

In short, the paper is a critical discourse on the cultural conservatism of contemporary business schools, analysing the impediments to change, and examining the transformation
in the business education market and among students, that demand greater responsiveness.

Modern Business SchoolWhat are the needs of a modern, flexible business school?

Don’t you also think that the seismic changes occurring in technology and social practices beyond the business school are impelling business schools to adapt and become more agile?

This article provides insights into how a more flexible and responsive business school would operate and engage students. It delivers moreover a fresh assessment of where the business schools are, and where they will have to go to continue to engage the changing demands of business and managers.

Thank you for studying it and – share it!

Yours,
Peter Lorange

Advertisements

Pedagogic Revolution: learn in 2 days what you’ve learnt in 5

Dear reader,

A lot has happened regarding learning pedagogy over the last few years. Some of you certainly remember the days, when teaching was a one-man-show. How many times did you lose the thread of what the teacher was saying? As a result, you learned less than you should, and definitely less than you could.what's the best teaching method?

Old school didactic teaching

Today, times have changed. We – and I am speaking solely of the Lorange Institute of Business – we are able to offer effective learning in significantly shorter time than before.

This is built on a principle of more active participation by you, the learners, including on more sharing of best practice. Nevertheless, not everything must be learnt in groups. An individual at home can perhaps best learn basics, taking advantage of current computer-based support. This would set free precious classroom time to be more focused on discussing current key dilemmas!

Here is how it works:

Flat-floors vs. auditorium

The classes take place in what I would call ‘flat rooms’, the opposite of auditoria. Classrooms with flat floors and round tables are better suited for discussions than auditoria with amphitheater rows of seats.

We use both forms, still - but what would you prefer?We use both, class room and auditorium, but what do you prefer?

Discussions vs. didactic teaching

The professor tends to “walk around” in the classroom and not to stand in a stationary manor behind a desk. He / she lectures for 20 minutes. – Research on cognition indicates that this represents about the maximum of the length that participants can concentrate. He / she only shows a few slides and articulates dilemmas for discussion

The participants, seated around round tables à 7 (max), pre-assigned to avoid corporate contrary and/or friendship liaises, are now discussing these key dilemmas again for 20 minutes.

_________________________________________________________

Ken Low, CGI Group“I enjoyed the balance of a lecture with a pragmatic group discussion.  I was able to learn from the expert, from my peers, and from sharing views and experiences in a very efficient manner.” Ken Low, GCI Group

_________________________________________________________

Plenary discussion

Finally, there is a plenary discussion among all – again for 20 minutes. The maximum class size would be around 35 participants – i.e. a maximum of 5 tables. The professor attempts to draw conclusions, written down on walls and flipcharts, and copied to the participants; or, using todays digital tools, working with an open document, accessible to all participants via cloud computing.

Results in 2 instead of 5 days

Tentative experience with this pedagogical approach are indeed promising – it seems as if one would need no more than 2 days to cover what one might have needed – ca. 5 days to cover in a classical classroom setting!

_________________________________________________________

Logo Reederei Zürich AG“I very much liked the Shipping Markets workshop; it was very well and efficient time spent and I will definitely be back next year. The exchange of knowledge between the participants was great and the way we had the possibilities to interact.” Alexander Jönsson, Reederei Zürich AG

_________________________________________________________

Implications: Busy executives will profit

Busy executives, more-and-more facing shortage of time, are those that above all seem to welcome the new pedagogy. The Lorange Institute of Business Zurich is in the lead when it comes to this.

Yours,
Peter Lorange

_________________________________________________________

Torben Janholt Just Water“Terrific! … I like the new format!” Torben Janholt, Just Water

_________________________________________________________

Business school culture

Dear reader

in an article I wrote (the official term is ‘research paper’) for ‘EDUCATION+TRAINING‘ (an Emerald Journal), I examined and questioned aspects of the culture of the modern business school, and investigated the possibilities for a more student oriented, more responsive, more flexible and performance-driven culture.

