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Business School Briefing: not-working-from-home jobs and executive courses


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 Wai Kwen Chan and Andrew Jack.


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Andrew Hill’s management challenge

For all the words spent on the pros and cons of working from home (WFH) by homeworking pundits like me, the majority of workers are still, to a greater or lesser extent, NWFH: not working from home. As I’ve written this week, once vaccines bring the pandemic under control, employers and employees should have greater choice to rethink the design of jobs and decide where and how certain tasks are done.

Could some of these NWFH jobs be adapted to take advantage of skills learnt during the enforced period of remote working and lockdown? For my management challenge, send me one way in which a job such as plumber, firefighter, even vaccine researcher, might be redesigned to allow for more remote working. Keep it short and send your ideas to [email protected].

Last week’s call for a slogan to encourage trust in new coronavirus vaccines brought a rich crop, from “End the economic rot, go and get your vaccine shot” (Emmett Minch) to Neil Adams’ catchy “GrabAJab”. My favourite, though, came from Saloni Munot and played on the moonshot analogy that Boris Johnson, among others, likes to use: “One small shot for you will be one giant leap for humankind”.It’s important to call out jargon when we see it, but in the absence of my guff-busting former colleague Lucy Kellaway, we mostly have to rely on others to do it. In further reading, Tiffany Hsu and Sapna Maheshwari bring you the New York Times glossary of the worst marketing buzzwords from “humaning” to “phygital”.

Jonathan Moules’ business school news

The biggest risk to business school finances this year has not been degree programmes but executive education – the short courses teaching specific skills primarily taught in person on campus.

Developing good quality online versions for executive education has been very important as a result – not least because business schools also do not have a monopoly. Online educators from the UK’s Open University to new training providers, such as Sweden’s Hyper Island, are vacuuming up eager learners with a more flexible way to learn.

Many schools have risen to this challenge, as I wrote about when we published this year’s FT executive education ranking list. The good news is that demand for short courses is strong, but success requires an even better understanding of the technological and logistical requirements.

Data line

According to FT data, those who study an executive MBA, a degree for senior working managers, have an entrepreneurial streak, says Leo Cremonezi.

Bar chart of Percentage of EMBA, MBA and Masters in Management alumni that set up one or more companies since completing their degree about three years ago.  The chart shows the region where graduates are based in. showing EMBA alumni are more likely to start their own businesses

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Top business school reads

Oxford Covid vaccine trials offer hope for elderly Early results suggest group most vulnerable to serious illness and death could build immunity

UK set to approve Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine within days Rollout of two-shot jab could begin as soon as December 7

Donald Trump tells government to co-operate with Biden transition President instructs officials to do ‘what needs to be done’ but stops short of concession

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