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Business School Briefing: company secrets

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Welcome to Business School Briefing. We offer you insights from Andrew Hill and Jonathan Moules, and the pick of top stories being read in business schools.

Edited by Andrew Jack and Wai Kwen Chan

FT subscribers can receive Business School Briefing every Monday by email by clicking here.

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Andrew Hill’s management challenge

Reed Hastings, Netflix’s founder, has built a culture of radical candour at the media group, described in his new book No Rules Rules. It includes frightening-sounding “live 360s”, in which staff air their views of each other’s performance during group sessions lasting hours.

As I write in my column this week, transparency carries plenty of risks. For my management challenge, I’d like to hear which company secrets — apart from personal information, obviously — you think should be kept hidden, and why? Send your thoughts on where the boundaries of openness should be drawn to [email protected]

I asked last week how you would suggest instilling corporate culture into online recruits. Drawing on his own experience, reader Burak advises companies to offer video interviews with real employees talking about their work on values and customer solutions. More ambitiously, he says employers could also highlight “an example of employees intentionally and blatantly disregarding such values and losing their jobs as a result” as a “real life insight [into] how the company practises what it preaches”. 

In further reading, as Spain copes with a resurgence in Covid-19 infection, it is a good moment to revisit Ana Alfageme’s analysis in El País last month of how the country has coped with the abrupt transition to home-working. (The English version is here; Spanish via this link.) Not much better than any other country, is the short answer. “All timetables have been interrupted. In many cases people are working unending workdays, and that affects biological rhythms and family and social relationships. Not everyone was prepared and not everyone could move at the same pace,” one occupational health specialist says.

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

The sharp rise in applications to business school this year has in part been driven by concern about the job market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures from the Graduate Management Admission Council confirm that this could well be a wise medium-term play with the MBA recruitment market likely to rebound in 2021. You can read my piece on the research here.

There is another story, however, for those who have just graduated or about to finish this academic year. As this reader comment notes, the decline in companies visiting campuses this year has been noticeable. The long-term future might be bright for MBAs but this year has been a challenging period for all students, forced to complete their courses online, then graduating from business school just as the health crisis turned into an economic crisis. 

Top business school reads

TikTok to be banned from US app stores from Sunday
Trump executive orders also require removal of WeChat from Apple and Google’s app stores in US

Second national lockdown proposed by UK scientific advisers
Government’s advisory bodies look at restrictions to coincide with October school half-term

Trump to nominate successor to Ginsburg next week
President says he will name woman to fill vacancy on US Supreme Court

The future of the university in the age of Covid As students start a term like no other, higher education is being reinvented for the post-pandemic world

Boeing hid design flaws in Max jets from pilots and regulators
Congressional report into why two 737 aircraft crashed within months of each other finds aerospace group cut corners

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