The paper is a critical discourse on the cultural conservatism of contemporary business schools, analysing the impediments to change, and examining the transformation in the business education market and among students, that demand greater responsiveness.

I find that while the traditional culture of business schools is deeply embedded in professional practices and axiomatic disciplines, the seismic changes occurring in technology and social practices beyond the business school are impelling business schools to adapt and become more agile.

I am convinced that the paper provides a fresh assessment of where the business schools are, and where they will have to go to continue to engage the changing demands of business and managers.

I invite you to download it and/or simply share this link.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange
Peter Lorange, Lorange Institute of Business

Creative Leadership: introducing artworks in business education

Dear reader

Creativity is a widely used term in the context of strategic planning, innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing, organizational and leadership development.

Creativity is, therefore, a key skill for leaders and organizations, in order not only to adapt to change, but also to proactively shape industries and markets. Art and business have many parallels.

Looking into the world of art holds many lessons for business people and provides ample opportunities to find new and interesting ideas for the business school setting.

Joerg Reckhenrich, member of the Lorange Business School faculty, Jamie Anderson, Adjunct Professor at the Antwerp Management School Antwerp Brussels, also teaching at our MBA Business School in Horgen,; Martin Kupp, Associate Professor at ESCP Europe ParisJoerg Reckhenrich (m), member of our faculty, together with Jamie Anderson (r),  Adjunct Professor at the Antwerp Management School Antwerp in Brussels and also teaching at our institute in Horgen, together with Martin Kupp, (l) Associate Professor at ESCP Europe Paris, are introducing three techniques:

 

  • Art coaching
  • Art dialogue
  • The mission impossible task

All three are based on using artworks and art history to create an interactive and experiential learning atmosphere and ultimately make program participants deal with their own creative potential.

Just recently they published an essay in the Journal of the NUS teaching (Volume 2, Number 2, May 2012) on how artworks can foster dialogue and creativity in business education.

Joseph Beuys Portrait, an example used by Jörg Reckhenrich to demonstrate the parallels between art and businessJoseph Beuys, an artist who strongly influenced Joerg Reckhenrichs strategy model

I am glad to share with you the piece. Download it by clicking on the portrait of Joseph Beuys, an artist who has been ‘used’ by Joerg to demonstrate the parallels between arts and business.

Best,
Peter Lorange

Permanenter Wandel braucht flexible Geister

Am Donnerstag und Freitag, 14. / 15. Juni findet das 2-Tages-Modul “Change Management & Organizational Design: Get your staff ready for high performance” statt.

Das Modul wird von Prof. Dr. Svein Andersen *) geleitet.  Wir wollten von ihm wissen: was müssen Firmen in einer Welt tun, die sich nicht mehr periodisch, sondern permanent wandelt?

(english version)
Change Management ist ein oft gehörter Begriff und nicht mehr ganz neu. Während solche Programme in früheren Jahren erratisch waren – klar definierte Programme des Managements – hört man heute von Change Management, das die Mitarbeiter miteinbezieht.

Tatsächlich verändern sich Programme im Bereich des Change Management mit der Zeit. Vom Inhalt her kann man aber auch heute noch sagen, dass die folgende Definition auf alle Programme zutrifft: Change Management ist der strukturierte Ansatz um einen Wechsel oder Wandel herbeizuführen, sowohl was Einzelne, als auch Teams und Organisationen betrifft.

An der Business School in Horgen - Lorange Institute of Business - findet am 14./15. Juni das Module "Change Management" statt. www.lorange.orgBereitet jeder Wandel schon den nächsten vor?

Einen Wechsel vom Jetzt-Zustand in einen wie auch immer gewünschten zukünftigen Zustand. Dabei ist es sehr wichtig, dass jeder einzelne miteinbezogen wird; deshalb sind die Programme so ausgelegt, dass Veränderungen nicht nur akzeptiert, sondern mitgetragen werden. Allerdings ist mittlerweile hinreichend akzeptiert, dass Veränderungen endemisch, also räumlich und zeitlich begrenzt sowie Teil eines kontinuierlichen Bestrebens sind, die eigenen Wettbewerbsfähigkeit nachhaltig zu verbessern.

