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Business School Briefing: Covid hits live shows, help improve our newsletter


Happy new year from London and we hope you enjoyed the festive season.

Businesses dealing with live performances such as theatres have suffered during the pandemic. Tell us how you would encourage audiences to return to live events and we will print the best ideas in the next newsletter.

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Thank you for reading our Business School Briefing — Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.

Business school research: ESG

Long-term institutional investors invest in companies which focus on ESG and are more patient even in the face of poor returns or earnings shortfalls. That is the core finding of the 2021 Moskowitz Prize paper awarded by the Kellogg School of Management to Laura Starks, Parth Venkat and Qifei Zhu for their paper Corporate ESG Profiles and Investor Horizons.

Andrew Hill’s management challenge

As chief executive of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel Lamarre has juggled pandemic, bankruptcy, mass lay-offs and surging recovery at the famous Montreal-based live entertainment group since revenues plummeted from $1bn to zero in March 2020. Lamarre, now executive vice-chair of the group, told me how Cirque was trying to stay agile, like its performers.

For my management challenge, put yourself in the shoes of showbiz impresarios such as Lamarre: what is your pitch to an audience eager to experience live performance but nervous about coronavirus as they consider whether to roll up to the circus tent again in 2022? Send a couple of sentences to [email protected].

Before the holidays, I asked you for tips about how to deal with workplace pressure. Perhaps you were all too burnt out to respond, but on Twitter @BWHildebrandt was at least concise. “Quit,” they advised.

In further reading, with Elon Musk and Tesla seemingly never out of the headlines, it’s a good moment to revisit an interesting post at WardsAuto by John McElroy. He suggests Tesla is overturning what the world of manufacturing and management once learnt about the “Toyota Way”. “All the arguments I hear in favour of clinging to the old way of doing things are exactly the same ones I heard decades ago, when it was the Toyota Production System that was disrupting the industry,” he writes.

Finally, and purely for fun, let me also point you to my own satirical pop at the (imaginary) business books that you should definitely avoid in 2022.

Data line: Environmental, social and governance teaching

Free event: Join us for the FT’s ‘Future of Business Education: Spotlight on MBA’

We will be holding a virtual event on Feb 23 Wednesday 2022 with FT Editorial and top business schools sharing insights about the FT MBA ranking, responsible business education, innovation and the future of the MBA in a post Covid-19 world. Register for free on:

MBA and executive MBA programmes taught in Europe dedicate a larger part of their courses to ESG compared with schools in other regions, write Sam Stephens and Leo Cremonezi.

The average proportion of core MBA teaching hours dedicated to ESG in Europe is 75 per cent higher than the rest of the world, where only 12 per cent of the degree is related to ESG topics.

Despite higher levels of ESG teaching on MBA and EMBA programmes, business schools in Europe devote less of their Masters in Management courses to the subject compared with other regions.

Chart showing the proportion of core teaching hours on environmental, social and governance subjects, Europe and globally (%)

Further analysis of FT’s European Business Schools ranking can be found here.

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Work and careers roundup

Careers director Jonathan Black gives advice to a business management graduate who is trying to decide whether to go into the family business or get a job?

New job? Here’s how to manage the change Leaders and employees need to accept uncertainty and failures as part of every workplace transition.

How a super reader gets through 52 books a year The expert advice is to get up early, treat bad literature ruthlessly and skim, skim, skim, says Pilita Clark.

One tip is to read books simultaneously. The trick is to vary them, but don’t try two monumental histories at the same time. © Kenneth Andersson

Why nobody thinks to thank their boss Your team thinks your job as a manager is to solve their problems. They are not there to solve yours.

Book review: Inside Iceland’s probe into the 2008 financial crash Former lead investigator for the Icelandic regulator shares his insights into how fraud was unearthed and bankers jailed.

Top reads from business schools in the past week

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes found guilty in criminal fraud trial The founder of blood testing start-up Theranos convicted on four charges including defrauding investors.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, second from left.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, second from left. © Bloomberg

Junior lawyer burnout: M&A boom accelerates exit from elite firms Heavy workloads and long hours have led a growing number of associates to quit, despite high salaries.

Opinion: It’s time to admit that hybrid is not working Mid-morning yoga comes at the expense of professional interactions and employee productivity.

Back issues

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