 Liegen solche Programme im Wesen von Grossunternehmen? Oder betrifft dies auch Klein- und Kleinstunternehmen? Wie sollen diese damit umgehen?

Das ist keinesfalls nur auf Grossunternehmen beschränkt. Fortlaufende Entwicklung ist schliesslich etwas Grundlegendes mit dem alle Firmen, ob gross oder klein, leben müssen. Man kann sogar mit Bestimmtheit sagen, dass die grundsätzlichen Herausforderungen für alle Firmen, unabhängig von der Grösse der Organisation, gleich sind.

“Veränderungen im Bereich Change Management müssen Mitarbeiter mobilisieren”

Natürlich gibt es Unterschiede, und die Gemeinsamkeiten hören dort, wo die reine Grösse die Veränderungen, Entwicklungen etc. komplizierter gestaltet, insbesondere was Struktur und Wertschöpfung betrifft. Besondere Fragen stellen sich auch in Bezug auf die Identifizierung und die notwendige Umsetzung kohärenter Veränderungsprozesse.

Wie wichtig ist der Mensch im Change Management und im Organizational Design.

Im Menschen liegt der Schlüssel. Ohne Mitarbeiter geht gar nichts, denn in modernen Gesellschaften ist Kompetenz etwas Kollektives. Es gibt eine im Handel erhältlich sehr gut dokumentierte Studie der Autoren O’Reilly und Pfeiffer mit dem Titel “Hidden value. How great companies achieve extraordinary results with ordinary people”. Sie stammt aus dem Jahr 2000, ist also nicht mehr ganz taufrisch, beschreibt aber auf klare Art und Weise, wie die besten Firmen nicht etwa durch die besten Leute die Nase im Wettbewerb vorne haben – auch wenn die richten Leute wichtig sind – sondern weil sie die für die Firma richtige Organisation aufgebaut haben. Ich fasse es so zusammen: Veränderungen im Bereich Change Management müssen Mitarbeiter mobilisieren, während organisationelle Veränderungen Raum für die Menschen schaffen müssen, darin sie ihre Talente entfalten können.

Bleiben wir beim Organisationsmanagement: es werden Diskussionen geführt über den Einbezug von “Design Thinking” im Bereich des strategischen Management, um neue Strukturen zu denken und etablieren. Wie wichtig sind solche neue Denkansätze.

“Design Thinking” stammt aus dem Bereich des sogenannten “Process Oriented Management”. Neue Ansätze sind natürlich wichtig; allerdings vergisst man bei einem zu starken Fokus auf flexibles Management, dass bei Veränderungen zunächst vor allem eines wichtig ist: die Möglichkeit und Fähigkeit, exakte und strukturelle Organisationen zu gestalten und nachhaltig zu erhalten. Und dies betrifft wiederum Situationen, in denen Mitarbietern eine beträchtliche Autonomie zugestanden wird. Dann nämlich ist es noch bedeutender, grundsätzliche Regeln, Funktionen und Verantwortlichkeiten zu definieren.

Svein Andersen unterrichtet an der Business School von Peter Lorange in Horgen. *) Svein Andersen ist Professor an der Norwegian School of Management und hat in den letzten 25 Jahren zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Positionen bekleidet; einschliesslich einer Berufung als Gastprofessor in Berkeley sowie als ausserordentlicher Professor an der Universität Oslo. Darüber hinaus ist Dr. Andersen als ausserordentlicher Professor an der Norwegischen Sporthochschule tätig. Er verfügt über Lehrerfahrungen im Bereich wirksame Mitarbeiterführung und Sportmanagement. Svein Andersen besitzt zwei Doktortitel von der Universität Oslo und der Stanford University.

New leadership profiles for deans

Dear reader

I have always been convinced that anything but innovative projects and products will succumb. For this reason I was very aware of the fact that – as a contemporary business school – I would not get away with any dean, but only a dean with both an academic background and (for instance) strategic skills.

The Korn/Ferry Institute

The authors Ken Kring and Stuart Kaplan of the Korn/Ferry Institute*) focus in their paper “The business school dean redefined” new leadership requirements and how these requirements have a strong influence on business schools.

“Business school deans who will thrive in the coming years will have a different leadership profile from their predecessor.”

In their analysis they concur that the business school deans who will thrive in the coming years will have a different leadership profile from their predecessors, one that emphasizes strategic skills, enterprise management, innovation, and people and relationship effectiveness. All these will be required to forge ahead in business education in the organizationally flat world of academia, and during a time of flat enrollment.

Business schools, the authors write, must innovate, refocus, and restructure, or risk falling behind their academic competitors. Just like private enterprise, business schools are undergoing a fundamental transformation in response to changing student “buyer” values, the Internet, globalization, shifting demographics, and unprecedented economic pressures.

As a result, business schools are hungry for alternatives to the traditional dean candidates, who historically possessed deep backgrounds in core areas such as finance or economics and undertook a more straightforward mandate.

“The idea that future problems can be creatively and wisely solved within silos is so wrong.”

According to their research a new leadership profile for business deans has emerged, one that emphasizes:

Strategic skills
Enterprise management
Innovation
People and relationship effectiveness

Sally Blount, the dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management draws the conclusion that “the problems of the future are so difficult and so complex that the idea of solving these problems creatively and wisely within silos is so wrong.”

We at the Lorange Institute of Business have renounced on silos right at the start. We did it for the good of good of education of our students.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange

P.S. Download the study by clicking on the banner!

Studie von Korn/Ferry Institute: Wie muss der Rektor der Zukunf aussehen?
*) The Korn/Ferry Institute generates forward-thinking research and viewpoints that illuminate how talent advances business strategy. Since its founding in 2008, the Institute has published scores of articles, studies and books that explore global best practices in organizational leadership and human capital development.

Labour Market: How good are the perspectives?

Dear reader

Employment is one of the most important key performance indicators of the economy. For over twenty years the Caden Corporation SA is studying the employment market. Just recently they published their employment outlook analysis for the second quarter 2012.

The analysis shows evidence of “three issues in framing the current employment sentiments”. On the downside, the Euro crisis, the longer term global impact of China’s slowing economy; on the upside, the US employment outlook, which is raising hopes of a positive impact on globally.

click to enlarge

According to the survey, European employers’ employment outlook for the second quarter in the coming year strengthens slightly from the previous quarter. A few European countries with Germany on the top show positive evidence (this includes France and the UK). However, comparing Spain with the mentioned economies, the outlook is not very promising.

Dear reader  Employment is one of the most important key performance indicators of the economy. For over twenty years the Caden Corporation SA is studying the employment market. Just recently they published their employment outlook analysis for the second quarter 2012.  The analysis shows evidence of "three issues in framing the current employment sentiments. On the downside, the Euro crisis, the longer term global impact of China’s slowing economy; on the upside, the US employment outlook is raising hopes of a positive impact on globally.  According to the survey, European employers’ employment outlook for the second quarter in the coming year strengthens slightly from the previous quarter. A few European countries with Germany on the top show positive evidence (this includes France and the UK). However, comparing Spain with the mentioned economies, the outlook is not very promising.   As a whole less than a third of the surveyed employers report stronger hiring intentions in the second quarter of 2012 as compared to a year ago. These include countries in both development and high-income countries. Focusing Europe, the latter include for instance Austria, Sweden and Norway.  Take a look at the full report. Simply click on the banner below.  Kind regards, Peter Lorange  *) The Caden Corporation SA was founded in 1991 and offers services and advice on administrative, legal and economic issues, especially in the field of labor legislation, government policy, social policy, management and human resource development.

Germany (above) compared with Spain (below) (click the graphs to enlarge)

Spanish labor market outlook 2012As a whole less than a third of the surveyed employers report stronger hiring intentions in the second quarter of 2012 as compared to a year ago. These include countries in both development and high-income countries. Focusing Europe, the latter include for instance Austria, Sweden and Norway.

Take a look at the full report. Simply click on the banner below.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange

The Caden Corporation Logo

*) The Caden Corporation SA was founded in 1991 and offers services and advice on administrative, legal and economic issues, especially in the field of labor legislation, government policy, social policy, management and human resource development.

The pursuit of happiness in 6 steps – Die Suche nach dem Glück in 6 Schritten

Dear reader

Mankind has ever been thinking about happiness – and its pursuit. Well, today I came across a both funny and very true article making exactly this question a subject of discussion.

The article by Jessica Hagy *) summarizes 6 aspects of how happiness can (not) be perceived and (not) achieved, such as the availability. This may sound simple, but look at the sketch:

 From the Forbes Magazine: a sketch illustrating the pursuit of happiness

She writes: “We often settle for what’s available, and what’s available isn’t always great. “Because it was there,” is an okay reason to climb a mountain, but not a very good reason to take a job or a free sample at the supermarket.

She adds another five enemies of greatness and happiness like ignorance, committees, comfort, momentum and passivity. The last in the sense of that there is a difference between being agreeable and agreeing to everything.

If we don’t know how to make something great, we simply won’t.

*) Author of the piece is Jessica Hagy. She is a Forbes contributor and an artist and writer best known for her award-winning blog, Indexed.
Click on the Forbes logo to get to the full article:

forbes logo

The intriguing task of change management.

Dear reader

In the month to come we have a tough agenda at our business school. Later I will tell you more about the programs. This time I would just like to introduce you to one of our faculty members, Dr Svein Andersen.

He will teach in our 2-day-module “Change Management & Organizational Design” which takes place on June 14/15. In the newsroom of our website you’ll find his interview on change management.

Svein is a professor at the Norwegian School of Management and has held various academic positions over the last 25 years, including as a visiting professor at Berkeley and adjunct professor at the University of Oslo.

His teaching experience includes executive leadership and sports management. He holds two PhDs, one from the University of Oslo and one from Stanford University.

I encourage you to join us for the 2-day-module on “Change Management & Organizational Design”. Managers faced with organizational design issues will profit in particular from enrolling in this.

Next week I will provide you additional information.

I wish you all a nice weekend.

Yours,
Peter Lorange

How to handle chaos or new order in tomorrow’s world?

Dear reader

a few weeks ago 52 students graduated from our business school: an important step in the personal and professional development of all graduates!

My faculty fellow Bill Holstein held a terrific speech I would like to share with you.

Download Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012
by William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich

He compared the current economic situation with the weather forecast and concluded that we’ve entered an area of unpredictability, which has a lot to do with the increased speed of communication.

I quickly summarize a few of his statements:

“In 2005 there were 134 million mobile phone users in Africa. In 2011, only six years later, there were 660 million – an average growth rate of more than 30 percent per year. (…) Such explosive growth in such a chaotic area of the works spells opportunity for those who can spell correctly.”

Bill Holsteins Graduation Speech (Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012 William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich) at our Business School“Sales on eBay conducted over mobile phones amounted to $600 million in 2009 and over $5 Billion in 2011. More than an 8 times increase in two years! And eBay expects the percentage of sales over mobile phones to grow 100 percent more in the next few years. (…) This changes the business model for a traditional retailer dramatically. Many will not be able to respond fast enough to survive.”

“U.S. workers tenure in their current job is 4.4 years. The average number of jobs in a lifetime: 11.4 for men, 10.7 for women, not three as for me.”

Bill summarized his speech in one word: chaos. Chaos is the opposite of the idea of order.  Or as Bill put it: “when conditions are chaotic, you must apply different techniques. “ This is the true challenge.

Yours,
Peter Lorange